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Tension Between Fundamentalism
and Answerability

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 1, 2006
Latest Update: May 1, 2006

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site How Fundamentalism Can Overcome Illocutionary Discourse or Answerability: Tension Between Fundamentalism and Answerability

Discourse from Transform_dom

Yemille wrote in Message No. 128881 on May 1, 2006:

I apologize for any offensive words that I might of said, because I didn't use Illocutionary Discourse.

jeanne comments:

Pat called to tell me, and I was delighted. For the simplicity of that message said, "I get it. I'm lashing out at people." And that doesn't make it easy to listen and respond in good faith. I'll put up more of the discourse later, but I wanted to be sure that you all could access comfortably the piece on Freud that relates so strongly to this.

jeanne wrote in Message No. on May 1, 2006:

Thank you, Yemille. Most of the time when words offend a very important factor is that we don't know everything we need to know for valid communication. I know that family illness caused you to miss time last semester. And, of course, a chunk of what you missed was practice with illocutionary discourse.

I wish that there hadn't been so many interruptions that kept me from being here constantly to keep us on an illocutionary tract, but, hey, that's life in today's world. Pat called this morning to tell me that she had talked with you. She knew I would be working; but she wanted me to knowthat you two had talked. She knew I would be happy. And I was.

When we are stressed, over-tired, and there's no one handy to blame, we're grumpy, and sometimes we take that out on anyone in our environment. Read Freud's discussiion of fundamentalism within his situatedness, which included Hitler: Freud and the Fundamentalist Urge

I don't have the discussion up, but things are still a little hectic. I think Freud's idea that it is more comforting to be "certain," "to be right," and have someone to blame, and take out our rage on that person, than it is to admit that, in this complex world of events, issues are almost never simple. That's why we need practice in illocutionary discourse so desperately.

The irony is that once you get it, and can comfortably say "I'm sorry," why, you've landed right in the middle of illocutionary discourse, and all you have to do is practice staaying there.

love and peace, jeanne

Discussion Questions

  1. What does Yemille's message tell you about code words?

    Consider that it's sometimes difficult to say "I'm sorry." A couple of people have simply refused to do so. But Yemille found an acaemic way to say it with code words. She said her words were offensive because she didn't use illocutionary discourse. Bravo, Yemille. Well done.

    So code words offer us a way to back down without having the whole world get what we're saying and misconstrue the whole dialog. Code words offer us a kind of naked space or safe space in which our communication is less likely to be misunderstood or misconstrued by colleagues. They're not so good for teaching with - they confuse and convey arrogance to those who are not part of our community. But they offer us another dimension for group solidarity and belongingness.

  2. What else did the code words demand for understanding the message?

    Consider that you probably wouldn't "get" the apology, unless you were informed and had followed the discussions at least cursorily on transform_dom. That provides an automatic was to exclude people who aren't regular visitors, and interim visitors will be OK without knowing the inner workings of the community.

  3. More later . . . .

References:



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