A Justice Site
Mazur's Dictionary of Critical Sociology
Local Hub Sites
Created: June 20, 1999
Latest update: December 26, 2000
- Where to Start with Text for a Claim
- Texts from Learning
- Freedom Lives! Adam L. Gruen's Webwork, which bears a distinct similarity to our intertextuality. Look it over. We are probably on the verge of a whole new way to publish. Link added on February 28, 1999. jeanne
Critical Psychology and the Formation of Texts
A critical psychology conference on many of the intertextuality issues.
Deadline for abstracts: April 31, 1999.
New link for N.J. Fox's Intertextuality and Social Research
Where to Start with Text for a Claimby jeanne curran and Susan R. Takata
copyright June 1999, "Fair Use" encouraged
The problem with stating a claim is that most of us have little practice at doing so. Crtitical response to issues of the day is a skill that goes best where public discourse is practiced. As many theorists (on site, try Craig Calhoun and Jurgen Habermas, Blalock from non-critical perspective) remind us there is reason to fear that we have lost some of the traditional skills of public discourse. Now we shout rhetoric at one another in sound bites.
Critical sociology that blames the victim. Whoa!
- Blalock complains that we do not measure up.
- Duncan Kennedy complains that students do not rebel against the paternalistic bureaucracy.
- Gray-Shellberg complains that students lack integrity.
This site, in the spirit of promoting academic discourse, will continuously reflect on the "blaming of the victim," and will try to listen in good faith to the student-initiated claims, as well as our own claims in the complex world of institutionalized higer education in 1999-2000. To that end, we use a reflexive methodology. We question our own assumptions.
And perhaps that is where the making of a validity claim must start. By finding some forum, if no more than a college or K-12 classroom, where someone is willing to listen in good faith to what you "sense" or "feel," even if you cannot state it eloquently. As in more traditional negotiation, you need to find someone, somewhere, with some kind of authority, with whom you can begin by agreeing on something.
The role of your mentor (this person willing to share your ideas in good faith) is to help you state the claim, in words and/or some other medium that others in positions of authority will be willing to hear in good faith. When your goal is discourse, with a meaningful voice in decision-making for the community involved, shouting rhetoric is counter-productive. You want the other (who has some decision-making authority) to either take your claim into consideration or grant you some decision-making power to do so.
When you want a piece of the power, alienating the one with the power does not make sense, unless you want to challenge the illegitimacy of the power to start with. That is a viable goal also, but it is a goal governed by sovereign power. The right of one person to simply tell another what to do. Such power is not usually based on . . .
more later . . .
Texts, Respectable Texts, from Learningby Jeanne Curran and Susan Takata"The decision that we wanted to prepare our students for discourse meant that we had to pay particular attention to sociological logocentrism. Logocentrism displays a view of the world in which some "truth" or "reality" to which the academy lays claim is privileged at the expense of other voices, other perspectives. This is most often seen in the determination of what is included in the canon (or the curriculum) and what is not. Intertextuality therefore concerned us, for Habermas would have to be read, not alone, not as the sole authority on discourse and its possibilities, but with other textual references to clarify, expand, situate within the range of contexts available."
Curran and Takata, "Playing with Habermas" copyright 1998.
We began by preparing a handbook to guide our students by providing additional annotations and references to other texts. That fit with the traditional academic approach to intertextuality. Only as we worked with our students on their essays, encouraging them to record their own narratives, did we begin to realize the extent to which the academy has failed to welcome into the canon the production of alternative texts. Our students' writings, read together with Habermas, brought new meaning to Habermas' concerns for public discourse, brought new challenge for us not to create within the academy an "administered" auto-poietic subsytem. The establishment of this site, the Internet version of what we had been trying to accomplish in hard copy, is the result of our attempt to reclaim these texts. The summer volume, which we are calling in retrospect, Volume 3, represents the first formal steps towards the creation and dissemination of the informal texts of learning and learned discussion within and across institutions of the academy.
Volume 2, which we are archiving in the same navigable form as this summer volume, grew like Topsy, on its own. In May 1998, students were used to the dialog created and began to check the site almost daily. Unprepared and untutored for site management, we simply put up daily signs, and, as they multiplied alarmingly, we added two such signs. We added the date of inclusion. But mostly, we just piled entry upon entry, leaving ourselves overwhelmed. "We'll restructure in the summer", we said. "Hah!" So much for one summer!
Many tortured conversations later the agony of a table of contents is but a memory. The sections defined themselves as we cleared away the rubble. Our first rule of thumb is that these are texts, created in the process of learning, amongst students, faculty, and staff. They are texts that need to be read, for these are the folks who will engage in public discourse. These are the folks whose validity claims must be heard if our system of law is not to be auto-poietic non-learning. This is the public Habermas feared had lost the skill of public discourse. They said the same thing about letter writing. Maybe we didn't lose the skill; maybe it is being transformed for the media and the messages of a new age.
Because we mean for Dear Habermas to be the forum for the creation and dissemination of texts, we have taken particular care to listen in good faith, and to provide as broad a forum as we can. We also mean for it to teach by example. Come and write with us. For only in writing, only in actively participating, will we learn to carry on the needed dialog. Come and teach with us. For only in helping those who are not able to express their own claims do we guarantee that their claims will be heard, and that the system of law which shapes our community will remain a learning system, in which each of us is heard, in good faith.
Our second rule of thumb is that these texts are important to intertextuality, or the reading of traditional texts with all the gloss of literature and scholarship added by all the many other texts. Because these are the thoughts, the texts, of those of our fellow citizens who think on these matters, they must be accessible. So there are links, links galore, links so you can find phrase, "Inshallah, bokra, malesh," even though you can't remember where you saw it. We hope you'll never be far from an index or a navigation spot that will locate whatever you are trying to recall, or whatever you think you'd like to find. To that end, let us know on the site if you're lost. Of course that will happen. But less and less often as we learn to navigate.
Volume 1, from hardcopy in 1996-97, is presently available as it was included in our very first web site, set up by Richard Moncure. You'll find it under Curran on the Sociology Homepage. It will be archived, but it's the last of our priorities this summer. Volume 1 has the unique importance of having been put together intuitively, with none of us aware of the intertextuality that was asserting itself. We are pleased that we were all open enough to the good faith hearing of validity claims that Dear Habermas could happen.
"Playing with Habermas," Paper to be presented at the National Meetings of the American Society of Criminology in November 1998, in Wshington, D.C.
A copy of the Sociology of Law Handbook , Curran and Takata, is available on the Web. Just not yet on our site. February 28, 1999.
Fox's article, below.
- LINK to Reclaimed Text from Student Work: "I Think I Learned Something"
- Narratives Become Text: Accretion or Parology?
We found Nicholas J. Fox's article on intertextuality a great help in conceptualizing our work with our students and the recognition that such work held the power to challenge the "administering" of the academy. We have provided a link to the article that inspired us.
by N.J. Fox, "Intertextuality and the Writing of Social Research" Link not presently working. February 28, 1999. jeanne
Critical Psychology and the Formation of Texts
Critical Psychology and Action Research Conference
A Look at How Professional Conferences on the Edge of Theory are Formed
This is not a student conference. Should any of our students wish to participate please see jeanne for further information on how to connect with faculty who are likely to participate.
CRITICAL PSYCHOLOGY & ACTION RESEARCH
13-16 JULY 1999
"This conference has three aims, and the final call for papers is for three different kinds of work: (i) to bring together critical psychologists, and for this we invite critical psychologists working practically and/or theoretically to submit proposals; (ii) to bring together good examples of action research, and for this we invite action researchers working with the theory and/or practice of action research to submit proposals; and (iii) to expore connections between critical psychology and action research, and for this we invite psychologist working at the interface of critical perspectives and action research to present their work."
"We have papers so far from Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, United States and Venezuela. The final deadline for abstracts is 31st April 1999 (100-150 words for papers)."
"The conference is designed to provide an overview of key themes in critical psychology and action research, and the links between the two, and so the structure takes us through conceptual / practical / historical foundations, theoretical / cultural / institutional resources, arenas in which action research has been developed, and threads of debate and difference between perspectives."
"The conference will provide a forum to discuss ways of changing the world through varieties of action research, and to critically reflect on how psychology needs to change to be up to the task. There will be keynote talks, individual papers, symposia and workshops. The conference will encompass theories, methods and examples of action research. Sessions will focus on issues of conscientization, cultural destabilization, education inclusion campaigns, feminist research, mental health intervention, practical deconstruction and radical therapeutic activities. Abstracts of successful submissions will be published at the conference, and selected papers published in Annual Review of Critical Psychology."
"Further information on the conference is on the Bolton Institute Psychology Website."