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

If I didn't know you better, Andy, I could take your opening sentence to be
a declaration of your adherence to idealism.

That aside, for sure prolepsis is involved. It is central to the imagined
futures of valued life ways, that are then embodied in the larger
structures of our everyday involvement in activities. Culturally mediated
time is non-linear. Whence our second nature.

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Yes greg, kinship is an ideal, a cultural construct, necessary for the
> maintenance of certain kinds of project. In cultures where primogeniture
> prevailed (Jane Austen's England, Japan, for example), if the eldest son
> was a ne'er-do-well, the head of the household would adopt a young man from
> another family and simply declare him eldest son. Just as today, couples
> seek to adopt in order to realise their commitment to project their own
> life project into future generations (prolepsis?). There are many forms.
> Andy
> Greg Thompson wrote:
>> Yes, this idea of projects works very nicely for capturing the mutual
>> imbrications of persons in one another's lives.
>> But I'm still caught up on "voluntary associations" vis a vis kinship. My
>> "beef" here is with the idea of historical discontinuity of primitive vs.
>> modern systems. I think there always were "voluntary association" as you
>> put it, and perhaps the major difference is one of scale.
>> Consider this passage from Marshall Sahlins on kinship:
>> "On the Alaskan North Slope, the Iñupiat will name children and sometimes
>> adults after dead persons, thus making them members of their namesakes’
>> families.  Over a lifetime, reports Barbara Bodenhorn (2000: 137), an
>> Iñupiat may acquire four or five such names and families, although those
>> who bestow the names were not necessarily related before, and in any case
>> they are never the birth parents. Begetters, begone: natal bonds have
>> virtually no determining force in Iñupiat kinship. Kinship statuses are not
>> set by the begetters of persons but by their namers. Indeed, it is the
>> child who chooses the characteristics of birth, including where he or she
>> will be born and of what sex.""
>> Thus, kinship itself can be a "voluntary association" that holds
>> different groups together. Exogamous affinal kinship relationships make the
>> point still more clearly - kinship is always a "voluntary association" and
>> one that holds groups together in projects by virtue of imputing a sameness
>> of substance.
>> Today it seems that the modes of establishing a sameness of substance are
>> making all kinds of inter-relations possible that were previously
>> unthinkable. Creating bonds by marital relations are rather limiting in
>> terms of bond-forming since marriages typically involve small numbers of
>> persons - notwithstanding polygynous and polyandrous marriages - which
>> increase the numbers of connections only slightly. Those numbers are
>> miniscule in comparison to the bonds that are formed by modern statehood
>> and nationality.
>> Benedict Anderson's book Imagined Communities provides a nice case study
>> of the kinds of projects that you speak of, Andy, and with respect to the
>> emergence of "nationality". In Anderson's narrative, states are formed by
>> the process of nationalization of a language and, critically, by the
>> creation of a national press. Collective projects (the basis for imagined
>> communities such as a "state") thus are implied by collective
>> representations of happenings in the world.
>> But the situation has been transformed still more by recent developments.
>> Today a student in Brazil can watch a video of the tazing (or
>> pepper-spraying) of a student or bunch of students in California and feel a
>> kind of shared substance - that she and I share some essential substance of
>> commitment to a cause or oppression by a dominant power. It would seem that
>> this creates whole new possible forms of kinship/nationalism/**solidarity.
>> A step towards conditions in which workers of the world might begin to see
>> their common situation?
>> maybe that's taking things too far.
>> -greg
>> On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 7:16 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>     And as Mike sketched a few days ago, what an amazing little
>>     country Finland is!!
>>     The point is that in order to understand an object (such as the
>>     unique nature of Finland, or the upsurge in Brazil) - complex,
>>     dynamic entities - we need *units* which are themselves processes
>>     of development. For example, I don't believe we can understand a
>>     nation state as a collection of *social groups* (eg ethnic, or
>>     economic, etc.), but rather as a process made up of many other
>>     distinct processes of development, i.e., projects, which interact
>>     with one another.
>>     Formally speaking, the "systems of activity" which Yrjo introduced
>>     are indeed processes of development; but "project" is much more
>>     explicitly so. Further, we individuals apprehend these units (be
>>     they "systems of activity" or "projects") as *concepts*, and the
>>     rules, norms, community, division of labour, etc. etc., *flow from
>>     the concept* as does the *ever-changing conception of the
>>     *object*. If objects (and community, norms, etc.), pre-exist an
>>     activity, then we don't have Activity Theory at all, we have some
>>     variety of structuralism of functionalism.
>>     So it is important to begin from the project, each of which is a
>>     particular instance of a concept, and all the elements (norms,
>>     tools, etc.) of the project flow from its concept and the
>>     conditions in which it is developing.
>>     So for example, I don't think it is appropriate to conceive the
>>     social movements, voluntary associations, protests, political
>>     conflicts and alliances of 20th century Finland as "systems" or
>>     "institutions." They are projects, projects which constructed
>>     modern Finland, and which indeed, one day, become "systems", but
>>     never irreversibly. The institutions which are the products of
>>     social movements, protests, and so on (projects) are never
>>     irreversibly reified as "fields" or "figured worlds" or
>>     "pratico-inerts" or "structures" or any of the other renderings of
>>     the social fabric as composed of dead and lacking in teleological
>>     content.
>>     Andy
>>     Rauno Huttunen wrote:
>>         Hello,
>>         Similar things happened in Finland too. See article by
>>         professor Martti Siisiäinen: Social Movements, Voluntary
>>         Associations and Cycles of Protest in Finland 1905-91
>>         (Scandinavian Political Studies, Bind 15, 1992).
>>         https://tidsskrift.dk/index.**php/scandinavian_political_**
>> studies/article/view/13149/**25059<https://tidsskrift.dk/index.php/scandinavian_political_studies/article/view/13149/25059>
>>         Rauno
>>         ______________________________**__________
>>         Lähettäjä: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>         <mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.**ucsd.edu<xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> >
>>         [xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
>>         <mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.**ucsd.edu<xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu>>]
>> k&#228;ytt&#228;j&#228;n
>>         Andy Blunden [ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>]
>>         puolesta
>>         Lähetetty: 26. kesäkuuta 2013 3:30
>>         Kopio: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>         Aihe: Re: [xmca] Re: Knotworking (ex: Double stimulation?)
>>         But to make a distinction is not necessarily to set up a
>>         dichotomy.
>>         In Australian social history the appearance of voluntary
>>         associations n
>>         the 19th century (mostly trade union-type organisations, but
>>         also sports
>>         and recreation, mutual-aid of various kinds, and later
>>         political parties
>>         and groups) was a significant development, which meant people
>>         regularly
>>         travelling long distances to stitch together the fabric of the
>>         emerging
>>         nation. In the US, the parallel role was played, I believe, to
>>         a great
>>         extent, also by Protestant sects, who pioneered the building
>>         of new
>>         bonds of sociability and trust across great distances.
>>         These New World projects constructed a new kind of civil
>>         society and the
>>         basis for modernity. According to Hegel for example, modernity is
>>         characterised by the eclipse of family as the chief bond and
>>         political
>>         force in a state, by voluntary associations, such as professional
>>         associations or regional community organisations, where people of
>>         differing traditions construct new modern conditions of
>>         collaboration.
>>         But of course, the family and the state both remain in place!
>>         Andy
>>         Greg Thompson wrote:
>>             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?
>>             -greg
>>             On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM, Andy Blunden
>>             <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>             <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto: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
>>         ______________________________**____________
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>>     --     ------------------------------**------------------------------
>> **------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>> **>
>>     Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
>>     http://marxists.academia.edu/**AndyBlunden<http://marxists.academia.edu/AndyBlunden>
>>     ______________________________**____________
>>     _____
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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
>> http://byu.academia.edu/**GregoryThompson<http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson>
> --
> ------------------------------**------------------------------**
> ------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
> http://marxists.academia.edu/**AndyBlunden<http://marxists.academia.edu/AndyBlunden>
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