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Collaborative Journal

Mirror Sites:
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP

Caliifornia State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: August 31, 2001
Latest Update: September 7, 2001


Sharing the Site
from the Week of September 4, 2001 - Week 2

Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors: September 2001.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Fellman's Paradigm Shift

On Tuesday, September 4, 2001, Bobi Lott wrote:

Greetings, Jeanne. Fellman defines paradigm shift as an ideal state (utopia).

jeanne's comments

Bobi, can you cite a page reference for this. My understanding of paradigm shift is different.

Since we live in a world filled with leaders that teach us that violence is a way of life, a paradigm shift is the opposite. This shift recognizes the loving nature in everyone. Each person would be able to express and develop these 'natural' tendencies. Fellman also recognizes that such a shift would not be so easily acceptable. There are two parts of the paradigm described by Fellman. The first, the driving mechanism of adversarialism. The second, a way to become free from adversarialism through liberation.
Am I on the right path?
Bobi :}

jeanne's comments

Bobi, I think you're confusing the second paradigm, mutuality, with the pardigm shift. The shift to which Fellman refers is the shift from adversarialism towards a much more balanced model with mutuality, or cooperation, or sense of community. Does this help?


On Tuesday, September 4, 2001, Sasha Shell wrote:

Professor Jeanne

i finally got how to access your web site and do everything to its fullest. the time we had in the computer lab last Thursday 8/30 was very helpful, but i needed a little more practice on my own, and i finally got it. I'M SO HAPPY!!!

I loved the little poems and pictures on the site. I was really able to identify with the one you wrote, "NOW AS A GOLDFISH", that is exactly how I feel about my life right know.

I was wondering for our weekly assignments do we need to email you that same week or does it matter at all?

Talk to you later


On Wednesday, September 5, 2001, jeanne responded:

I'm glad you found it, Sasha. Glad you liked the poems. Yeah, I fell like the goldfish, too. And you may submit written material whenever you like. No structural violence here.

love and peace, jeanne

Finding Posted E-Mail
and Lecture Notes

On Tuesday, Spetember 4, 2001, Cheryl Spear wrote:

Hi Jeanne, I am still trying to find my way around the site. Can you walk me through finding the, I think it was collaborative essays, email you post and lecture notes?

jeanne's comment: Go to the What's New for the Week on the Current Issue - link on Collaborative Journal - youl'l find the lecture notes and posted materials in that section. jeanne

Just wanted to let you know that I am reading Fellman's book and finding it quite good and somewhat easy to read. I am still confused on the paradigm shift though. Here is the answer I wrote in class today:

What exactly is a paradigm shift? Is it when one goes from oppossing to accepting a thought, idea, or concept?

jeanne's comment:

No, a paradigm shift is not a shift from opposing a concept to accepting it, though that might happen as a result of the shift. A paradigm shift is a change from thinking about something from one perspective or viewpoint, to looking at that whole model (or paradigm) from a different perspective. For example, Fellman suggests that one way to achieve peace is to shift from our thinking of the world as "adversarial" to try to a perception of the world as "mutually cooperative." But he is concerned less with your changing specific positions on specific concepts than in your shifting to a new way of seeing the world. A little like slipping on rose-colored glasses, and then treating each other as if we are in a rose-colored world until we begin to realize that we are the world, so that if we make it rose-colored, to some extent, it will be rose-colored. In other words, the world is what we make it. We are interdependent with the world we live in. And to see the possibility of looking at the world in a different light or a different way is the shift that Fellman wants us to make. Now, I suggest you ask Fellman if he agrees with my interpretation of what he means by "paradigm shift."

Does that help? jeanne

When you say effectively, do you mean positive?

jeanne's comment:

It would help if you would quote my use of "effectively." Remember the site is large.

What I usually mean by "effectively" is a validity measure. Does the step taken or the behavior engaged in seem to make the difference we intended it to make? It might be either a negative or a positive effect.

An example that might help: California gives myriad tests to K-12 students. California interprets those test scores as meaning that students are doing either "better" or "worse" at learning what they need to learn. Do the tests effectively measure learning? No, they effectively measure only the limited kinds of learning represented by the test. But that may very well not be a valid measure of their learning.

Does that help? jeanne

If a paradigm is going from acceptance to rejection (or vice versa), then the shift may be effective if the person involved is moving from the unaccepted to the accepted norm.

jeanne's comment:

What you say here is true. But the emphasis is wrong. The paradigm (model) isn't about acceptance or rejection; it's about a different way of looking at things, a different way of seeing. And it may be that both paradigms are "acceptable," and that what we are being asked to do is to shift to a more balanced use of the models, instead of seeing only one choice. That's what Fellman means when he says that he isn't asking us to reject adversarialism, he's asking us not to obsess over it and view each other as the enemy when such a perspective is inappropriate and we would be better served by considering the model of mutuality.

Does that help? jeanne

Thanks for you help!
Cheryl Spear


On Wednesday, Spetember 5, 2001, Tiffany Griffin and Lakisha and Patricia and Kasie and Angelique wrote:

An adversarialism paradigm is one that is based on conflict. The nature of human beings reflects a discord suggested by the readings as adversarialism. Fellman conveyed a solution to the barbaric war-like situations that adversalism created. The resolution is mutuality, which is the extreme converse of adversarialism. This type of good vs. evil is needed in order to maintain balance with in our society.

jeanne's comment:

I don't think your analogy to "good and evil" is quite right. Fellman doesn't see "adversarialism" as evil, and "mutuality" as good. He sees a need for balance in the perspectives of "adversarialism" and of "mutuality." Although there is evil in the world, and some people are not very nice, Fellman doesn't believe that that means we should see everyone as evil and/or an enemy. We should respond adversarily only when we recognize an adversarial situation. And we should balance that a view towards cooperative caring when the situation does not require adversarialism.

Does that help? jeanne

Fellman felt that we should evaluate our own fears and anxieties and use the same paradigm that we view ourselves in to view others, so not to prejudge anyone.

jeanne's comment:

Wow, I like that. But now you've switched to the inclusion of the Other, and you're in Habermasian and postcolonial territory. You might be right. Fellman might agree with this statement. But because we look at so many theories I think you should confirm this with him.

This is an excellent example of transferring concepts and ideas across theoretical boundaries, which definitely helps us to get outside the constraints of dominant discourse to our imaginary. Good thinking. jeanne

Sharing for Week 2, Fall 2001, continued at jourshare02a.htm.