A Justice Site
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Previous Issue: Volume 19, No. 10 , Week of April 4, 2004
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 26, 2004
Latest Update: April 4, 2004
Topic of the Week: Communicating Belief
Tina once asked why we had to speak of religion, for like politics, religion brings the fire of certainty and privilege with it. But we have to talk about religion, for our beliefs are an integral part of the infrastructure blended of our many interpersonal relationships. As the world shrinks into a global village, that need grows ever stronger.
What brought the topic to mind this week was that The Jewish Weekly, the Forward, published an article on March 26 on how to paste together a "visual narrative" of Passover. Scrapbooks have become increasingly popular in this age of technical prowess. Most families have cameras and/or camcorders. How best to take those visual memories so the family will have memories of the cultural situatedness of which its history formed a part.
This is Spring Break. Passover, Easter, celebrations of the renewal of life. Photo blogs abound on the net. People are sending photos back and forth across enormous distances in mere instants.What a wonderful chance for us to talk about religion. What did I have in mind as I created this week's painting? Nuns singing a Catholic mass, a scene from my early childhood? Young Muslim women with head coverings reflecting their beliefs? A choir? All those things, for memories and cultures mingle over the years. Tongues? Tongues of fire? What kind of fire? The fervent fire of belief? The angry fire in response to exploitation, to the refusal of those in power to allow voices to ANSWER? The fervor of women determined that voices shall be heard, that the future shall be protected? Is that hell fire? Or are those suggestions of halos around their heads? All those things, for memories and cultures mingle over the years. Oh, I said that already, didn't I? Yeah, it's important. That's the theory of answerability, in which we each take responsibility for this world in which we live together.
New: About Grades
Added Monday, April 4, 2004: About Grades Testing Procedures for Those Who Missed Interpersonal Exchange Pat and I have been in less frequently this semester. Especially me. And then there was the email problem. So I thought this guide to grading procedures might help. jeanne
Added Thursday, April 1, 2004: Pat and I are planning to work at my house on Wednesday, and spend the day with you at school on Thursday. I'll try to get in early, and to have time for workshops in which we can plan this Spring's exhibits. Meanwhile there's lots of material for Spring projects on the site, and my email is finally fixed. jeanne
Theory, Methods, Praxis, and Projects
Added Friday, April 2, 2004: Preserving Culture Globally: Designing a Culture of Answerability A look at how and where this is happening, globally, and in the US. Links to some marvelous student work, and to descriptions of how one prepares for this sociological adventure of the 21st Century. Lots of good information for work on your projects.
Added Thursday, April 1, 2004: " Notes on the 'New' Visual Culture from the Perspective of the 'New' Latin Americanism" by Andrea Noble, from the Latin American Cultural Studies Site at the Cultural Theory Institute at Manchester University. Understandable article on how the "visual" fits into the new twenty-first century curriculum and how it relates to social theory.
Added Thursday, April 1, 2004: I'm going to ask you to share in preparing an essay linking answerability as a responsibility of each of us in protecting the values and beliefs of our communities. In particular, I want to talk about jobs, careers, professional identity, and the effect the global market can and should have on this aspect of our lives. I'd like you to look at the Chernobyl Ghost Town: New site as preparation for this discussion. Important that we consider interpassivity at the same time.
Syllabus for Naked Space, Spring 2004 Exhibit
Naked Space Exhibit Work
Comprehensive Exams Study Group
Added April 2, 2004. Have question on Durkheim and Weber from Mary Conner.
Question: how to compare Durkheim's and Marx concerns with society. how does each view inequality differently?
jeanne's quick answer: Mary, Thanks for reminding me. I need more time to hunt for the theory stuff I did last semester. But a quick answer to your question is that Durkheim saw social stratification and inequality as natural results of society, and he wasn't to worried about them. He was just interested in figuring out social indicators, the better to understand society. Marx, on the other hand, was terribly frustrated by inequality and what he considered exploitation of those who have not by those who have. Marx looked beyond the figures and social indicators to the real people whom he believed should rise up in revolution against the exploitations.
Does this help? jeanne
A Range of Sources on Global Events
Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal -The Weekly Standard - The Nation
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor
Indymedia - Mother Jones - BBC News - New Profile
Progressive Sociologists Network
Evaluating Internet Resources
Evaluating Hoax Email with samples, including an old one about charging for email that's going around again. Link updated March 29, 2004.
Evaluating Internet Resources Library Site at University of North Carolina. Don't forget to question. This is a good detailed source. Link checked March 29, 2004.
Using Academic Language Effectively:
|Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:|
Dictionary of Critical Sociology
Maintained by Robert E. Mazur, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Sociology.
Words of Art: Front Page
Wonderful Fine Arts dictionary at Okanagan University College in Canada.
Will cover many of the terms social theory shares with literary theory.
Today's Word: From the Word.A.Day Site
Careers and Jobs:
Added Thursday, April 1, 2004: Burn Out with OutSourcing
I'd like to start a project for the Spring Exhibit on jobs, outsourcing, and professional identity. How do we presently view jobs and careers? As part of our existence, a necessary part, but one fully balanced by family and spiritual attachment to other spheres (as Habermas would call the other spheres)? How do we view outsourcing? As taking jobs away from people who deserve them? or as creating new opportunities for us?
If you think creating new opportunities makes it worth the loss of outsourced jobs, I suggest you pay close attention to the expressions all around of us fatigue. It has become a recent concern that people are sufficiently exhausted to fall asleep while driving. Creativity requires discretionary time. Could we put together a photo essay or an art project on discretionary time and work? How much of what we do at work is necessary? and how much is bureacratic, mind-dulling routine that could be accomplished by automatons, which is what we are training our workers to be? Hey, don't miss that this is a biased perspective. I support critical thinking. What does the conservative "training" camp suggest is the advantage to our infrastructure of creating little exploited automatons? Susan Fellows used to talk about their turning us into sub-human life forms. I think the problem with that theory is that it would be cheaper if we left out "life" and just created sub-human technotons.
Why do we have to become aware of this issue, and make the whole community aware of it? Because Chernobyl is the kind of thing that happens when ordinary folks quit taking responsibility for what happens in ordinary towns in ordinary places.
Person asking Other to give back to the culture,
to preserve what is still wild and free.
Now, if I could just scope in on that Other, Roger, contemplating his commitment to give back to the culture. I'd like to know and understand him. How do we retain that part of the liberty provided by earning an income, when work is so distorted? Can we still give back? And if we cannot, what will be lost?
Added Thursday, April 1, 2004: The emphasis on profit in this culture, and in the enforcement of serious intent and hard work, sometimes obscures the extent to which play is an integral part of our work. Both Susan and I are overwhelmed this semester by how much "work" we have, just as we thought we were getting to that stage of the work cycle in which we could coast a little on past performance. Nevermind that I've retired. Nevermind that Susan is carrying an awful overload. Look at the opportunities for growth and achievement that offers. Before you decide that that sounds like a reasonable argument read the following email exchange between me and Susan this week.
jeanne: You know, I think interpassivity is lots more than it's cracked up to be. Oh, and the doctor confirmed that I fall over to the right today. He called it an equilibrium problem and told me not to take any drunk driving tests. I got my eye instead of my nose. jeanne
Susan: maybe we should write a "book" on interpassivity, then. our next book? lmao!! (email speak for "laughing my tush off" taught us by Mac, a UWP student)
jeanne: Cut that out! I'm serious. this is theory. lmao!
Susan: okay. good dog, good dog. how's that?p.s. i've got a full prof tenure and promotion file to put together by friday, and a position authorization request by monday. now if i'm not in desperate need of some interpassivity, then who else is?
Jeanne: Gee, I've got Spring break! love and peace, anyway. jeanne
Susan: wish i had a spring break. mine came and went and i was interpassive, then, too!
Who To Take:
It's awful to find yourself in a new school or a new department where you don't know anyone, and you have to select classes and teachers without any sense of what they're like. An old Orange County Site has renewed itself with new protections for all and with a new administration. Please take a look at the site at WhoToTake.net. If you had bookmarked WhoToTake.com, change to this site. The old one is permanently down.
The site, properly maintained, as I think it will be, offers you a chance to give feedback to your teachers on teaching strategies that help, on clues to ways that your answerability is blocked, on the situatedness that is different from what it was in their day. It also gives a means for students, whether they know each other or not, to exchange really important information.
I would consider this pretty solid project material, if someone wanted to do an analysis of the site as a mean of enhancing answerability. jeanne