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Shared Reading Comments


California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: February 21, 2001
Latest update: March 6, 2001

On Guns and Killing and Why? I

On Tuesday, March 6, Pat Acone wrote:

Last night when you called (Monday) and told me that you had added to the site in reference to violence, guns and killing, I started reflecting on the categories of classes that you teach and how relevant they are to today, or for that matter, any of the "todays". The theme and common thread is peace and love and respect. You truly do have a very important approach to revolutionizing the world. I know that you have told us that there is more than one way to accomplish matters with the phrase "one possible answer". However, I do believe that you are closer to the appropriate methodology and theory of accomplishing a change in human behavior than anyone and I mean ANYONE has ever done. In The Will to Kill Fox and Levin have done a typology on page 97 of selected characteristics of selected school massacres. Their explanations from parental responsibility to a violent society are too superficial, and yet they can be counted as "one possible explanation". I believe that it is much deeper and that society as a people must take responsibility collectively and therein lies the reason that I believe that we need to get your work into every form of schools/institutions possible. You take care of every aspect of society from criminology=peace and conflict=justice(moot court)=theory.

I am reading Gustavio Gutierrez who is considered the "father of Liberation Theology" and he states that Dependence Theory began with liberation theology. So I am working on understanding it. He hasn't yet explained what it is only what it does and he states that it is a less linear approach that Marx's explanantion of economics.

On Tuesday, March 6, 2001, jeanne responded:

I agree with your analysis, Pat, that all of this concern with violence must go deeper than guns and bullets. That's what made me turn to Basquiat and his crossing out of words, and the sense that FEAR was one of the missing words. But I think the real key is even deeper. Perhaps we should cross out fear and come finally to RESPECT.

I'm still tired, and don't have time to develop this fully, but I'm thinking along lines that RESPECT is not something we can legislate, not something we can demand, not something we can control by criminal justice means. RESPECT is a social fact. It comes from a society that normatively expects respect, and uses its collective power to socialize its members into acceptable parameters of respect. That seems to be a way of saying that dominant discourse needs to include respect. And it needs to include all groups of society in that normative expectation. The growth of an independent teen culture has produced a transformed discourse, one that does not constrain and control for RESPECT. Perhaps we need to address this whole issue.

I'm intrigued by your comments on Dependence Theory. Will follow them eagerly.

love and peace, jeanne

On Tuesday, March 6, 2001, Kylene Phelan, theory class, wrote:

Hello, this is Kylene Phelan from Theory. I was reading what you wrote about Durkeim's "Rules of Sociological Methods" and what you said about dominant discourse makes sense. We are restrained to act certain ways in public because of how society expects us to be and even though we were socialized by our community we still can feel the restraints.


On March 6, 2001, jeanne responded:

Glad to see you're connecting dominant discourse with restraint. As you can see in Pat's comments above, I'm beginning to feel some concern that the various sectors of society that in the past have restrained us have begun to be transformed by alternative discourse that is less restraining. Gangs represent one example. School shootings seem to represent a whole different area of weakening of the dominant discourse in some important areas.

The athlletics department should be proud of your continuing academic contributions. I am.

love and peace, jeanne