A Justice Site
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 31, 2004
Latest Update: May 31, 2004
Since our work in teaching governance and illocutionary discourse and answerability requires collaboration over both time and distance, and since those collaborations are accomplished through technology, we need to explore the methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of collaboration and community.
Our community is recognized through the central fulcrum of the website, Dear Habermas, and classes and discussions that depend on the site for scholarly resources. Each semester the discussions and growth of the semester are reflected in the Naked Space Exhibit, "naked space" indicating a forum in which answerability is encouraged and supported. The exhibits are open to community participation because we believe that meaningful learning must be based in local overlapping but real communities, be they connected in physical time and space or virtual time and space.
One theoretical concept we need to discuss here is that of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft."Early sociologists struggled along similar lines with the concept of community as it was affected by another large-scale technological shift, the industrial revolution. They used the term gemeinschaft to refer to tribal and village life, the sort one is born into, where everyone knows who you are by virtue of family and station. At first glance, it seemed that this sort of life was being threatened or even destroyed by cities and factory work. Gesellschaft referred to its opposite: the world of the industrialized city, marked by commerce, where who you are reflects your place in a more distanced, formally commercial and secular order. There were many arguments about whether urbanization had destroyed gemeinschaft, both among social scientists and in the general public sphere. Since their use during this time, the terms have been generalized more loosely to refer to intimate versus distanced relationships. (As well, the early sense of the disappearance of community has been modified and complexified.)1" from Social Theoretical Issues in the Design of Collaboratories: Customized Software for Community Support versus Large-Scale Infrastructure By Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, University of California at San Diego.