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Latest Update: December 11, 2002
Who am I? Many faces, many feelings.
What is different? Essentialism's gone in a world grown more complex.
Many of the issues we confronted this semester made me realize just how complex humans are. The essentialist notion of "knowing" someone by their essential status characteristics makes me wonder how we could ever have been so arrogant as to assume that we could tell all about a person by such simplistic and visible or readily apparent means. For details see: Who Am I? Have I Changed?
NEW for the Week of December 9, 2002
TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Who Am I? Have I Changed?
It seemed fitting for exam week to reconsider identity and all the many factors that make our selves so complex. Just when I'm sure I'm old enough to have figured life and myself out, I discover my identity disintegrates in face of new complexities. Help! Things are falling apart. (reference is to Chinua Achebe.)
I have another painting to add, and I have lots to add on the teach in. I know you have lots to do, too. So I'm counting on your patience. I'm having more than a little trouble adjusting to the fact that I will no longer be able to do much walking. And some of that entails trying the different anti-inflammatory drugs, which isn't fun at all. This week end most of the art museums were having their special sales, and if I wanted the art books, I had to manage to go for them now while they cost less. I did get some wonderful ones I'll be sharing with you soon.
And I'll keep right on with the site. The medicine just really got me today, and I slept all day. Sorry.
Peace and love to all of you through whatever holidays you choose to celebrate. May love remind of us of our humanity. jeanne
Several new pieces on pressing issues up, but without comments. Will get to that soon:
E-mail working again miraculously. Trying to catch up. jeanne
Reinterpretation of Theory:
Theoretical pieces I'm working with for theory publication and for teaching Sociology of Reality as a curricular project in the Spring, and as a course in the Fall of 2003. Remember that some of these pieces require an advanced background in theory. Others are more readily accessible. Please choose what is comfortable for you to read, and if you are interested in a difficult piece, e-mail your questions, or raise them in class, or personally.
Grades and End of Semester:
This section is designed to give you enough examples of my grading that you will have a very clear idea of what is expected of you for the grade you would like to earn. If you have failed to participate reasonably in this class, you have a problem. But then, you already know that, don't you? I'll try to put the grade records sheet up tomorrow. jeanne
Records of Learning
Just started to update the records. Sorry, it seems we needed all these comments up with my comments to establish interactive learning. Now that I've learned how to do that with you, please use the examples up. There is no way I have the luxury of several interactive sessions with each of you, since there are more than 200 of you. But recognize that many of those whose comments are up have not hd long private tutoring. We're using every moment available wherever it occurs. I won't be able to do any more until I return from Chicago. But that gives us weeks, three, I think. So we should all be OK. Meanwhile, I've begun to record these transactions on the Records of Learning Sheet. jeanne
Coping with Acknowledgment: What Do I Do When I Love Him Anyway?.The pain of dealing with domestic abuse. War in the private sphere front. This kind hurts worse; for this kind is interpersonal. Nowhere to escape to the not-personal. This is one of those deep questions about how can it be true and not-true all at once; how can I love that which harms me? what is love? Link fixed on November 10, 2002.
Making Sense of Menopause U.S. News & World Report. More and more we are learning that who we are is not a static quantity. We grow and change; we respond to chemicals that change our emotions and our physical well-being. We need to understand ourselves, and spend a little illocutionary time with ourselves. Agnes is in charge of this semester's workshop on menopause. We'll probably hold it in our Feminist Theory class in SCC A 153 on a T or Th morning.
Index for files on Teach In. Nowehere near finished. I'm working on it, with Spring Semester in mind. jeanne
Theoretical Musings for Us by Us
Some thoughts and theories on racism, present day:
- What's in a Name? Perhaps Plenty if You're a Job Seeker By Alan B. Krueger. New York Times, Economic Scene. Thursday, December 12, 2002, at P. C2. Backup. This piece is a wonderful report of a study on racial and gender discrimination in seeking a job. Professor Krueger does a wonderful of job of reporting on the study, giving you the background, methods, data results, and conclusions. This would be a good model for a research study when you're asked to conduct one. I'll try to get it up early this Spring under methods. jeanne Link added December 12, 2002.
I suggest that you compare this to the series included under this week's Lived Experiences with Senator Lott and his view of the segregation policy on which Strom Thurmond's 1948 campaign was based. Does that help you understand why President Bush publicly denounced what Lott said?
- Mingling Despite Mistrust in South Africa By Rachel L. Swarns. New York Times. December 9, 2002. Page A 1. Backup
- Butterflies' Flights Disclose Free Spirits By James Gorman. New York Times. Backup Wonderful description of how real science progresses, slowly, methodically, with whatever happens "to be there, at hand." And how did the scientists know these butterflies and this potential learning were at hand? Well, guess what, they listened to nature in good faith. That's what makes a great scientist. Someone who grants dignity and respect to the nautre she studies, and thus sees things that one had never thought of seeing before. Social science works the same way, folks. Instead of watchin butterflies, you might try watchin a given species of corporate execs. Wonder what patterns their wings make. jeanne
Lived Experience: Emancipatory Narratives
The Lott fiasco on racism and segregation, as he congratulated Strom Thurmond.
"Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong," President Bush said today.
- Bush Denounces Lott's Remarks on '48 Race as 'Offensive' By The Associated Press. New York Times. December 12, 2002. p. A1. Backup. I'll get notes up on this soon, Meanwhile, consider theories like Herbart's apperceptive mass, Kurt Lewin's psychological life space, and see how they can help interpret what happened here. Essentially Lott intimated that we'd have all been better off if we'd followed Strom Thurmond's views on segregation. What does that say in terms of illocutionary understanding? Is the country in a mood to call for Lott's resignation?
- Consider a completely different but not un-related article in the New York Times on p. A 1 on December 12, 2002: An Intense Attack by Justice Thomas on Cross-Burning By Linda Greenhouse. Backup. What's the difference between burning a flag and burning a cross? Notice Justice Kennedy's response - a hundred years of history. What does he mean by that? Think of what the history of violence has taught us about the iconology of the burning cross.
- Lott Apologizes Again on Words About '48 Race By Carl Hulse. New York Times. p. A1. December 11, 2002. What's your feeling? Are you comfortable with someone who praises a campaign of segregation of races as the leader of the U.S. Senate? "Senator Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, said 'His comment was an inadvertent slip and his apology should end the discussion.'" Could we find an illocutionary argument to support Senator Specter 's position? What would that be? Link added December 12, 2002.
Well, how about considering that we tend to view each other as easily recognizable advocates of certain positions, left or right, or in between, and then assume that we know how anyone that holds that position might act or respond. We call that today essentialism, yes? In what ways is such an attitude unfair to Lott? In what ways does an illocutionary approach that recognizes Lott as complex and thoughtful require trust on our part that those who support Lott will be alert to indications that this incident suggests a stronger commitment to race-related interests than we can presently ascertain?
- Lott Should Resign Robert Scheer says not. Lott is such a delicious embarassment to the Republicans because he voices their actual agenda. This will be the left perspective of the scene. Link added December 12, 2002.
The Right’s "Race Desk" American Enterprise Institute finds profit in prejudice. By Deborah Toler. This would be a left perspective on a right perspective think tank. jeanne Link added December 12, 2002, while searching for a Republican defense of Trent Lott.
Vacant Lott By Robert A. George. National Review. December 12, 2002. FrontPage Magazine. David Horowitz' Online Magazine. Right Perspective..
Sorry, I give up on finding a major defense out there for Lott. Let me know if you find one on a reputable site we might use for scholarly reference. jeanne December 12, 2002.
- Identity After Essentialism Comments based on the earlier Identity Changing. Link added December 12, 2002.
I really liked the simplicity of the painting, the willingness to capture just the feeling without specific detail. Read the article when you have time, and I'll get up an essay shortly. jeanne
The article: Icy Genius With a Taste for Order By Roberta Smith. Backup 1. Backup 2.