Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the social construction of reality

by peter berger and thomas luckmann 1966

according to wikipedia, this book is known for introducing the terms "social construction"

berger (meaning both authors) decides not to cite theorists from whom he takes his knowledge, only in footnotes (vi)

The intro describes the history of the sociology of knowledge
3-termed by Max Scheler in 1925, german philosopher
4-ohter than germans, ppl regarded it as peripheral at best
-roots come from the "vast accumulation of historical scholarship...of the 19th ce in germany [which was "unparalleled in any other period of intellectual history in the past"]--w/ all the variety of forms of thot". this huge amount of knowledge created teh "vertigo of relativity"
5-so ppl wanted to inestigate "the concrete relationships btwn thot and its historical situations"
-the awareness of the social foundations of values and world views can b found thuought antiquity, but there r 3 intellectual antecedents for this SOK--marx, nietzsche, and the historicist

-from marx, SOK derived its "root proposition--that man's consciousness is determined by his social being" (die fruhschriten 53)
-also got terms of ideology and false consciousness
6-and idea of sub/superstructure, which was unclear but eventually taken generally to mean that there is a relation btwn thot and an "'underlying' reality other than thot"

-Nietzsche's idea of thot as an instrumnt for power and survival, deception and illusion

-historicism's struggle w/ relativity--that "no historical situation could b understood except in its own terms"--could b seen as an emphasis on the social situation of thot

7-the SOK's emphasis, then, on history "also made for its marginality in the milieu of amer sociogy"

-Scheler used "real factors" and "ideal factors" like marx's sub/superstructure--said "real factors" regulate conditions but not the content of "ideal factors"

8-Mannheim's formulation of SOK became known in the English speaking world--he is what ppl gnerally think of SOK
-he believed that society determined the appearance AND content of human ideation, with the exception of math and parts of nat. sciences
-he saw diff levels of ideology--personal, gen., all-encompassing
9-all thot is from a certain position
-and thot "that ideologizing influences, while they could not b eradicated completely, could b mitigated by the sytemic analysis of as many as possible of the varying socilly grounded positions"--the more perspectives on a subject, the cleaner it was---berger says: "this is to b the taks of teh SOK..."
-Mannheim bleived diff social groups vary greatly in their capacity to transcend their own narrow position--he placed hope in the "socially unattached intelligensia," a stratum he believed to b free of class interests

10-Other socios used these two: Robert merton, parsons and c. w. mills (us), but berger says none has added to SOK's theoretical dvlpmnt

12-berger says epistemological ?s are not the realm of sociology--they belong to methodology
13-but "the SOK must concern itself w/ everything that passes for 'knowledge' in society", not just theoretical thot--this is admittedly a larger scope than most others
14-this shift is based on SOK criticism by alfred schutz

15They use durk theory of society, marx dialectical perpective, and construction of social reality thru subjective meanings derive from weber, social psych by G H mead--dialectical

16-they realize that this work is essentially a look at all of sociological theory

-weber pointed out that social facts r real and durk ptd out they are also subjective
-berger asks: how can they be both?

summary of argument from wiki:
The central concept of The Social Construction of Reality is that persons and groups interacting together in a social system form, over time, concepts or mental representations of each other's actions, and that these concepts eventually become habituated into reciprocal roles played by the actors in relation to each other. When these roles are made available to other members of society to enter into and play out, the reciprocal interactions are said to be institutionalised. In the process of this institutionalisation, meaning is embedded in society. Knowledge and people's conception (and belief) of what reality is becomes embedded in the institutional fabric of society. Social reality is therefore said to be socially constructed.

Berger is perhaps best known for his view that social reality is a form of consciousness. Central to Berger's work is the relationship between society and the individual. In his book The Social Construction of Reality, Berger develops a sociological theory: 'Society as Objective Reality and as Subjective Reality'. His analysis of society as subjective reality describes the process by which an individual's conception of reality is produced by his or her interaction with social structures. He writes about how new human concepts or inventions become a part of our reality (a process he calls reification) [2].

His conception of social structure revolving around the importance of language, "the most important sign system of human society," is similar to Hegel's conception of Geist.[3].

Genealogies of rel pt. 2

24-Many 19th ce thinkers saw rel as "an early human condition from which mod law, scinece, and pols emerged and became detached"
-in 20th ce, most have abandoned the evolutionary ideas and challenge idea that rel is simply primitive and outmoded
-4 them it is a distinct aspect of human life

29-"socially idfiable forms, preconditions, and effects of what was regarded as rel in medieval xn times were diff in mod socity
-"what we call" relus power was diffly distributed and had diff thrust, diff ways it shaped and responded to legal institns, diff categories of knowledge it authorized and made available"

-"there cannot b a universal def of rel, not only b/c its constitutent elements and relationships r historically specific, but b/c that def [Geertz's "cultural system"] is itself the historical product of discursive processes"
-critiques Geertz's def (66 and 73-interpt of cultures): "(1) a sys of symbols which act to (2) estab powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting modds and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a gen order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic" (90)
30-"a transhistorical def of rel is not viable"

-Geertz's idea is that a symbol is separate from a conception, sometimes not
31-note #5 says there is a theory (collingwood 38, bk. 2) that says theres not even sucha thing as universal moods associated w/ symbols, so even "the notion of a generalized relus emothion (or mood) may b ?'d"--ie, otto
-says since Vygotsky (78) was "able to show how the dvlpmnt of children's intellect is dpndnt on the internaliztn of social speech" it "means that the formation of what we have here called 'symbols' (complexes, concepts) is conditioned by the social relations in which the growing child is involved--by the social activities that he or she is permitted or incouraged or obliged to undertake--in which other symbols (speech and significant mvmnts) r crucial. the conditions (discursive and nondiscursive) that explain how wymbols come to be constructed and how some of them r established as natural or authoritative as opposed to others, then becomes an important object of anthropological inquiry...the authoritative status of representations/discourses is dependent on the the appropriate production of other representations/discourses; the two r intrinsically and not just temporarily connected"
32-geerz assumes theres a separate culture/social and indv--a parsonian theory
35-geertz's idea that these symbols produce moods and motivations falls short b/c the obvious reason that power has a big impact, citing st. augustinges views after experiences with the donatist heresy--power "created the conditions for experiencing [relus] truth"
37-38-gives a long list of medieval xn rules regulating what was correct faith and practice
39-tho xn rules knew that indvs might interp it diffrntly, they wanted to control what was acceptable as legit

40-says that during the 17th ce, after the wars of rel, was when "the earliest stystematic attempts at producing a universal def of rel were made"-cites willey (34, 114) who writes that lord Herbert's de veritate marked eurpns leaving the old belief that everything nonxn was simply pagan or jew--he tried to understand rel for all men--as xns were encountering so many others b/c the church had fragmented
-herbert's def "later came to b formulated as natural rel"--belief in supreme power, practices, andethics--existed in all societies
41-this def did not include scriptures

42-"nat rel was a crucial step in the formation of the mod concept of relus belief, experience and practce, and that it was an idea dvlpd in response to probs specific to xn theology at a particular historical juncture"
-"by 1795, kant was able to produce a fully essentialized idea of rel" (kant: poll writings 91, 114) and it was diff than its "phenomenal forms"/"confessions"/faiths/denominations

-there4, "the idea that anthros have 2day of rel has a very specific, xn background"
43-"relus theory became necessary for a correct reading of mute ritual hieroglyphics of otherss" to convert them. "it is essential for judging the validity of their cosmological utterances"

46-rel is also not some universal ways of coping w/ chaos of life b/c the chaotic things always change as do ways to cope--eg diff understandings of evil
47-says geertzs insitence that rel have "factuality"--that ppl need a knowledge of it is a mod, privatized xn idea b/c the medieval xn institutions didn't base their power on ldearned knowlege--simply belief
48-and writers have argued that belief does or doesn't exist in practitionners
50-and critiques gerrtzs idea that ritual makes rel b/c geertz doesn't explain how and why 1 ritual and not another is relus

54-"the anthrogical student of particular rels should therefore begin from this pt. [that rel is aproduct of historical forces], in a sense unpacking the comprehensive concept which he or she translates as "rel" into into heterogenous elements according to its hsitorical character"

58-in the mid 17th ce "ritual" entered the oxford engl dictionry, meant the symbolic act AND the book that contained directions--the same def used in the first ed of encyclopedia britannica (1771) and used in there thru the 1850s, entry stopped for a while, then reappeared in 1910 but lost the meaning of book and was synonomous with "rite"
-in 19th ce, ritual was seen as primitive--not necessary like myth (belief)--an idea that "reatly historicizes and secularizes the refrmtn doctrine that correct belief must b more highly valued than correct practice"
-stated explicity in encycl britnca (1910), quoting w. robertson smith who "gave mod anthrogy its first comprehensive theory of ritual" (from steiner 56)

60-the idea that ritual should b interprted has long been around in xnty--anthros took up that idea and said some rels were too "primitive" to interpret them
61-tho some anthros found that some ppl did not interprt rituals

72-another thinker says emotions r intrinsic to lang (harre 86)

78- for medieval xns, ritual was regulated practices of "mental and moral dispositions"--esp for monks
79-but now, b/c discipline is part of mod living, rites now r seen as symbolic

173-gellner's "concepts and society" criticizes anthros for giving meaning to things that might not have that meaning--"excessive charity"
-samuelsson 61 critiqued webers ethic thesis for reinterpreting texts to match thesis--which is functionalism, using social context
180-but to say that u can't understand anything is wrong b/c that would mean no one could even understnd their own culture--no, ud do learn , but a translator does face the prob of misunderstanding of lang and funct

189-there is difficulty in translating b/c ppl have tendency to put the lang in their own lang's terms and not adapt to the differences of the original lang, rarely do original langs change the translator's lang
190-this is the result of power relations, eg thrid world langs rarely changed with w. langs, esp b/c w. langs have control of knowledge
191-eg since 19th ce when w. lang texts started being translated to arabic, arabic adapted w. puct, sentece structures, idiomatic expressions, etx.
-and w. models "should" b learned as "a precondition for the production of more knowledge"
193-another example is that when we translate actions which r preformed, they lose some meaning when written down
194-a social anthros job is to translate culture, but it's difficult b/c sometimes "local" indvs aren't aware of larger meanings
197-but sicne in w. society written records r more respected than folk memories, these translations become instiutitonalized and make these societies appear to fit into a certain mold, capable of being manipulated--and can even get retranslated back and affect how they see themselves

200-"...anthros who seeks to describe rather than to moralize will consider ea trad in its own terms--even as it has come to be reconstituted by mod forces--in order to compare and contrast it with others. more precisely, they will try to understand ways of reasoning characteristic of given trads...beyond that, they should learn to treat some of their own Enlightenmnt assumptions as belonging to specific kinds of reasoning--albeit kinds of reasoning that have largely shaped our mod world--and not--as the ground from which all understanding of non-Enlightenment trads must begin"

201-looks at aspects of enlighenment from Kants essay "an answer to the ?: 'what is Enlightenmnt'" Asad acknowledges that kant is not rep the whole of enlghtenment (Gay 73 showed its diversity) but kant has been "judged to have been historically decisive fro teh trad in making a formative moment in the theoriztn of a central feature of 'civil socity,' the feature concerning the possibilites of open, rtl criticism"
-Jacob 91 living the enlgitnment argues that freemason practiceswere of major importance in the emergence of libertarian and secular ideals--contrary to the conventional view that enlightnment was an intellectual mvmnt--it was social and poll
-foucault 84 used same kant essay, its part that says a mature person is one who relies on reason, not authority--is a foundation for idea of the self in mody

204-kant believed that ppl should obey poll authority but have freedom in criticism btwn other literate ('rtl")ppl, w/out criticizing certain institutions--and rel was "belief," not fact and passion, not reason--so it was ok to restrict relus discussion in public

206-"scholars r now more aware that relus toleration was a poll means to the formation of strong state power that emerged from the sectarian wars of the 16th and 17th ces rather than the gift of benign intention to defend pluralism"
-lipsios (16th ce) said any policy to ensure civil peace is good--if relus diversity could b stopped, good, if not, w/e; locke (17thce) agreed
-this resulted in morality being "theorized separate from the domain of pols"--tho some argued that this meant that this pushed transcendntal secular moralism of poll philosophers into poll practice
207-"liberals continue to invoke [kant's] principle of public use of reason as the arbiter of true knowledge...and remain alert to the disruptive possibilities of rel as defined--for xn as well as non-xn trads--by the Enlgitnmnt"

-"the formation of strong state power in the contemp ME has a very diff genealogy. In most cases, strong states have inheriited colonial forms; a few owe their formation to islmc mvmnts. in such polities, there is no public use of reason in Kant's sense, nor r relus truth and relus criicism typically regarded by their public spokesmen as matters properly confined to the personal domain"
208-but they have their own institutionalized forms of criticisms

209-in w. weritings about ulama resistance to mod goods is shown as irrational-not explicityly but thru w.c. and therefor normalizing w. ways

213-public criticism came (in SA) in the khutbas and theological texts, and the ulama weren't against all mod goods, jsut mediums of discrourse (radios, tvs, etc..) b/c they insitituitonalized relus authority of discourse

232-this shows ther's not an instrinsic contradiction btwn rel and reason

233-many antrhos see "ideology" (re or morality") in pols as a stage in a country's dvlpmnt "from trad to mody" cites Geertz 73
234-this assumes that mod lib pols doesn't have morality, it's simple rtl--bu the idea of civil and human rts "r not merely neutral legal facts, they r profoundly moralistic values constantly invoked to guide and criticize mod pols"
-and thse rts have a specific relus (sn) hsitory (friedrich 64), tho no longer based on relus reason
-but its true that appeals to reason dont' recognize diff "resonsings" see macintyre 88

241-a "british" idy didn't really dvlp til 1880-1920 (Colls and Dodd 86, 21)

212--John Pattern's (brit govt guy responsible for race relations) article encouraging muslims to b more "british" requd things even most "brits" didn't posses--sets up a norm
244-emphasizes "freedom" as a characteristic which includes "tolerance"--acceptance of diversity, rts to believe, speak and act; and "obligations"--2 respect rts
-tho in reality, rts conflict eg property rts (esp intellectual) limit free speech
245-and he is not clear if diversity is simply tolerated as long as it doesn't contradict an essential britishness or if it is intrinsic, that birt is alwasy changing
-emphasizes the indv, fam and community--not groups , as if they have no place in public sphere tho theis is "patently" false--eg bizs, institutions, societies, ideas
-"pattern's formulation must b read as intending to discourage cultural minorities from establishing themselves as corporate poll actors. as far as cultural miinority members r concerned, they must participate in britishness...as indvs"
246-says not to forget cultural roots but also not to have dual loyalties (legal and moral)

250-in order for brit imperial rulers to get subjects to adapt to its institutions, they need to adapt its "culture" to they had to "idfy, study, and normalize the culture of its subject ppls"--giving rise to sociogy and anthrogy (barker 41, 32)

260-the recent brit emphasis on multiculturalism is not an ideolgoical commitment to cultural diversity, but is motivated in an "attempt to deal w/ practical probs encountered in ed and the social services"--and resultant urban unrest

Genealogies of Rel pt. 1

Genealogies of Rel: discipline and reasons of power in xnty and islam
by talal asad 1993

asad is a respected post-colonial anthropologist whose name i've encountered recently throughout newer lit on islm.

1-"anthros who would study, say, muslim beliefs and practices will need some understanding of how "re" has come to be formed as concept and practices in the mod W. for while rel is integral to mod W history, there r dangers in employing it as a normalizing concept when translating islmc trads"

4-theres argument over whether nonwestern cultures are indeed making their own history. some say they adapt capitalism in their own way, and say they are completely making their own histories--but sometiems forces are very strong, u wouldn't say an inmate in a concentration camp is making his own history. Then again, they are not completely passive either

8-the anthros job--fieldwork--"defines priveleged access to the local" *a notes that refers to evans-pritchard 51 that describes the history of anthro from moving from documents as the object of study to ppl b/c docs r fallible
-the idea of "local" is juxtaposed to the scholar's idea that they themselves are universal--revealing power relations
9-some anthros have been criticizing the idea of a "stable and unitary cultures", now esp in G, but in human history as well
10-some say mobility and uprootedness are caused by power

12-Asad asks whose history is being made? This is esp difficult when a non-euro implements a "eurpn project" in a polly independent state

13-the extremes that cultures are completely destroyed or that they simply take up dominant history are "absurd"

-"predefined social relations and lang forms, as well as the body's materiality, shape the person to whom 'normal' desires and choices can b attributed to. This is y ?s about what it is possible for agents to do must also address the process by which 'normal' persons r constituted"

14-"meanings r never simply generated by a cultural logic; they belong variously to conventional projects, occassional interactions , natural events, and so on" (grice 89)

-some r now ?ing 'lib humanist notions of subjectivity and agency"

19-18th ce eurp was when "xn attitudes towards historical time [salvation, expectation] were combined with the newer secular practices [rtl prediction] to give us our mod idea of progress" (koselleck 88)
-and the idea of making history has to b making universal changes--so maintaining 'local' stat quo or following local modesl doesn't qualify--eg iran rev is a mere attempt "to resist the future"
-therefore this means that when anthros (who r eurpns and believe in mody) look at "locals", they cannot see them as writing their own histories--they r non mod, local, tratl

20-in encountering new ppls ('savages') eurpns had to change the story from the Fall (bc it appeared that not all men were equal, equally sinful and redeemed) to a secualr reason for eurpn dominance--mody

23-"aspects of anthrogy's discourse on the nonmod--those addressing "the primitive,' 'the irrational,' 'the mythic,' 'the trad'--have been of central importance to several disciplines. thus, psychoanalysis [freud], theological modsm, and modst lit, among others, have continually turned for support to anthogy in their attempts to probe, accomodate, celbrate or qualify the essence of mody"

-"anthrogy, then, appears to b involved in definitions of the w. while wn projects r transforming the (preliterate, pre capitalist, premod) ppls that ethnographers claim to represent. both processes need to b studied systematically. to understand better the local ppls 'entering' (or 'resisting') mody, anthropology must surely try to deepen its understanding of the w. as something more than a threadbare ideology. to do that will include attempting to grasp its peculiar historicity, the mobile powers that have constructed it structures, projects and desires. i argue that rel in its pos and neg senses, is an essential part of that construction"

Friday, July 18, 2008

When islam and democracy meet

by Jocelyne Cesari

2- "there is a widespread tendency to conflate islm as an intl poll force w/ the ordinary muslims living as a minority population in the countries of the w."
-in 1994, 61% of us said "they consider islmc resurgences to b a danger"

3- "in eurp, poll interest in islmc intgration [in the w.] has existed since the 1980s"

-the term "islamophobia" "emerged as early as 1997 during the discussions in britain on the topic of ainti muslim discrimination"
4-in 1990s eurp anti muslim was only far rt.--now its "intellectual, journalists, writers, and artists"
-4/23/04 a boston radio announcer "called for all muslims to be killed"
--"smae aversion can be found at the highest levels of gov, in statements by the attorney general and by hi-ranking military officers" (SEE PAGE 41)
5-"such anti islmc discourse fails to take into account the fluid and contradictory reality of islms interpretation into w. socities"

why this work is imprtnt: 5- "Existing eurpn and Amer scholarship on muslims often amounts to little more than a description of muslim's modes of adaptation in their new context, accompanied by a critique of the general influence btwn the cultural constructs of the eurpn and muslim worlds. This mutual influence creates a transcultural space in which theories of opposition can give way to a more subtle analysis"
-says Salvatore and Hofert 00 pointed out that "both w. rel and the w. conception of modty have been deeply influenced by the transcultural space btwn eurp and the ME, even during eras in which w. pwers ruled overs the muslm world. The idea of w. culture that emerged with the birth of modty corresponds to a specific poll and cultural situation, in which the w. came to define itself in opposition tot the ottoman e."
-comparing w. idy to muslim other is freq found in 16th ce lit onward, eg in Renaissance orientalist guillaume postel, "often considered the originator of the diablogue btwn islam and xnty"
-"this transcultural moment takes place within the context of G...any understanding of the muslim minority in the w. must, therefore, take the phenomenom of global islma into account as well. onece again, the rist is of taking islm out of context, reducting it to a series of essentialized symbols and principles. in order to break thru the iron cage of stereotypical islmc images and represntations, then, one must consider discursive practices of rel in general and of islm in particular. No rel or culture can be taken as given. instead of trying to discover what constitutes the essential quality of islm, one must examine the social and historical contexts w/in which muslims create their discourse on what is importnt or unimportnt in islm, in their islm"
6-cites asad saying "trad is the conglomeration of discursive practices that allow believers to determine what it correct and meaningful for a given time"
-"avoiding essentializing descriptions means not to assume that meaning is constructed as a unified system, from the intl to the ntl and local level. islm, then, should be considered a conglomeration of discursive practices, situated within the democracies of the w. these discursive practices r not only debates about the content of islmc observance, but also about what it means to observe islm in the first place. the act of going to the mosque, the choice of whether to eat hala or drink wine, to wear the hijab or a miniskirt, all have to do with islmc discourse every bit as much as the discussions taking place in books, in conferences, and on websites. it is necessary to examine how the production of meaning and cultural symbols intersect among diff levels of communication and action--in local, ntl and intl contexts--and to refuse to define these levels a priori"

-"...new poll and cultural circumstances r transforming islmc practice into a individualized and less public act of faith...as well as the acceptance--by the vast silent majority--of the separation btwn public and private space respective to ea society"
-appadurai 96 pts out that "the imagination is now itself a social and cultural force"

7-"...the new context in which muslims find themselves has reulted in an unprecendeted and dramatic series of changes within islm, in terms of both ritual practice and intellectual reflection"

*-"...the situation of muslims in erup and the UUSS should be studied b/c, this evolution does not happen in isolation. it also has dramatic consequences for the ideas and concepts currently circulating in the muslim world. the muslim world's reaction, in 2004, to the fr. proposal to outlaw relus symbols, is a perfect example of the phenomenom of global islm"
-thesis: "in short, our study hopes to demonstrate how the amerztn/erupnztn of islm cannot b dissociated from the space-time of global islm, and the poll crises that go along with it"

the book goes on to give details on how muslim groups and institutions have formed int the west, giving specific facts about the connections they have here and offers theories about muslm idty in the w. and why their institutions have been diff and why they are still influenced by the global muslim world.

a few highlights

10-notes difficulty in getting accurate #s of conversions. it may b due to the fact that #s "vary depending on who's doing the reporting" (allievi les convertis a l'islam)
-a 1994 survey est. 46% of amer muslims were converts

16-5 waves of muslm immigration (not counting slaves)

21-there is a metanarrative in teh w. that descrimbes "islm as a prob or an obstacel to modztn"
-b/c dominant social and cultural environmnts have decisive influence over idy formation, "has forced all muslims from the most secularized to the most devout, to examine their beliefs and think about what it means to b muslim"

24-offers explanation why ethnic ties have proliferated in muslm w.--ghettoization, dvlpment of selfemployment there, the idea pomo that it's good to preserve ethinic idys --as a result, socioeconomic sols cannot simply look at class
42-plus ethnic loyalties have preventd the dvlpmnt of panislmc idys

44-the dvlpmnt in the w. of pols centering on indv rts (as opposed to apols fouced oon the common good), "mark the triumph of a lib prostnt vision of the self (the kantian moral agent) situatied w/in a secularized public arena (seligman 99)--"no similar evolution has taken place int ehmuslim world"--some ppl take this to mean islm is resistant to seculariztn in toto.
-the poltcztn of relus thot is seen as inherent in islm but "has only emerged int the last quarter of the 20th ce as a deliberate policy of post colonial ntns" (khaled abou el fadl 01)
-also, becauz the muslim state has always had a monopoly on interp, it has stunted intllctual growth

45-w. culture has influencd how indvs practice islm in 2 ways 1) indviztn 2) the handling of sharia in crt systems

46-muslims can be divided into 3 types: private praciticionners (w/ a range of ways), non practicing muslims who nonetheless idfy on an ethical or emotional basis, and funds

96-10/20/01 nytimes article est. less than 25% of all mer muslims follw wahabbi doctirne--tho most muslims see wahabbism as "orthodx" b/c of of its proliferation

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism by Bryan S. Turner

Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism by Bryan S. Turner

Summary of my notes on 4 diff chapters

Ch. 1—first part is a review of the criticisms of Said’s “orientalism,” which included the big prob that it “merely identified the probs of representation w/out offering many sols” (6).

Second part talks about authors who have discussed Islam’s recent emergence in the mod (secular) world.

Ch. 2:

34"The concept of 'civil society' forms the basis of W. poll ecoy fromt eh schottish enlgihtenment to the prison notebooks of gramsci; white the concept has been frequently discussed in contemp social science, the fact that it has also beena majori part of the ortlst contrast of east and west has been seriously neglected. In simple terms, the conept has been used as the basis of the notion that the Ornt, is, so to speak, all state and no society. The notion of "civil society" cannot b divorced from an equally potnet theme in w. philosophy, namely the centrality fo autonomous indvs w/in the network of social instittns. w. poll philsophy has hinged on teh importance of civil society in preserving the freedom of the indv from arbitrary control by the state. tehe doctrine of indvlsm has been regarded as constitutive, if not a w. culture as such, then at least of contemp industrial culture. it is difficult to conceive of the nexus of w. concepts of conscience, liberty, freedom or property w/out some basic principle of indivlsm and therfore indivlsm appears to lie at the foundations of w. society. the addtnl importance of indvdlsm is that it serves to distinguish occidental from oriental culture, sicne the latter is treated as devoid of indv rts and of individuality. individualism is the golden thread which weaves together the ecoc institutions of property, the relus instittn of confession of conscience and the moral notion of personal autonomy; it seves to separate "us" from "them". in ortlsm, the absence of civil society in islam entailed the absence of the autonomous indiv exercising conscience and rejecting arbitrary interventions by the state....the orntlast discourse on the absence of the civil society in islam was a reflection of basic poll anxiweties about the state of poll freedom in teh west [indv rebellion, rts based on property]. in this sense, the prob of orntlsm was not the orient but the occident. these probs and anxietites were consequently transferred onto the ornt which became, not a representation of the east, but a caricature of the West. oriental despotism was simply monarchy writ large. the crises and contradictions of contempt orntlsm r, therefore, to be seen as part of a continuing (35) crisis of w. socity transferred to a global context. the end of orntlsm requires a radical reformulation of perspectives n paradigms, but this reconst of knowledge can only take place in the context of major shifts in poll relations btwn orient and occdent, b/c the transformation of discourse also requres a transformation of power."

Ch. 7—reviews history in the west of stereotyping islam/orient as “stagnated”

95-durk said difference is inevitable in society because it’s needed to develop a moral core so Dahrendorf then says that means all societies are racist.

96—linguists theorized that all lang is self referential and therefore always includes a power relationship (hence w. discussion of the orient has that power in it)

99-weber said that rtnlsm came from “the requirements of an infantry to move in unison provided a strong pressure towards the rtl control of men” and by the reformation protestants becoming priests, they took up the “routinized daily” life of the monastic trad

100-which shows how Christianity is infused with the idea of routine work aspect of mod culture

-theories of mod culture say it began in the w. but can’t resolve evidence of oriental roots

-102-offers 4 solutions to orientalism in sociology “which might pt. to a more conclusive outcome to this debate” [talked about in ch. 1] 1. Stereotype of orient as a single thing is biased and wrong 2. Instead of emphasizing us v. them, look for continuities btwn cultures—“scular ecumenism” 3. Recognize a world system 4. Use these themes to look at western culture (103)

-he warns that recently sociologists have been too easy to regard non-w. systems as pure, untainted

Ch. 10—chapter is about trads of global outlook in sociology—goes back to kant, hegel, comte, durk, but esp. saint-simon (135).

138-talks about german history and why the idea of global outlook and sociology emerged there—it was a result of having several small states, a well-educated bureaucracy (a result of Lutheranism and rtnlism) and no collective ntl idty—it was a search to find one. And refined morality and asceticism were used to stay discipline to be able to resist totalitarianism from above and violent revolution from below (139).

-marx saw a world sociology, tho mostly in the eyes of a proletariat—so it could be questionable in places with diff economic systems (140)

141-also pts out that weber and many euro sociologists were basically civil servants promoting ntlstic values and cites studies (142)

Conclusion—197-roots of globalization were in Weber talking about the persistence of contradictiory themes in mody, esp. of charismatic revltns.

204—fundsm actually increased the “G of the relus debate about idy and commitment”

205—ppl have criticized the idea of the “free floating intellectual”—they r determined by social forces

206-if grand narratives don’t work in pomo world as legit, some say its only indv symbols and rituals which r important

-some pomo theory suggests there can still b a sublime, “unconditional love”—tho there is a debate that even this is subject to self reflexivity

-there is now a quest for the local, the pristine and authentic, stable and secure in a world full of “an incomprehensivel plethora of view pts., lifestyles, modes of discourse and opinions. In short we r confronted by the pomoztn of polytheism” [last line of book]

Friday, July 11, 2008

Teaching for diversity and social justice: a sourcebook

Teaching for diversity and social justice: a sourcebook

2-"social justices includes a vision of society with equitable distribution of resources" and all ppl psycchologically and physically safe and self determining

3-'"common sense" knowledge and assumptions make it difficult to see oppression clearly. we discuss the value of history for discerning patterns that r often incisible in daily life but which reflect sytemic aspects of oppression."

4-theory and practicality are intertwing parts of the interactive and historical process--called praxis by Freire (70)

7-2 key ideas about racism dvlpd in the 60s: 1) it "stigmatizes and violates both dominant and dominated groups", 2) it "fuctns thru unconscious attitudes and behaviors of a society that presumes and unacknowledge but pervasive white cultural norm"

8-9-"more recently, postcolonial studies and pomo theories, and ongoing discussion within various social mvmnts, have gegun to challenge simple binary categories"-"notions that aessentialize or treat as innately give the groupings created within an oppressive social order"--"The inadequacey of defining the experc of indivs and groups in simplistic binary terms is reflected thru challenges within the gay/lesbian mvmnt raised by bisexual, trnassexual and transgendered ppl wnd w/in the black mvments by biracial and multiracial ppl. the range of expercs of ppl holding mulitple idys and diverse social group memberships poses conintuing challenges to theories of oppression to account for their expercs"

9-in the us, tho we are socialized to view life in indvl terms, "our idys r fundamntally constructed in relation to others and to the cultures in which we are embedded" (bakhtin 81, epstein 87, vygotsky 78). "it is impossible to separate our indv idys from the various social group memberships we hold." "one of the priveleges of dominant group status is the luxury to simply see oneself as an indv"

10-"one of the most in invidious mechanisms of oppression is the eradication of subordinate group cultures thru the imposition of the dominant groups culture and lang"
-Idys change b/c first, see p. 9, and then their social relations change (young 90: 48) and gorups (anzaldua 87, mohanty 91 trinh 89)

11--general patterns of inequality persist despite efforts to change them (young 90)
-gramsci put forth the idea that power is maintained thru coercison and voluntary consent (moorow and torres 95)
-hegemony-a dominant group can project its view so scucessfully that it's seen as common sense, natural order (tong 89), so we all participate in it (foucault 80)
-hegemony is maintined thru 'discouse' (ideas,texts, theories, lang), embodied in networks of social and pol.l control, "regimes of truth" (foucautl 80) which legitimate who has authority to speak and what is sanctioned as true (kreisberg 92)
12- normalizatn of oppression happens when we internatlize attitudes and roles that reinforce systems of domination w/out question

13-part of the taks of change is to gengage ppl from both groups in examining the costs of maintaining systems of domination. eg. homelessness and hunger in US, costs dominat group the ease at which they see the us as a just society, and blinds them to the underlying structures which can prevent them fro fixing future bigger economic problems, which can lead to rising violence and urban decay

14-hegemony is never total, it is always open to contestations (morrow and torres 95). the contradictions btwn espoused social principles and lived experiences offer one place to begin.

16-umasss scholl of ed work to models of diff ethnic group Idy dvlpmnt and extended them "to a generic model that examines how members of agent and target groups experience internalized domination or internalized subordination..." [black-jackson 76, white-hardiman 79,82, other ppl of color- kim 81, cross 71, 78, 91 helms 90, schapiro 85 biracial- wijeyesinghe 92]

17. thinking is informed by fannon 67,68, frieir 70, 73, memmi 65, glodenberg 78 and miller 76
-"our starting pt is that once systems of oppression r in place they are self0perpetuating"

-oppression is not simply and ideology of superiority or of sicrimination, it includes a) agent group has the power to define and name reality and determine what is "normal," "real" or "correct" b) institutionalzd discrimination, its considered "biz as usual" c) "pyschological colonization" is socializing the oppressed to internalize their oppressed ocniditon and collude with the oppressors ideology and social sytem d) the target groups culture lang and history is misrespresented, discounted or eradicated and the domint groups culture is imposed

-"part of the mothod of establishing dominance in the system of oppression is the naming of the target group by the agent group"

18-oppression is maintained at 3 levels: indvl, isntitutional, societal/cultural

20-memmi (65) argued that if oppression lasts long enough it "becomes so familiar to oppressed ppl that they accept it and connot imagine recovery from it"
-firere (70) argues that agents are "dehumanized b/c they have engaged in a process of stealing the humanity of others"

23--generalized idy dvlpmnt theory: 1) naive/no social consciousness 2) passive/active acceptance 3) passive/active resistance 4) redefinition 5) internalization
24-shaped thru messages conveyed by parents (most imprtnt), formal ed (teachers, cirriculum), peers, relus orgs, mass media, larger community w/ its norms, laws, social structures
25-"Most agents are well into their adult years before encountering events or circumstances which begin the transition tot he resistance stage"

31-expermnts in group process and intergroup communication took place in 1940s, conducted by a german jewish (kurt lewin) refugee, examined interracial conflicts and provided opportunites to "get into the shoes of others" (Lippitt 49)
32-more experiments took place in the 40s and,50s, 60s, and 70s for black-white sensitivity training
-mulitcultural theoriests--suzuki 84, banks 91, banks and banks 95, nieto 96, grant 92, sleeter 94
-intl training started in 50s for student programs abroad

-few notes on idy dvlpmnt models 1) dvlpmnet is influenced by the pervasiveness of oppression 2) idy evlolves to greater complexity 3) idy has a goal of liberation from internalized oppression 4) indvl interactions are affected by levles of consciousness 5) stage is a metaphor for evolving states of consciousness

??it did mention that social justice work dvlpd BASED on black civil rits models, not based on student mvmnt models

articles from isl: critcl concepts v. 4

"The reconstruction of relus arenas in the framework of 'multiple modtys'" by S. N. Eisenstadt in Islm: critical concepts v. 4

2-"multiple modernities" refers to how after wwII nations each interpreted modty in their own unique ways
3- implies that w. styles are not the only authentic kinds, and all kinds are constantly changing

5-in the w., mody dvlpd in 2 main ways, relus authority and Jacobinsim--the belief in the "primacy of politics"
6-emphasis on Jacobinism gave rise to social protest, even relus protest was put in terms of poll action
8-tho mod social mvmnts started in the w., non w. countries used them b/c it helped to "rebel against the institutional realities of the new mod civilaztion in therms of its own symbols and premises"--so this transported the movement to the intl scene, and allowed non w societies to incorp 'universal elements of modty in the construction of their new collective idys"

-says: "beginning" w/ the student movmnts of the 60s and 70s and went to wmn, ecol, ethnic and later fund/communal relus
-but social settings began to change w/ G, diasporas, intl crime, intl disease, intl finance
-so new mvmnts dont feel as bound by the nation-state

-these dvlpments "precipitated the ressurrection, or rather reconstruction, of hitherto 'subdued' idys--ethnic, local, regional, and transntl--ant their positing into the centre of their respective societies, and often also in the intl arena>"

9-these new mvments WANT to b "domiciled" in their respective countries but on new terms, as opposed to classical models of assimilation
-tho they are local and particular, they are also entering the intl arena

10-fund movmnts have modern Jacobin characteristics--which are very similar to communist themes, desire for a new social order, use of revry and universalist tenets, use mod communication and techs and mod propoganda technqes, plus the Jacobin orientation in the "sanctification of the reconstruction of teh cenre as a conitnuous liminal arena, sanctification often connected w/ ritual violence and terror."
12-eg after rev, iran kept some non-islmic rooted institutions like the parliament and presidencey of republic and elections

13-on the other hand, communal-ntlst mvments are not universalistic and do not "advocate the reconstruction of society by a polly active centre'

14 both fund and communist/fascist mvmnts denied reason, but fascists stress human will while funds stress gods will

16-fund mvmnts dvlp mostly in monotheistic civilizations b/c emphasis on absolut faith
17-they try to completley disassociate wsterztn from modty and deny many basic premises of enlightenment

19-when ppl say these mvmnts rep the end of mdy or a new phase (based on these groups violence) they are wrong b/c mody spread thru violence. while some ppl said the violence was a result of premodern attitudes, it really was and integral part to mdy.
-the holocaust became a symbol of the 'barbarism lurking within the very core of mdy'

"islm, the w. and the world" by immanuel wallerstein from islam: cricl concepts v. 4

26-the term fundamentalism originated in the early 20th ce US, particularly w/ baptists, who called for a return to "fundamentals", which meant a dislike of modernsm's influence on rel.
-this label was placed by wnrs on islm
27-this author says fund can by also budd, hind, jew, anything

28-19th ce social movemnts became 2 kinds: social democratic and communist
30-by 1968, tho, ppl realized that the old social mvments didnt really help, there was by then a bigger gap btwn rich and poor. thats what caused the uprisings

31- says arab mvmnts in first half of 20th ce were only nominally muslim, but things started changing w/ israel in 1948
32-Israel added "a locally based enemy that was less ready to make concessions than the collective w."

33-islmcts support tech advance--recruit engineers, college trained ppl

35-"The combo of xn guilt about anti-semitism, world-wide jewish support of israel, and the w. view of the utility of israel as an element in teh poll stabilization of the world's major oil zone has resulted int eh media's id of so-called islmc terrorism as the grand demon of the 1990s"--which was esp exacerbated since the commie threat disappeared


Friday, July 4, 2008

America: Religions and Religion

by Catherine albanese

This is an overview of history of religion in the US, written specifically for undergrads. It is divided into 2 parts: the first is your standard histories of the major religions, the second it about the "religion" (singular) of the US. I will comment on each part separately

First of all, Albanese lets the reader know she is basing her overview on the idea (by Charles H. Long) that there are 2 kinds of religion, ordinary (which deals with day to day live, it is essentially culture) and extraordinary (which deals specifically with higher power). It is a good way to show how some parts of religions are able to be picked up and adapted by others and how some are not. Religion is such a complex issue that this is a very helpful tool for making sense of a lot of small details. I also appreciate that she used a very broad definition (berger influenced) of religion, that it is a system of symbols that give people meaning. she says rel happens anywhere there are ppl. imo this is the best way academics can look at religion (given the historical biases that have plagued the discipline in the past), but it might now be easily accepted by undergrads who have not been exposed to this kind of thought. i can imagine that undergrads from conservative backgrounds would be very opposed to this book

Part I deals with the highlights of the various religions in the US. she gives a lot of the major details, especially on protestantism, and includes sections on native american rels, african american rels, jews in US, catholics, and eastern trads. most importantly, tho, she has two chapters that deal with the 18th and 19th ces "metaphysical" religions and new age religions, parts of religious history that i think are often neglected tho they should not be because they provide valuable insight into aspects of religion today and for her next section on americas one rel. she does not give every detail possible, of course, but she gives enough to present a solid understanding for undergrads. the only problem i have is here attributions for why people did relus things. These attributions are based on theories, so even those which are well accepted, they should be annotated to say that they are the "likely" reasons--and not state them as plain fact. This is my major problem with most history books, tho.

The second part on the one rel of america is broken up into 3 parts: protestantism as the dominant rel, civil rel, and cultural rel. The first part is interesting. it presents a theory that som protestant values were taken up by greater culture, tho it doesn't really say why those and not others, necessarily. However, the first part is necessary to understand the next two parts. civil rel, since it is such a well known idea, seemed very clear. but the cultural religion part, tho it makes sense, i don't think is argued well enough. it doesn't explain WHY cultural rel appeared the way it did and not other ways