Link to What's New This Week Reading Title

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Shared Reading: Welcome Back
or Well, Just Welcome
if you should have been here before.
jeanne and Susan and Pat and Michael

We're back. Where's jeanne? Where's Susan? What do we do?
Help: I'm Lost, Confused, Passive, Just Here for the Ride, Whatever
"YIKES," saith Susan. "Chill," say (saith, saiunt?) the unicorns.
"Sorry, I didn't take Latin." said jeanne.

The Cast:

You'll find us in SBS B326 at CSUDH, or in the cafeteria, engrossed in academic discourse, with Susan and UWP included by e-mail or phone. From here the serious discourse spreads into the local halls and restrooms and trickles down to Naked Space in the classrooms. UWP will have to designate it's own discourse hangouts, but the blogs are always open, 24/7.

jeanne - emeritus faculty at CSUDH Sociology and website technicienne

Susan - faculty and CHAIR (think Foucault: power) at UWP Criminal Justice

Pat - emeritus staff and community adjunct; Godmother to the site and project and Sainted Protector of Students. Lives in the halls of CSUDH, but answers e-mail from UWP, and mothers us all at national conferences.

Michael - footloose CSUDH political science graduate, seeking meaningful path to further erudition. Curator of the Naked Space Exhibition each semester.

Mirror Sites:
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: August 25, 2004
Latest Update: August 30, 2004

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Index of Topics on Site Welcome to the Naked Space of the Academic World

  1. Introduction Why I chose to share this reading.
  2. Focus: Main point of this reading.
  3. Reading Full identification of source for reading AND excerpt.
  4. Concepts: Concepts and Key Words.
  5. Discussion Discussion questions.
  6. Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses What this has to do with our class.

* * *


  • Where have you landed? In Naked Space?????? See the Concepts section. We explain it.

    This is where you start. This is the first file in our mentoring series.


  • We hope that this file will help you find yourself, or find something you can shed your passivity for, or at least be fun and tempt you to learn something.

Concepts and Key Words:

  • naked space: That empty space we sit around and protect from anger, persuasion, consensus; the center of our circle in which all validity claims, no matter how weird, are heard in good faith for illocutionary discourse.

  • illocutionary discourse Discourse for the sake of trying to understand the Other, who seems to think differently from what you think. In illocutionary discourse you are trying to get it though your head why somewhat might think as the Other does, so that you can better relate to that Other is. In a very small world, this matters.

  • answerability: A term from Bakhtin that signifies for us your right to voice your feelings, your ideas, your beliefs, your understandings. That's why the space is naked. No policing there. Everyone has a voice. Everyone is heard. Everyone is respected. Anger, frustration, war result from not being heard, from being silenced.

  • interdependence: We are social beings. That means that the individual does not exist in a vacuum, but in a social context. (John Donne, "no man is an island"). The individual does have very real agency, or decision-making power, though that power differs in different social contexts. But the individual's agency is limited by the agency of the infrastructure of our social context. Thus, I can give you all A's to start with, as long as I abide by the school's rules of enforcing that you present some kind of evidence to assure the school that you have indeed learned what they expect you to learn for that A. I have the freedom or agency to make the learning measurement fit you, but the school limits my agency by insisting that I do some sort of measurement. Thus, your grade is interdependent, on how you decide to measure it, and how effectively we can communicate that measurement to the school.

  • interactivity: There is usually an unstated assumption made by faculty and administrators that students are intensely committed to their studies. That assumption is usually made without reference to the social context, particularly in a commuter school environment.Most of our students have jobs, families, sometimes children, whose needs conflict with their own. Not only that, but none of us is consistently active. Sometimes we just need to chill. Recognizing this, we will do our best not to assume that interactivity, speaking up in class, having brilliant ideas, dreaming up projects is "good," and that the quieter less active student is somehow "less good."

  • interpassivity: Sometimes I jsut sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. - We have that as a painting somewhere on the site. I'll have to find it for you. Intensity is good. I don't mean to discourage you from it. But passivity is sometimes healing. Some of us need more quiet time than others. Let's try not to judge one another by how much cheerleading noise we make. Answerability; Not Despair.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Do I need a blue book?

    Goodness, no. WE don't give tests.

  2. Is the course easy?

    Probably not. We've been at it too long, and we know most of the dodges. But it's tailored to let you choose to study what interests you. That should help.

  3. Do I have to have a computer?

    That would be nice. But it would be nice to be rich, too. Some of us aren't.

  4. Do I have to use a computer?

    Definitely. You can't get along without one. But we have computer labs, and hopefully, you will make friends.

  5. Will I have to spend hours on the computer?

    We would love that, but very few of us have the time for it. jeanne does that for us, within the confines of our website. Though it would be nice for you to do more research, it may not be possible.

  6. Do I have to have a book?

    You bet. Unless you want to struggle to find out what all the discourse is about. But if it's a choice between feeding your kids and buying the book, for goodness' sakes, feed your kids.

  7. What if I can't afford the book till next week?

    Then use the shared readings on the computer. If you don't have a computer, print the shared reading before you leave the campus.

  8. Where's the syllabus?

    We just gave it to you. And it is always available on the site: Syllabi, Fall 2004, CSUDH And UWP.

Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses:

  • Agencies:
    Sample linking: Ways in which underlying assumptions of assimilation affect services offered and clients' ability to access and use those services. How does this reading illustrate the need for social agencies, for more generalized agencies, for what Bolman and Deal would call "leadership" AND "management"? How does this reading suggest ways in which we could be more effective in rendering help, and what is the reading's relationship to a "safety net" for those who need help?

  • Criminal Justice:
    Sample linking: Ways in which some groups are underrepresented in the unstated assumptions of our theories. How does this reading serve to illustrate adversarialism, mutuality, retribution, revenge, illocutionary understanding, the definition and operation of the criminal justice system?

  • Law:
    Sample linking: Extent to which laws are made on the assumption that we are all essentially assimilated to the dominant culture. How does this reading help us see the need for contextual readings in law? How does it relate to our natural instincts to seek some kind of natural law? What facts and principles does the reading offer for discourse that could clarify for Others validity claims presented by an Obscure Other?

  • Moot Court:
    Sample linking: Ways in which to make validty claims of harm understood by those who have never experienced many of the world's different perspectives. How can this reading enlighten our praxis in terms of different kinds of discourse, like instrumental, illocutionary, governance?

  • Women in Poverty:
    Sample linking: The culture of poverty and assimilation. How does the reading deal with our underlying assumptions about poverty, especially poverty of the exploited, the NOT- male? What does the reading suggest of the interrelationship between our society and its children, generally cared for by women, often poor?

  • Race, Gender, Class:
    Sample linking: The extent to which silence has been imposed by these affiliations so that domination and discrimination have entered our unstated assumptions in interpersonal relations and the structural context arising from them. What does the reading tell us about exploitation and alternative ways to deal with one another? What does it tell us about institutionalized -isms and our denial of complicity? What does it tell us about our common humanity?

  • Religion:
    Sample linking: The spiritual component. Humans are spiritual creatures, creatures that recognize moments that go beyond ourselves to God, Allah, Isis, Gaia, the Universe, or a deep sense of responsibility to create our own meanng. How does the reading fit into our ability, our need to create such meaning in life?

  • Love !A:
    Sample linking: What's the aesthetic link in this reading? How does it bring us closer to one another as humans? What does it tell us about our need for love, unconditional love, not rewards for doing well or being well, but caring and acceptance for being who we are?

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