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[Xmca-l] Re: poverty/class
And speaking of Bill Labov's impressive work (empirically speaking), his
step-daughter, Alice Goffman, has done some really amazing ethnographic
work of criminalized young black men in inner-city Philadelphia, with a
particular eye to how the criminal justice system functions to tear apart
Based on 6 years of ethnographic fieldwork, here is a link to her new book
"On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City" (soon-to-be-out):
Alice is an incredible ethnographer and a wonderful person, and for any
interested in these issues, this book promises to be a very candid look
into some very complex issues. (although I haven't read the book yet, I saw
her give a talk a few years back and have read some of her work and talked
a bit with her about her book as well).
Sorry for the digression, but hopefully not too digressive.
On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the article.The ideas are not completely new to me; even
> the link with the great anthropological tradition in linguistics of
> Sapir, Whorf and Boas that joins you to Halliday is something I have
> heard you articulate many times. But they are presented more
> forcefully than ever, and the tie to Bruner is quite new (I had always
> thought of Bruner as a wartime social behaviorist, centrally
> responsible for the distortions of the "scaffolding" reading of
> Labov is also in that great tradition. I have enormous respect for
> him, not least because, like you and quite unlike me, he is STILL
> doing important work in the inner cities, teaching kids to read and
> write. His work on the grammar of AAVE seems like a waystage between
> Hymes on the one hand and Heath on the other. But like so many of that
> great tradition in linguistics, his strength is empirical strength and
> not theoretical strength.
> Take his famous paper on narrative structure: these are categories
> which emerge from and are largely confined to the data. His reading of
> Bernstein hopelessly shallow; he just cannot take on board the whole
> argument about the strong and weak ways of framing knowledge, and as a
> result he ends up with a caricature rather than a fair understanding.
> (Ruqaiya Hasan notes, correctly, that Labov barely bothers to cite
> Yes, I too have trouble with what you call the extreme forms of
> Bernstein's theory (although I note that for the most part they are
> not really Bernstein's). By the time children are in middle school,
> they don't really talk like their parents any more; they talk like
> each other. But I am willing to accept that by the time they get to
> middle school, it may be too late; language development consists of
> many roads not taken (how way leads on way!).
> My wife complains that the Korean system (and of course the Chinese
> system too) is unforgiving; the child takes the college entrance
> examination at the end of high school and the child's fate is sealed.
> This is not strictly true (she herself took the exam four times and
> eventually got in). But even if it were true, that would make it a
> system that is rather less unforgiving than the American one.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> On 25 March 2014 10:06, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > David--
> > I want strongly to agree with you and Michael that
> > we all know that privileged genres privilege the
> > privileged, but the question is what to do about it
> > That is, the rich get richer aka the "Mathew effect" - to s/he who has be
> > given."
> > I am still considering with the notion that "childism" equals
> > Just as pushing the bernsteinian codes to extremes is now well understood
> > to be a mistake, so is the mistake of underestimating the significant
> > culturally mediated, socially organized, development of the psychological
> > capacities of young children.
> > How that defeats the Mathew effect remains the issue.
> > One thing we can do is to try to avoid encouraging it when fooling
> > ourselves into thinking that we are defeating it.
> > See attached
> > mike
> > On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 3:47 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com>
> >> Michael and Anna:
> >> Halliday points out that there really isn't any necessary connection
> >> between, say, preformism and the idea that the child "learns by
> >> setting up hypothetical rules of grammar and matching them against
> >> what he hears", nor is there some kind of logical link between
> >> empiricism and "associationist, stimulus response" models of the
> >> learning process (2004: 29). We can easiliy imagine preformist models
> >> that don't depend on the freestanding autonomous child as little
> >> scientist, and we can also imagine empiricist models that don't
> >> involve associationist psychology. Similarly, I think that although
> >> historically there was a very strong and long lasting marriage between
> >> behaviorism in learning theory and structuralism in language theory in
> >> language teaching which lasted most of the twentieth century, the fact
> >> that we now have two very different communicative language teaching
> >> methods (a British version which jettisons structuralism but keeps
> >> behaviorism in a social-behaviorist form and an American one which
> >> jettisons behaviorism but keeps structuralism in a Chomskyan one)
> >> there isn't any necessary link between the theory of language and the
> >> theory of learning.
> >> Greg asked me to comment on what I thought the ramifications of
> >> "childism' were for language research AND for teaching. That seems to
> >> me to be two different topics, although of course they are related. So
> >> what I said was that Halliday considered "childism" to be a kind of
> >> preformism. I think that's right. On the separate topic of teaching, I
> >> thought that "childism" sometimes demands that children exercise free
> >> will where no free will is yet possible, and I thought the anecdote
> >> about Summerhill was a pretty good illustration of that. Actually, the
> >> link that Ana posted pretty much confirms that view; you can certainly
> >> see that the gentleman in question is in fact white, British, and a
> >> native speaker of the English language.
> >> Let me attempt a very brief reply to the point that Michael raises,
> >> namely that we all know that privileged genres privilege the
> >> privileged, but the question is what to do about it. First of all, I
> >> think that doing something about it requires recognizing that "it"
> >> exists. We don't do that if we consider that saying that Berstein has
> >> a "deficit" model of language proficiency constitutes a refutation of
> >> Bernstein. In fact, what Bernstein is saying is preciselyt hat
> >> privileged genres privilege the privileged, and labeling this a
> >> "deficit" model seems to me to be a way of implying that by
> >> recognizing this reality Bernstein is somehow seeking to blame the
> >> victim. That really doesn't follow at all, particularly if we reject
> >> preformism; the "deficit" simply does not and cannot lie in the
> >> learner him or herself. Secondly, I think that what Halliday would say
> >> is that doing something about it requires us to get outside the
> >> privileged genre and see it as a genre, not as a latent ability in the
> >> child and still less as conterminous with or even a necessary
> >> component of the linguistic environment. This seems empowering to me,
> >> and not only to the underprivileged learner.
> >> David Kellogg
> >> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >> -----------------------------------------
> > cut off by mike cole. check xmca for the rest of the thread minus the
> > trailing
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602