Link to What's New ThisWeek Notes for Sociology of Agencies, Soc. 328, Fall 2004

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Fall 2004 Classes

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 13, 2004
Latest Update: April 13, 2004

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

Index of Topics on Site Notes for Sociology of Agencies, Soc. 328, Fall 2004

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, April 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Texts:

  • Reframing Organizations, Lee G. Bolman, Terrence E. Deal, Jossey-Bass, 2003. Latest edition. ISBN: 0-7879-6427-1 (pbk)
  • Understanding Legal Concepts That Influence Social welfare Policy and Practice, Rudolph Alexander, Jr. Thomson Learning. 2003. ISBN: 0-534-59661-4 (pbk)
  • The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities and Social Sciences Jeffrey Nealon and Susan Searls Giroux. Bowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. ISBN: 0-7425-1994-5 (pbk)

These texts offer leading edge issues in both praxis: how to lead a working group effectively, and in the theoretical approaches most current as guides to such praxis.

Grading:

Will use grading procedure from Spring 2004: Testing Procedures for Those Who Missed Interpersonal Exchange Allows you to select topics for discussion that will let you tell us what you have learned. You have choices, and it is not a test, but participation in a discussion. The second part of your grade is based on your participation in the Naked Space Exhibition of Visual Sociology at the end of the semester.

Topics:

References and Resources:

  • Magnum photos from Eve Arnold's All in a Day's Work. This is an extraordinary group of photos of people working, around the world. There are 129 photos from this work. You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it. You can then follow the photos by clicking "suivante" (next) as you go through. The book is out of print, but perhaps we can find a copy somewhere. I think you can buy individual photos on the Magnum site, though there is a registration procedure, and I had next to no time the day I was doing this. Check it out.

    I chose to share small versions of these two photos as representative of her work. Notice how she uses form in the first. The repetition of round forms in the mosque, in the arches. Then the dark circular wheel form, with the dark rounded arch form of the door. Here we are seeing both light and dark and shapes that pull the photograph together. Then notice the clear horizontal lines of the mosque, horizontal and white on the upper parts, repeated in the two black rectangles of the entrance and the screened entrance to the right. Note how these horizontal lines contrast with the lines created by the man's pulling of the cart. One dark line is made by the handle that he holds at about waste level, while another is created by his body as he leans into the effort of pulling. The line of his body would likely intersect with the corner of the dark entrance way.

    The lines create tension as must the pulling of the cart. The tension is made visible by the use of line and color. And that whole miniature dark scene is set against the calm, colorful setting of the mosque, both identifying a place, a culture, a life style and creating an incredible image.

    Eve Arnold photo from Magnum Photos.
    Eve Arnold 1969
    CENTRAL ASIA. 1969.
    AFGHANISTAN. Human labour is cheaper than animal labour or machinery. 1969.

    The image below of the vegetable seller was so striking that I just stopped and stared for a while. This one, for me, is less cognitive, more pure feeling. The colors, on my computer, at least, are astounding. Soft pastels, surrounded by that soft gray of the stone steps, framed by the white robes standing above. The hajib (veil) contrasts with the soft multiple pastels: pink, pale green embroidered pants with small pink flowers in the fabric, and what looks like a soft yellow chiffon scarf over it all. The shapes of bag and baskets and roghly woven muslim in beige and gray-browns both set the whole scene into the steps and still highlight the pastel shades of the vegetables. Notice the drapery as it grounds the basket of tomatoes. Notice the variation in textures from rough-woven to basketry to the silk-like white fabric of the people at the entrance and the sheer yellow of the vegetable seller's scarf. Notice the effect you can have when you zoom in onto fine details. What a contrast with the photograph above in which the architectural lines and lines of whole bodies of objects tell the story. Where I feel tension in the photo of the cart-puller, here I feel a calm that makes me want to slow down and share the beauty of this very small moment.

    Eve Arnold photo from Magnum Photos.
    Eve Arnold 1971
    United Arab Emirates. Own film. 1971.
    United Arab Emirates. A vegetable seller. 1971.

    What do you think these photos tell us about the work of each of these people? What do you think these would tell us themselves about their work?

    Can you sense the skill that went into making these photos? Can you relate that skill to one of the problems of participatory projects? How could we alleviate the conflict between skill and differing perceptions?