In Animal Rites, Cary Wolfe examines contemporary notions of humanism and ethics by reconstructing a little known but crucial underground tradition of theorizing the animal from Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Lyotard to Lévinas, Derrida, Žižek, Maturana, and Varela. Through detailed readings of how discourses of race, sexuality, colonialism, and animality interact in twentieth-century American culture, Wolfe explores what it means, in theory and critical practice, to take seriously "the question of the animal."
Even within anthropology, a discipline that strives to overcome misrepresentations of peoples and cultures, colonialist depictions of the so-called Dark Continent run deep. The grand narratives, tribal tropes, distorted images, and “natural” histories that forged the foundations of discourse about Africa remain firmly entrenched. In Beyond Words, Andrew Apter explores how anthropology can come to terms with the “colonial library” and begin to develop an ethnographic practice that transcends the politics of Africa’s imperial past.
The way out of the colonial library, Apter argues, is by listening to critical discourses in Africa that reframe the social and political contexts in which they are embedded. Apter develops a model of critical agency, focusing on a variety of language genres in Africa situated in rituals that transform sociopolitical relations by self-consciously deploying the power of language itself. To break the cycle of Western illusions in discursive constructions of Africa, he shows, we must listen to African voices in ways that are culturally and locally informed. In doing so, Apter brings forth what promises to be a powerful and influential theory in contemporary anthropology.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Jacques Lacan, Marshall W. Alcorn Jr. formulates a systematic explanation of the function and value of desire in writing instruction.
Alcorn argues that in changing the subject matter of writing instruction in order to change student opinions, composition instructors have come to adopt an insufficiently complex understanding of subjectivity. This oversimplification hinders attempts to foster cultural change. Alcorn proposes an alternative mode of instruction that makes effective use of students’ knowledge and desire. The resulting freedom in expression—personal as well as political—engenders the recognition, circulation, and elaboration of desire necessary for both human communication and effective politics.
Responding to James Berlin’s reconception of praxis in the classroom, Theresa Ebert’s espousal of disciplined instructions, and Lester Faigley’s introduction of a postmodern theory of subjectivity, Alcorn follows both Lacan and Slavoj Žižek in insisting desire be given free voice and serious recognition. In composition as in politics, desire is the ground of agency. Competing expressions of desire should generate a dialectic in social-epistemic discourse that encourages enlightenment over cynicism and social development over authoritarian demands.
With clarity and personal voice, Alcorn explains how discourse is rooted in primitive psychological functions of desire and responds to complex cultural needs. In its theoretical scope this book describes a new pedagogy that links thought to emotion and the personal to the social.
A timely contribution to the fields of film history, visual cultures, and globalization studies, Cinematic Prophylaxis provides essential historical information about how the representation of biological contagion has affected understandings of the origins and vectors of disease. Kirsten Ostherr tracks visual representations of the contamination of bodies across a range of media, including 1940s public health films; entertainment films such as 1950s alien invasion movies and the 1995 blockbuster Outbreak; television programs in the 1980s, during the early years of the aids epidemic; and the cyber-virus plagued Internet. In so doing, she charts the changes—and the alarming continuities—in popular understandings of the connection between pathologized bodies and the global spread of disease.
Ostherr presents the first in-depth analysis of the public health films produced between World War II and the 1960s that popularized the ideals of world health and taught viewers to imagine the presence of invisible contaminants all around them. She considers not only the content of specific films but also their techniques for making invisible contaminants visible. By identifying the central aesthetic strategies in films produced by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and other institutions, she reveals how ideas about racial impurity and sexual degeneracy underlay messages ostensibly about world health. Situating these films in relation to those that preceded and followed them, Ostherr shows how, during the postwar era, ideas about contagion were explicitly connected to the global circulation of bodies. While postwar public health films embraced the ideals of world health, they invoked a distinct and deeply anxious mode of representing the spread of disease across national borders.
Communities of Discourse
Robert Wuthnow Harvard University Press, 1989 Library of Congress HN13.W88 1989 | Dewey Decimal 303.372
Sociologist Robert Wuthnow notes remarkable similarities in the social conditions surrounding three of the greatest challenges to the status quo in the development of modern society—the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the rise of Marxist socialism.
This collection of papers is the outcome of the first Conceptual Structure, Discourse and Language conference (CSDL) held at the University of Califronia, San Diego in October 1995. CSDL was organized with the intention of bringing together researchers from both "cognitive" and "functional" approaches to linguistics. The papers in this volume span a variety of topics, but there is a common thread running through them: the claim that semantics and discourse properties are fundamental to our understanding of language.
The standing of French Muslims is undercut by a predominant and persistent elite public discourse that frames Muslims as failed and incomplete French citizens. This situation fosters the very separations, exclusions, and hierarchies it claims to deplore as Muslims face discrimination in education, housing, and employment.
In Constructing Muslims in France, Jennifer Fredette provides a deft empirical analysis to show the political diversity and complicated identity politics of this relatively new population. She examines the public identity of French Muslims and evaluates images in popular media to show how stereotyped notions of racial and religious differences pervade French public discourse. While rights may be a sine qua non for fighting legal and political inequality, Fredette shows that additional tools such as media access are needed to combat social inequality, particularly when it comes in the form of unfavorable discursive frames and public disrespect.
Presenting the conflicting views of French national identity, Fredette shows how Muslims strive to gain recognition of their diverse views and backgrounds and find full equality as French citizens.
The incarcerated in America's cultural imagination.
The Cultural Prison brings a new dimension to the study of prisoners and punishment by focusing on how the punishment of American offenders is represented and shaped in the mass media through public arguments. The study is based on an analysis of 642 articles collected by the author from American popular journals and magazines, as well as newspaper accounts, films, and public speeches, spanning the years 1950 to 1992. By piecing together and studying these popular narratives, he divides the history of prisoners and punishment into four eras, each marked by a shift in value system. He argues that the discourse, or rhetoric, surrounding prisoners and punishment on the public level works as a historical force that shapes contemporary culture.
The author is concerned that the public seems to have an inability or unwillingness to question or resist cultural definitions of normalcy and legal behavior. He explains that ideally moral behavior should be a matter of public debate rather than of unquestioned perpetuation, and he urges increased understanding of institutional and cultural discipline and our questioning the ways in which the constitution of punishment and prisoners influences us culturally.
The"cultural prison" refers to the way in which this study acts as an investigation of "the discipline of discipline"; it is an examination of the way in which discipline is shaped and formed in public discourse. The volume concludes with a fascinating account of the move to electronic means of surveillance; coupled with the representations of the prisoner along the lines of race and gender, it explains what these new techniques mean to contemporary culture.
Captured by German forces shortly after Dunkirk, and not relinquished until May of 1945, nearly a year after the Normandy invasion, the British Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, and Herm) were characterized during their occupation by severe deprivation and powerlessness. The Islanders, with few resources to stage an armed resistance, constructed a rhetorical resistance based upon the manipulation of discourse, construction of new symbols, and defiance of German restrictions on information. Though much of modern history has focused on the possibility that Islanders may have collaborated with the Germans, this eye-opening history turns to secret war diaries kept in Guernsey. A close reading of these private accounts, written at great risk to the diarists, allows those who actually experienced the Occupation to reclaim their voice and reveals new understandings of Island resistance. What emerges is a stirring account of the unquenchable spirit and deft improvisation of otherwise ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Under the most dangerous of conditions, Guernsey civilians used imaginative methods in reacting to their position as a subjugated population, devising a covert resistance of nuance and sustainability. Violence, this book and the people of Guernsey demonstrate, is not at all the only means with which to confront evil.
In the early 1980s the radical group MOVE settled into a rowhouse in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of west Philadelphia, beginning years of confrontations with neighbors and police over its anti-establishment ways and militant stance against all social and political institutions. On May 13, 1985, following a period of increased MOVE activity and threats by neighbors to take matters into their own hands, the city moved from bureaucratic involvement to violent intervention. Police bullhorned arrest warrants, hosed down the rowhouse, sprayed tear gas through its walls, and dropped explosives from a helicopter. By the end of the day, eleven MOVE members were dead, an entire block of the neighborhood was destroyed, and Mayor Wilson Goode was calling for an investigation.
How did this struggle between the city and MOVE go from memos and meetings to tear gas and bombs? And how does the mandate to defend public order become a destructive force? Sifting through the hearings that followed the deadly encounter, Robin Wagner-Pacifici reconstructs the conflict between MOVE and the city of Philadelphia. Against this richly nuanced account, in which the participants—from the mayor and the police officers to members of MOVE and their neighbors—offer opposing versions of their aims, assumptions, and strategies, Wagner-Pacifici develops a compelling analysis of the relation between definition and action, between language and violence.
Was MOVE simply a radical, black separatist group with an alternative way of life? Or was it a terrorist cult that held a neighborhood and politicians hostage to its offensive language and bizarre behavior? Wagner-Pacifici shows how competing definitions of MOVE led to different strategies for managing the conflict. In light of the shockingly similar, and even more deadly, 1993 Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Texas, such an analysis becomes imperative. Indeed, for those who hope to understand—and, finally, to forestall—the moment when language and violence are inexorably drawn together, this book demands attention.
The overarching theme of Discourse and Technology is cutting-edge in the field of linguistics: multimodal discourse. This volume opens up a discussion among discourse analysts and others in linguistics and related fields about the two-fold impact of new communication technologies: The impact on how discourse data is collected, transcribed, and analyzed—and the impact that these technologies are having on social interaction and discourse.
As inexpensive tape recorders allowed the field to move beyond text, written or printed language, to capture talk—discourse as spoken language—the information explosion (including cell phones, video recorders, Internet chat rooms, online journals, and the like) has moved those in the field to recognize that all discourse is, in various ways, "multimodal," constructed through speech and gesture, as well as through typography, layout, and the materials employed in the making of texts.
The contributors have responded to the expanding scope of discourse analysis by asking five key questions: Why should we study discourse and technology and multimodal discourse analysis? What is the role of the World Wide Web in discourse analysis? How does one analyze multimodal discourse in studies of social actions and interactions? How does one analyze multimodal discourse in educational social interactions? and, How does one use multimodal discourse analyses in the workplace? The vitality of these explorations opens windows onto even newer horizons of discourse and discourse analysis.
The central thesis of Lawrence Hogue's book is that criticism of Afro-American literature has left out of account the way in which ideological pressures dictate the canon. This fresh approach to the study of the social, ideological, and political dynamics of the Afro-American literary text in the twentieth century, based on the Foucauldian concept of literature as social institution, examines the universalization that power effects, how literary texts are appropriated to meet ideological concerns and needs, and the continued oppression of dissenting voices.
Hogue presents an illuminating discussion of the publication and review history of "major" and neglected texts. He illustrates the acceptance of texts as exotica, as sociological documents, or as carriers of sufficient literary conventions to receive approbation. Although the sixties movement allowed the text to move to the periphery of the dominant ideology, providing some new myths about the Afro-American historical past, this marginal position was subsequently sabotaged, co-opted, or appropriated (Afros became a fad; presidents gave the soul handshake; the hip-talking black was dressing one style and talking another.)
This study includes extended discussion of four works; Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Albert Murray's Train Whistle Guitar, and Toni Morrison's Sula. Hogue assesses the informing worldviews of each and the extent and nature of their acceptance by the dominant American cultural apparatus.
This volume collects a series of lectures given by the renowned French thinker Michel Foucault late in his career. The book is composed of two parts: a talk, Parrēsia, delivered at the University of Grenoble in 1982, and a series of lectures entitled “Discourse and Truth,” given at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, which appears here for the first time in its full and correct form. Together, they provide an unprecedented account of Foucault’s reading of the Greek concept of parrēsia, often translated as “truth-telling” or “frank speech.” The lectures trace the transformation of this concept across Greek, Roman, and early Christian thought, from its origins in pre-Socratic Greece to its role as a central element of the relationship between teacher and student. In mapping the concept’s history, Foucault’s concern is not to advocate for free speech; rather, his aim is to explore the moral and political position one must occupy in order to take the risk to speak truthfully.
These lectures—carefully edited and including notes and introductory material to fully illuminate Foucault’s insights—are a major addition to Foucault’s English language corpus.
Wallace Chafe demonstrates how the study of language and consciousness together can provide an unexpectedly broad understanding of the way the mind works. Relying on close analyses of conversational speech as well as written fiction and nonfiction, he investigates both the flow of ideas through consciousness and the displacement of consciousness by way of memory and imagination.
Chafe draws on several decades of research to demonstrate that understanding the nature of consciousness is essential to understanding many linguistic phenomena, such as pronouns, tense, clause structure, and intonation, as well as stylistic usages, such as the historical present and the free indirect style. While the book focuses on English, there are also discussions of the North American Indian language Seneca and the music of Mozart and of the Seneca people.
This work offers a comprehensive picture of the dynamic natures of language and consciousness that will interest linguists, psychologists, literary scholars, computer scientists, anthropologists, and philosophers.
In this volume, editor Cynthia B. Roy presents a stellar cast of cognitive linguists, sociolinguists, and discourse analysts to discover and demonstrate how sign language users make sense of what is going on within their social and cultural contexts in face-to-face interactions. In the first chapter, Paul Dudis presents an innovative perspective on depiction in discourse. Mary Thumann follows with her observations on constructed dialogue and constructed action. Jack Hoza delineates the discourse and politeness functions of hey and well in ASL as examples of discourse markers in the third chapter.
Laurie Swabey investigates reference in ASL discourse in the fourth chapter. In Chapter 5, Christopher Stone offers insights on register related to genre in British Sign Language discourse, and Daniel Roush addresses in Chapter 6 the “conduit” metaphor in English and ASL. Jeffrey Davis completes this collection by mapping out the nature of discourse in Plains Indian Sign Language, a previously unstudied language. The major thread that ties together the work of these varying linguists is their common focus on the forms and functions of sign languages used by people in actual situations. They each provide new keys to answering how thoughts expressed in one setting with one term or one utterance may mean something totally different when expressed in a different setting with different participants and different purposes.
The Discourse of Domination tackles nothing less than the challenge of giving critical theory a new grip on current problems, and restoring the left's faith in the possibility of enlightened social change. Agger steers a course between orthodox Marxism and orthodox anti-Marxism, bringing the concepts of ideology, dialectic, and domination out of the academy and making them into "a living medium of political self-expression."
The Discourse of Police Interviews
Edited by Marianne Mason and Frances Rock University of Chicago Press, 2019 Library of Congress HV8073.3.D57 2019 | Dewey Decimal 363.254
Forensic linguistics, or the study of language and the law, is a growing field of scholarly and public interest with an established research presence. The Discourse of Police Interviews aims to further the discussion by analyzing how police interviews are constructed and used to investigate and prosecute crimes.
The first book to focus exclusively on the discourses of police interviewing, The Discourse of Police Interviews examines leading debates, approaches, and topics in contemporary police interview research. Among other topics, the book explores the sociolegal, psychological, and discursive framework of popular police interview techniques employed in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as PEACE and Reid, and the discursive practices of institutional representatives like police officers and interpreters that can influence the construction and quality of linguistic evidence. Together, the contributions situate the police interview as part of a complex, and multistage, criminal justice process. The book will be of interest to both scholars and practitioners in a variety of fields, such as linguistic anthropology, interpreting studies, criminology, law, and sociology.
When eleven-year-old Lavinia Guasca began her new life as a lady-in-waiting at the court of Turin, she brought with her a parting gift from her father Annibal (1540-1619): a detailed guidebook he wrote to help steer her through the many pitfalls of court life. Lavinia had her father's Discourse published in 1586; this English translation is the first version published in any form since that time.
The Discourse displays an incredibly far-sighted view of women's education. Annibal thought gifted young girls should develop their talents and apply them to careers outside the home. In the Discourse, he details the unique and extremely rigorous educational program to which he had subjected Lavinia almost from the cradle with this end in mind. To complete Lavinia's education, Annibal filled the Discourse with advice on spirituality and morality, health and beauty, and how to behave at court—everything a well-bred lady-in-waiting would need to know. This edition also includes an appendix that traces the later events of Lavinia's life through excerpts from her father's letters.
As much as dogs, cats, or any domestic animal, horses exemplify the vast range of human-animal interactions. Horses have long been deployed to help with a variety of human activities—from racing and riding to police work, farming, warfare, and therapy—and have figured heavily in the history of natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Most accounts of the equine-human relationship, however, fail to address the last few centuries of Western history, focusing instead on pre-1700 interactions. Equestrian Cultures fills in the gap, telling the story of how prominently horses continue to figure in our lives, up to the present day.
Kristen Guest and Monica Mattfeld place the modern period front and center in this collection, illuminating the largely untold story of how the horse has responded to the accelerated pace of modernity. The book’s contributors explore equine cultures across the globe, drawing from numerous interdisciplinary sources to show how horses have unexpectedly influenced such distinctively modern fields as photography, anthropology, and feminist theory. Equestrian Cultures boldly steps forward to redefine our view of the most recent developments in our long history of equine partnership and sets the course for future examinations of this still-strong bond.
The republication of We Hold These Truths is but one indication of the continuing importance of the thought of John Courtney Murray for the Catholic Church in the United States. More than any other American theologian in this century, Fr. Murray developed a new understanding of the healthy relationship between religion and politics, church and state, in a democratic context.
Until now, however, the evolution of Murray's own thought in these matters has not been fully understood. Beginning with Murray's first forays into the public arena in the 1940s, Leon Hooper carefully plots Murray's movement away from the classical concepts of conscience and rights toward a more historical understanding of moral agency and of the church's necessary engagement with a pluralistic world.
Along the way, Fr. Hooper reveals in detail for the first time the importance of Bernard Lonergan's thought in moving Murray toward and then beyond his vital contribution to Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty.
Economic reasoning has thus far dominated the field of public policy analysis. This new introduction to the field posits that policy analysis should have both a broader interdisciplinary base—including criteria from such fields as political science, sociology, law, and philosophy, as well as economics—and also a broader audience in order to foster democratic debate.
To achieve these goals, MacRae and Whittington have organized their textbook around the construction of decision matrices using multiple criteria, exploring the uses of the decision matrix formulation more fully than other texts. They describe how to set up the matrix, fill in cells and combine criteria, and use it as an aid for decision making. They show how ethical assessment of the affects that alternatives have on various parties differs from political analysis, and then they extend the use of the decision matrix to consider alternatives by affected parties, periods of time, or combined factors.
The authors also thoughtfully address the role of expert advice in the policy process, widening the scope of the field to describe a complex system for the creation and use of knowledge in a democracy.
An extended case study of HIV/AIDS policy follows each chapter (in installments), immediately illustrating the application of the material. The book also contains a glossary.
Expert Advice for Policy Choice provides a new basis for graduate education in public policy analysis and can also serve as a text in planning, evaluation research, or public administration. In addition, it will be of interest to students and professionals wishing to aid policy choice who work in such fields as sociology, political science, psychology, public health, and social work.
"Flame Wars," the verbal firefights that take place between disembodied combatants on electronic bulletin boards, remind us that our interaction with the world is increasingly mediated by computers. Bit by digital bit we are being "Borged," as devotees of Star Trek: The Next Generation would have it—transformed into cyborgian hybrids of technology and biology through our ever more frequent interaction with machines, or with one another through technological interfaces. The subcultural practices of the "incurably informed," to borrow the cyberpunk novelist Pat Cadigan’s coinage, offer a precognitive glimpse of mainstream culture in the near future, when many of us will be part-time residents in virtual communities. Yet, as the essays in this expanded edition of a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly confirm, there is more to fringe computer culture than cyberspace. Within these pages, readers will encounter flame warriors; new age mutant ninja hackers; technopagans for whom the computer is an occult engine; and William Gibson’s "Agrippa," a short story on software that can only be read once because it gobbles itself up as soon as the last page is reached. Here, too, is Lady El, an African American cleaning woman reincarnated as an all-powerful cyborg; devotees of on-line swinging, or "compu-sex"; the teleoperated weaponry and amok robots of the mechanical performance art group, Survival Research Laboratories; an interview with Samuel Delany, and more. Rallying around Fredric Jameson’s call for a cognitive cartography that "seeks to endow the individual subject with some new heightened sense of place in the global system," the contributors to Flame Wars have sketched a corner of that map, an outline for a wiring diagram of a terminally wired world.
Contributors. Anne Balsamo, Gareth Branwyn, Scott Bukatman, Pat Cadigan, Gary Chapman, Erik Davis, Manuel De Landa, Mark Dery, Julian Dibbell, Marc Laidlaw, Mark Pauline, Peter Schwenger, Vivian Sobchack, Claudia Springer
In the wake of the considerable cultural changes and social shifts that the United States and all advanced industrial democracies have experienced since the late 1960s and early 1970s, social discourse around the disempowered has changed in demonstrable ways. In From Property to Family: American Dog Rescue and the Discourse of Compassion, Andrei Markovits and Katherine Crosby describe a “discourse of compassion” that actually alters the way we treat persons and ideas once scorned by the social mainstream. This “culture turn” has also affected our treatment of animals inaugurating an accompanying “animal turn”. In the case of dogs, this shift has increasingly transformed the discursive category of the animal from human companion to human family member. One of the new institutions created by this attitudinal and behavioral change towards dogs has been the breed specific canine rescue organization, examples of which have arisen all over the United States beginning in the early 1980s and massively proliferating in the 1990s and subsequent years. While the growing scholarship on the changed dimension of the human-animal relationship attests to its social, political, moral and intellectual salience to our contemporary world, the work presented in Markovits and Crosby’s book constitutes the first academic research on the particularly important institution of breed specific dog rescue.
This book is an introduction to Intercultural Communication (IC) that takes into account the much neglected dynamic paradigm of culture in the literature. It posits that culture is not static, context is the driving force for change, and individuals can develop a multicultural mind. It is also the first IC textbook in the field that incorporates insight from evolutionary biology and the newly emerging discipline of cultural neurosciences. Such an interdisciplinary approach provides readers with new angles, encourages critical thinking, and sometimes challenges conventional knowledge in the field. The combination of the author's multicultural academic and journalistic background contributes to a balance of diverse perspectives and world views on cultural theories and discourses. The book is ideal for courses in Intercultural Communication with study cases, discussion topics and class activities.
It is considerably easier to say that modern philosophy began with Descartes than it is to define the modernity and philosophy to which Descartes gave rise. In Lines of Thought, Claudia Brodsky Lacour describes the double origin of modern philosophy in Descartes’s Discours de la méthode and Géométrie, works whose interrelation, she argues, reveals the specific nature of the modern in his thought. Her study examines the roles of discourse and writing in Cartesian method and intuition, and the significance of graphic architectonic form in the genealogy of modern philosophy. While Cartesianism has long served as a synonym for rationalism, the contents of Descartes’s method and cogito have remained infamously resistant to rational analysis. Similarly, although modern phenomenological analyses descend from Descartes’s notion of intuition, the “things” Cartesian intuitions represent bear no resemblance to phenomena. By returning to what Descartes calls the construction of his “foundation” in the Discours, Brodsky Lacour identifies the conceptual problems at the root of Descartes’s literary and aesthetic theory as well as epistemology. If, for Descartes, linear extension and “I” are the only “things” we can know exist, the Cartesian subject of thought, she shows, derives first from the intersection of discourse and drawing, representation and matter. The crux of that intersection, Brodsky Lacour concludes, is and must be the cogito, Descartes’s theoretical extension of thinking into material being. Describable in accordance with the Géométrie as a freely constructed line of thought, the cogito, she argues, extends historically to link philosophy with theories of discursive representation and graphic delineation after Descartes. In conclusion, Brodsky Lacour analyzes such a link in the writings of Claude Perrault, the architectural theorist whose reflections on beauty helped shape the seventeenth-century dispute between “the ancients and the moderns.” Part of a growing body of literary and interdisciplinary considerations of philosophical texts, Lines of Thought will appeal to theorists and historians of literature, architecture, art, and philosophy, and those concerned with the origin and identity of the modern.
Moving beyond the traditional boundaries of sociological investigation,
Thomas J. Scheff brings together the study of communication and the social
psychology of emotions to explore the microworld of thoughts, feelings,
and moods. Drawing on strikingly diverse and rich sources—the findings of
artificial intelligence and cognitive science, and examples from literary
dialogues and psychiatric interviews—Scheff provides an inventive account
of the nature of social life and a theory of motivation that brilliantly
accounts for the immense complexity involved in understanding even the most
"A major contribution to some central debates in social theory at the
present time. . . . What Thomas Scheff seeks to develop is essentially a
quite novel account of the nature of social life, its relation to language
and human reflexivity, in which he insists upon the importance of a theory
of emotion. . . . A work of true originality and jolting impact. . . . Microsociology is of exceptional interest, which bears witness to the
very creativity which it puts at the center of human social contact."
—Anthony Giddens, from the Foreword
"Scheff provides a rich theory that can easily generate further exploration. And he drives home the message that sociological work on interaction, social bonds, and society cannot ignore human emotionality."—Candace Clark, American Journal of Sociology
"This outstanding and ground-breaking little volume contains a wealth of original ideas that bring together many insights concerning the relationship of emotion to motivation in a wide variety of social settings. It is strongly recommended to all serious students of emotion, of society, and of human nature."—Melvin R. Lansky, American Journal of Psychiatry
In The Modern Invention of Information: Discourse, History, and Power, Ronald E. Day provides a historically informed critical analysis of the concept and politics of information. Analyzing texts in Europe and the United States, his critical reading method goes beyond traditional historiographical readings of communication and information by engaging specific historical texts in terms of their attempts to construct and reshape history.
After laying the groundwork and justifying his method of close reading for this study, Day examines the texts of two pre–World War II documentalists, Paul Otlet and Suzanne Briet. Through the work of Otlet and Briet, Day shows how documentation and information were associated with concepts of cultural progress. Day also discusses the social expansion of the conduit metaphor in the works of Warren Weaver and Norbert Wiener. He then shows how the work of contemporary French multimedia theorist Pierre Lévy refracts the earlier philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari through the prism of the capitalist understanding of the “virtual society.”
Turning back to the pre–World War II period, Day examines two critics of the information society: Martin Heidegger and Walter Benjamin. He explains Heidegger’s philosophical critique of the information culture’s model of language and truth as well as Benjamin’s aesthetic and historical critique of mass information and communication. Day concludes by contemplating the relation of critical theory and information, particularly in regard to the information culture’s transformation of history, historiography, and historicity into positive categories of assumed and represented knowledge.
The term deaf often sparks heated debates about authority and authenticity. The concept of Deaf identity and affiliation with the DEAF-WORLD are constantly negotiated social constructions that rely heavily on the use of American Sign Language. However, given the incredible diversity of Deaf people, these constructions vary widely. From Deaf people born into culturally Deaf families and who have used ASL since birth, to those born into hearing families and for whom ASL is a secondary language (if they use it at all), to hearing children of Deaf adults whose first language is ASL, and beyond, the criteria for membership in the Deaf community is based on a variety of factors and perspectives.
Bryan K. Eldredge seeks to more precisely understand the relationship between ASL use and Deaf identity using the tools of linguistic anthropology. In this work, he presents research resulting from fieldwork with the Deaf community of Utah Valley. Through informal interactions and formal interviews, he explores the role of discourse in the projection and construction of Deaf identities and, conversely, considers how ideas about language affect the discourse that shapes identities. He finds that specific linguistic ideologies exist that valorize some forms of language over others and that certain forms of ASL serve to establish a culturally Deaf identity. My Mother Made Me Deaf demonstrates that the DEAF-WORLD consists of a multitude of experiences and ways of being even as it is bound together by certain essential elements that are common to Deaf people.
Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse develops a narrative theory of the pervasive use of disability as a device of characterization in literature and film. It argues that, while other marginalized identities have suffered cultural exclusion due to a dearth of images reflecting their experience, the marginality of disabled people has occurred in the midst of the perpetual circulation of images of disability in print and visual media. The manuscript's six chapters offer comparative readings of key texts in the history of disability representation, including the tin soldier and lame Oedipus, Montaigne's "infinities of forms" and Nietzsche's "higher men," the performance history of Shakespeare's Richard III, Melville's Captain Ahab, the small town grotesques of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and Katherine Dunn's self-induced freaks in Geek Love.
David T. Mitchell is Associate Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, Northern Michigan University. Sharon L. Snyder is Assistant Professor of Film and Literature, Northern Michigan University.
Natural Histories of Discourse
Edited by Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress P35.N38 1996 | Dewey Decimal 401.41
Is culture simply a more or less set text we can learn to read? Since the early 1970s, the notion of culture-as-text has animated anthropologists and other analysts of culture. Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban present this stunning collection of cutting-edge ethnographies arguing that the divide between fleeting discursive practice and formed text is a constructed one, and that the constructional process reveals "culture" to those who can interpret it.
Eleven original essays of "natural history" range in focus from nuptial poetry of insult among Wolof griots to case-based teaching methods in first-year law-school classrooms. Stage by stage, they give an idea of the cultural processes of "entextualization" and "contextualization" of discourse that they so richly illustrate. The contributors' varied backgrounds include anthropology, psychiatry, education, literary criticism, and law, making this collection invaluable not only to anthropologists and linguists, but to all analysts of culture.
The most prominent naturalist in Britain before Charles Darwin, Richard Owen made empirical discoveries and offered theoretical innovations that were crucial to the proof of evolution. Among his many lasting contributions to science was the first clear definition of the term homology—“the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function.” He also graphically demonstrated that all vertebrate species were built on the same skeletal plan and devised the vertebrate archetype as a representation of the simplest common form of all vertebrates.
Just as Darwin’s ideas continue to propel the modern study of adaptation, so too will Owen’s contributions fuel the new interest in homology, organic form, and evolutionary developmental biology. His theory of the archetype and his views on species origins were first offered to the general public in On the Nature of Limbs, published in 1849. It reemerges here in a facsimile edition with introductory essays by prominent historians, philosophers, and practitioners from the modern evo-devo community.
Despite recent developments in epigraphy, ethnopoetics, and the literary investigation of colonial and modern materials, few studies have compared glyphic texts and historic Maya literatures. Parallel Worlds examines Maya writing and literary traditions from the Classic period until today, revealing remarkable continuities across time.
In this volume, contributions from leading scholars in Maya literary studies examine Maya discourse from Classic period hieroglyphic inscriptions to contemporary spoken narratives, focusing on parallelism to unite the literature historically. Contributors take an ethnopoetic approach, examining literary and verbal arts from a historical perspective, acknowledging that poetic form is as important as narrative content in deciphering what these writings reveal about ancient and contemporary worldviews.
Encompassing a variety of literary motifs, including humor, folklore, incantation, mythology, and more specific forms of parallelism such as couplets, chiasms, kennings, and hyperbatons, Parallel Worlds is a rich journey through Maya culture and pre-Columbian literature that will be of interest to students and scholars of anthropology, ethnography, Latin American history, epigraphy, comparative literature, language studies, indigenous studies, and mythology.
From the perspectives of ethnic studies, history, literary criticism, and legal studies, the original essays in this volume examine the ways in which the colonial history of the Philippines has shaped Filipino American identity, culture, and community formation. The contributors address the dearth of scholarship in the field as well as show how an understanding of this complex history provides a foundation for new theoretical frameworks for Filipino American studies.
Essays in the The Prettier Doll focus on the same local controversy: in 2001,a third-grade girl in Colorado submitted an experiment to the school science fair. She asked 30 adults and 30 fifth-graders which of two Barbie dolls was prettier. One doll was black, the other white, and each wore a different colored dress. All of the adults picked the Barbie in the purple dress, while nearly all of the fifth graders picked the white Barbie. When the student’s experiment was banned an uproar resulted that spread to the national media. School board meetings and other public exchanges highlighted the potent intersection of local and national social concerns: education, censorship, science, racism, and tensions in foundation values such as liberty, democracy, and free speech.
For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from “Barbiegate” illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of “ordinary democracy.”
Science as Power was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Science has established itself as not merely the dominant but the only legitimate form of human knowledge. By tying its truth claims to methodology, science has claimed independence from the influence of social and historical conditions. Here, Aronowitz asserts that the norms of science are by no means self-evident and that science is best seen as a socially constructed discourse that legitimates its power by presenting itself as truth.
Stanley Aronowitz is professor of sociology in the graduate school of City University of New York. His books include Working Class Hero: A New Strategy for Labor and, with Henry Giroux, Education Under Siege.
In this intriguing book, renowned sociolinguistics experts explore the importance of discourse analysis, a process that examines patterns of language to understand how users build cooperative understanding in dialogues. It presents discourse analyses of sign languages native to Bali, Italy, England, and the United States.
Studies of internal context review the use of space in ASL to discuss space, how space in BSL is used to “package” complex narrative tasks, how signers choose linguistic tools to structure storytelling, and how affect, emphasis, and comment are added in text telephone conversations. Inquiries into external contexts observe the integration of deaf people and sign language into language communities in Bali, and the language mixing that occurs between deaf parents and their hearing children.
Both external and internal contexts are viewed together, first in an examination of applying internal ASL text styles to teaching written English to Deaf students and then in a consideration of the language choices of interpreters who must shift footing to manage the “interpreter’s paradox.” Storytelling and Conversation casts new light on discourse analysis, which will make it a welcome addition to the sociolinguistics canon.
Patricia Riles Wickman offers a new paradigm for the interpretation of southeastern Native American and Spanish colonial history and a new way to view the development of the United States.
In her compelling and controversial arguments, Wickman rejects the myths that erase Native Americans from Florida through the agency of Spaniards and diseases and make the area an empty frontier awaiting American expansion. Through research on both sides of the Atlantic and extensive oral history interviews among the Seminoles of Florida and Oklahoma, Wickman shatters current theories about the origins of the people encountered by the Spaniards and presents, for the first time ever, the Native American perspective. She describes the genesis of the groups known today as Creek, Seminole, and Miccosukee—the Maskoki peoples—and traces their common Mississippian heritage, affirming their claims to continuous habitation of the Southeast and Florida. Her work exposes the rhetoric of conquest and replaces it with the rhetoric of survival.
An important cross-disciplinary work, The Tree That Bends reveals the flexibility of the Maskoki people and the sociocultural mechanisms that allowed them to survive the pressures introduced at contact. Their world was capable of incorporating the New without destroying the Old, and their descendants not only survive today but also succeed as a discrete culture as a result.
For the past decade, political scientist Sanford Schram has led the academic effort to understand how Americans and their political officials talk about poverty and welfare and what impact that discourse has on policy and on the global society.
In Welfare Discipline, Schram argues that it is time to take stock of the new forms of welfare and to develop even better methods to understand them. He argues for a more contextualized approach to examining welfare policy, from the use of the idea of globalization to justify cutbacks, to the increasing employment of U.S. policy discourse overseas, to the development of asset-based approaches to helping the poor.
Stressing the importance of understanding the ways we talk about welfare, how we study it, and, critically, what we do not discuss and why, Schram offers recommendations for making welfare policy both just and effective.