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Re: [xmca] Re: Knotworking (ex: Double stimulation?)

Yes, Andy, I think the anthropological notion of kinship captures your
point that not all biological relatives are "kin". Anthropologist David
Schneider, for example, points out how kinship is really just the
Aristotelian notion of "identity", and that "kinship" is fundamentally a
matter of sameness of substance. Thus, political and religious affiliations
are, in his view, systems of kinship.

Seems like the same would be true of so-called "voluntary association"
(scare quotes because of skepticism of notions of voluntary and the
assumptions it makes about us as subjects). Any voluntary association worth
its salt will surely have this sense of shared substance (and with regard
to the making of this shared substance, Durkheim is essential - but that's
a different story for a different time!). And don't most of these
organizations have some sense of kinship built into their relational terms,
whether "brother" or "brotherhood" or "family" or whatever?


On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Yes, there is no doubt that the commitment many people have to continuing
> the work of their parents and even ancestors, and their investment in their
> children, evidences a project, an archetypal project in fact. "Voluntary
> associations" are historically a relatively recent invention, prior to
> which kinship was possibly the most significant project in human life. Of
> course, it is not always the case that a kinship relation always indicates
> the relevance of the concept of "project" - I have cousins whom I have
> never met and to whom I have no commitment whatsoever.
> Andy
> carolmacdon@gmail.com wrote:
>> Kinship is a project as its a relationship. Carol
>> Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>> Sender: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>> Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 07:52:07 To: Andy Blunden<ablunden@mira.net>;
>> eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity<xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> Reply-To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Re: Knotworking (ex: Double stimulation?)
>> Andy,
>> So would you say that "kinship" implicates projects (or that it IS a
>> project)?
>> Or that "projects" instantiate kinship (i.e. they are the basis for
>> kinship)?
>> Or both?
>> Or neither?
>> -greg
>> On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> I most certainly appreciate this use of the concept of "project", Greg.
>>> This is one of the main lines of enquiry opened up by the concept of
>>> "project", as a foundational concept for *social theory*: the myriad ways
>>> in which different projects - form alliances, subsume one another,
>>> "colonise" other projects, enter into relations of mutual exchange or
>>> cooperation-while-remaining-****independent (hiring each other or buying
>>> and selling each others' products), or collaborate normatively with one
>>> another, generate new, mutually meaningful objects or ideals, enter into
>>> mortal conflict or merge with one another, etc. In fact, as "project" is
>>> intended as a *unit* of human social life (as well as a fruitful concept
>>> for psychology), it is precisely this "algebra" of contcatination, or
>>> "knotworking" if you will, which is opened up by taking the project as a
>>> unit rather than a system concept.
>>> Andy
>>> Greg Thompson wrote:
>>>> Antti,
>>>> I see that in the case described (of the librarians), the concept of
>>>> "knotworking" is a largely intentional (although not always
>>>> controllable)
>>>> concept.
>>>> But I also see in Engestrom's earlier piece, When the Center Does Not
>>>> Hold,
>>>> that knotworking is used as an etic concept, that is a concept used by
>>>> him
>>>> and his colleagues to describe what people are doing. As such, it seems
>>>> like this kind of knot-working is somewhat less intentional or - maybe
>>>> better - less explicit. It is something that people are doing without
>>>> knowing it (to paraphrase Marx via Zizek).
>>>> Both usages of knotworking seem very productive and useful.
>>>> With regard to knotworking, I would like to suggest other, more
>>>> traditional
>>>> forms of knotworking, such as kinship and gift-giving. The practices
>>>> that
>>>> surround kinship and gift-giving are crucial for imbricating persons
>>>> with
>>>> each others projects (to use Andy's concept in a way that he might or
>>>> might
>>>> not appreciate...).
>>>> And, of course, despite our thoughts to the contrary, kinship and
>>>> gift-giving still play an important role in the here and now of
>>>> hospitals
>>>> and libraries.
>>>> -greg
>>>> On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM, Antti Rajala <ajrajala@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
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> *Andy Blunden*
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
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