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[Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan
Hi Paul and all those interested in this thread,
Thank you! The radio podcast you linked me to is huge in scope, so I want to do my best to keep it relevant to the thread.
The interviewee, human rights activist/lawyer/joiurnalist Ezili Danto, to me, is giving us enough history of the Haitian struggle for independence from the time of Jean Jacques Salin in 1804 to the present, for those not familiar with that struggle so that people like me can understand how one can perceive Bush (the first one), the Clintons and Obama as “vampires” and “war mongers”. As I confessed below, my positive response to Obama’s eulogy in Charleston was based on sound bites and not a very good analysis of the sound bites, at that. Sigh. One issue very focused on language was the decision by Danto and others to throw off their European names and take African ones is familiar to an American audience. Most of the podcast is much broader in scope, but I think it provides the “ground” for the tough discussions on race that so many have called for. So Danto’s historical analysis IS about discourse and a theory of grammar has to be discourse based. Dialogic. (A thread on Bakhtin seems to have broken out.) Of course, such a theory has to taken into account the power of narrative. Danto’s historical narrative is essential to the dialog we are having.
Here are issues in that “ground” that Danto raises that are worth keepin in mind as more prototypically linguistic issues are discussed: 1) the world’s religions include those that have come out of Africa. This will bump up against what a "world religion" is, and that could be a useful discussion. 2) Respect for the mother as an essential part of the African world view as construed by Danto. I am thinking about the indigenous people I know best: the Navajos, matrilineal and matrilocal in their cultural practices. 3) The Haitian struggle for independence is still going on. In 1690 the Pueblos of New Mexico waged their own revolt. It was beat back during the reconquest of the Spanish in the decades that followed. But the Pueblos continue their struggle today in the form of claims to the waters of the Rio Grande. And much more. 4) 50 shades of Black. As per those that retook Haiti after the revolution of 1804, it’s better to be on the white side of the spectrum (Duvalier, Obama) than the black side of the spectrum (Aristide). Much the same thinking, I understand, haunts Brazil. Ads placed by Indian men (of India) in search of brides, at least until recently were full of explicit requests for light-skinned ladies.
I doubt I have really moved the thread forward that much. Can anyone else take it up? Ruqaiya apparently had some really specific things in mind that someone smarter than me might be able to connect to.
> On Jul 1, 2015, at 12:48 PM, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <email@example.com> wrote:
> Henry... i would love to continue the thread. If you all have time, I would like you all to listen to this brief talk to get a better understanding of how I view Obama and white supremacy...
> Sent on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note® II
> <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: HENRY SHONERD <firstname.lastname@example.org> </div><div>Date:07/01/2015 1:34 PM (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com> </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan </div><div>
> </div>David, Greg, Paul, Carol, Larry, et. al.,
> I am having difficulty staying up with this thread, partly because I need time to digest the posts, partly because the proffered readings take time to digest. But I would encourage you all to keep the thread from going off line. Please let it die out where we can all be present.
> I find it helpful to think of dialog as a negotiation. And it seems to me that much of what is happening with this thread is just that. Also, from looking at a link to Greg’s work, it is also about recognition. Accordingly, the negotiation for recognition of points of view, meanings of words, data, and probably much else, is very metalinguistic: talking about what we are talking about. I think there is a tension here between wanting to make language transparent, that is language that doesn’t call attention to itself, and recognizing that for communication to happen at all, there has to be SOME attention to conversational repair, making language an explicit object during conversation. That can come off as effete intellectualism. At the very least, it takes time.
> But, I don’t think that that tension is present just in working-class bars. Many CHATters mays think this thread has gone on too long, that the juice has been squeezed out of it. The question, also I think, often boils down to whether the repair is imposed on the speaker/writer or the speaker/writergets to repair their own talk. Face is a big deal for all of us, which is why I think the recogntition/negotiation issue is always “on stage” (Vygotsky’s term) in dialog. My involvement in this thread is data for me: I took issue with David’s construal of Obama’s Charleson church speech as “heartless”; Paul and David responded with vigor and rigor. I lost a bit of face and cut my losses by (I think) wisely choosing not to take another turn in response. But I want to, I hope, gain a little face back by doing some self-repair right now in this dialog: I had not really listened to Obama’s eulogy, just sound bites. Mea culpa, but, like I said, I am trying hard to keep up.I don’t think this is false humility. I have plenty to be humble about. But I want respect and my self-repair, I hope, helps just a little bit to establish my credibility as a serious and credible member of this community. This is important to me.
> This chat isn’t a working class bar, but it’s still all about working. (Or playing, but play is serious stuff.) A researcher interested in using Ruqaiya’s thinking to look at language in the real world would (and will, I hope) do the kind of large-scale data collection and analysis that David argues for. Still, I find that the ideas (as I understand them, and I realize that it’s pretty much my own fault if I don't) are already useful to me in understanding and negotiating the world, all of it. I don’t always know immediately when a theory is useful in this way, but I stick with this chat, well, for the same reason those guys (and they are mostly guys probably) kept going back to that bar in Chicago. Well, maybe not for exactly the same reasons. I’m not drinking right now. But some of you may be. Or something else. Funny that the ethnography was written by a woman (Lindquist). Hmmm….
>> On Jul 1, 2015, at 9:29 AM, Lplarry <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Your questioning the assumption that pedagogy "does" or "does not" transform consciousness contrasted with the configuration that it is our interactional habitual turn taking within particular situations (contexts)
>> IS a question I want to highlight.
>> What do we bring to the "fore" in the concept "there/fore".
>> We could focus on the "there"
>> We could focus on the interval "/" between the "there" and the "fore"
>> We could focus on the "fore"
>> Is where we "focus" habitual within places of situated practices
>> Is where we "focus" emerge within pedogogy/bildung that "trans/forms" consciousness and in THIS shift in consciousness our places of habitual practicing changes??
>> I just ordered Lindquist's .
>> I will pause here, but draw attention to the root/stem of the word "focus" is "hearth/home"
>> So where our focus abides is where we abide.
>> Does pedagogy "trans" form "focus" and there/fore carry us to another "home"?
>> Does "bildung" carry or "trans" form FOCUS?
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: "Greg Thompson" <email@example.com>
>> Sent: 2015-06-30 10:58 PM
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Ruqaiya Hasan
>> This is helpful for me and my very substantial naivete about Hassan and
>> Bernstein. I'm going to have to do some tracking down of these sources (you
>> wouldn't by any chance have PDF's that you could share with me offline?),
>> but I fear that I'm still not understanding the demonstratives that you
>> offered. In the 10, 11, 12 example that you provided from Hasan, what is
>> the point with regard to elaborated or restricted? (or whatever dimension
>> she sees as relevant? or if no dimensions are relevant, then what would
>> Hasan have to say about these three examples and what they have to say
>> about anything? I'm still a little lost. I warned you that I'm slow!).
>> Also, I thought I might summarize my concern with an example, also from the
>> south side of Chicago - but the other south side - the white one. (and yes,
>> I'm raising some questions about the relevant community we would assign to
>> the code - I suspect that the south side Chicago codes that you speak of is
>> probably closer to the code spoken in Mississippi than to the south side
>> Chicago code described below).
>> In a wonderful ethnography of a white working class bar on the South Side
>> of Chicago conducted while she was working as a bartender, Julie Lindquist
>> takes up, among other things, the Marxian notion that working class people
>> don't think counterfactually (and yes, I'm entirely sincere when I say that
>> this is a wonderful ethnography - fantastically thick description with long
>> chunks of transcripts of actual conversations at the bar - very nicely
>> done). In her book, she presents a number of examples of arguments that
>> broke out in the bar in which people appear to refuse to think
>> Unfortunately, in the material included in the book, she misses an example
>> in which the patrons do, in fact, employ counterfactuals.
>> So that is caution #1 when doing this kind of work, there is a tendency to
>> miss examples that don't conform to one's theory. This can of course happen
>> in many different ways and typically for non-nefarious reasons.
>> But there is another, perhaps more serious, concern here. It may, in fact,
>> be the case that you do see fewer counterfactuals in working class bars.
>> Where this gets troubling is when this gets extended to the consciousness
>> of "those" people. People on the political left and right both have a kind
>> of fascination with this kind of thinking. People on the left see it as
>> evidence of the malicious effects of capitalism - working class people have
>> a degraded consciousness and that is why they are working class (i.e.,
>> because of their degraded consciousness, they can't realize the nature of
>> their oppression and/or how to rise up against their oppressor, or, most
>> commonly, they don't vote in their interests - with the Democratic party).
>> People on the right see it as evidence that capitalist meritocracy works -
>> working class people have a degraded consciousness and that is why they are
>> working class. And perhaps it is telling that both Adam Smith and Karl Marx
>> "saw" in the working class a degraded and almost sub-human consciousness.
>> Of course, it is likely that Marx got much of this insight from Adam Smith
>> who pointed out that this was a real problem of capitalism and the reason
>> why capitalist nations need universal education (and despite the crassness
>> of his descriptions of working class people, Smith truly believed that the
>> "ignorance" and "stupidity" of the person working in the pin factory was
>> the result of the nature of the work itself, not due to any inherent
>> properties of the working man himself - so his position was actually much
>> closer to Marx's position than to the Republican position today).
>> My concern, then, is that this isn't so much a matter as the consciousness
>> of a people as it is the practical stuff of the interactions that are to be
>> had there. If you are at all familiar with the feeling of a white working
>> class bar on the south side of Chicago, then you will appreciate the fact
>> that that there are things that one does and there are things that one
>> doesn't do when in such a place. One thing that one (generally) doesn't do
>> is to speak "like an academic". You're likely to get your ass kicked if you
>> talk that way. So then you, as a speaker in a working class bar, have to
>> choose (David, I like your idea of "volitional", but would imagine
>> different timescales of volitionalality, e.g., having multiple repertoires
>> and being able to choose among them in the moment vs. choosing to learn or
>> take on a different repertoire over a longer course of time). So, in the
>> bar, do you choose to risk appearing like an effete impudent intellectual
>> snob (David, I assume you recognize these words, and yes, these white
>> working class folks are largely Republican - Reagan-ites), or do you take
>> up the pose of the self-respecting white working class man who "tells it
>> like it is" (not how it "might be"!)?
>> The point is simply to beware of putting too much about the way people
>> speak into the people themselves. It is more often the case that the
>> contexts that people habitually encounter call forth certain ways of
>> speaking. But to say that these ways of speaking limit how they could
>> possibly speak/think, that seems a bit problematic for me.
>> And, without having read the pieces that you sent along David, the title of
>> the book from which the Cloran piece is taken (Pedagogy and the Shaping of
>> Consciousness) leaves me very anxious about precisely this point. It seems
>> a bit too much to argue that pedagogy can actually shape consciousness. But
>> I may well be reading too much into the title. Any further insights here
>> would be much appreciated.
>> p.s., David, perhaps you have been in this very situation?
>> On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 6:10 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> Yes, I was trying to keep it short.
>>> The key text is:
>>> Hasan, R. (1973). Code, Register, and Social Dialect. In Bernstein, B.
>>> (ed.) Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 2: Applied Studies towards a Sociology
>>> of Language. London: Routledge Kegan Paul.
>>> Halliday, M.A.K. (1972). Towards a Sociological Semantics. In Collected
>>> Works of M.A.K. Halliday, vol. 3, London: Continuum, pp. 323-354.
>>> The examples I gave were made up especially for you. I am not a native
>>> speaker of South Chicago English, but I remember thinking that "be"
>>> insertion is sometimes a sign of counteractuality (as in "They be sayin" as
>>> opposed to "they said" or "they say"), and so a sign of the conditional.
>>> That is, where North Chicago and Loop English will use "if" and then the
>>> future tense to express conditionality ("If you get that dirty, I'll smack
>>> you") South Chicago English uses the more direct form, the conjuntion
>>> "and", and then "be" insertion to suggest the conditional ("Get that dirty
>>> and I be hit yo up side yo face"). But I don't really know; this is one of
>>> those situations where we need an authentic speaker and not just a genuine
>>> Here are Hasan's examples (also made up).
>>> (10) If you climb up that wall you may hurt yourself.
>>> (11) You climb up that wall and I'll take a stick to you.
>>> (12) If you climb up that wall you may ruin your nice new shirt. (p. 69,
>>> but that's in my Chinese copy).
>>> Ruqaiya's point is that (10) and (12) differ in meaning but the difference
>>> doesn't cover the whole clause complex but only the result of the
>>> condition, whereas in (10) and (11) it covers the whole complex, including
>>> the way that the condition is worded: this suggests--but of course it
>>> doesn't prove--a more general, more genetic causation, rather than a merely
>>> functional one.
>>> I don't think any examples--Ruqaiya's or my own--are meant to be anything
>>> more than demonstrative, Greg. In order to see real evidence, we need very
>>> large data bases and some way of looking at significant wordings. This was
>>> done by Ruqaiya's student:
>>> Cloran, C. (1999) Contexts for learning. In Christie, F. (Ed) Pedagogy and
>>> the shaping of consciousness: Linguistic and social processes. London:
>>> Continuum, pp. 31-65.
>>> She compares categories like "action", "commentary", "observation",
>>> "reflection", "report", "account", "generalization", "plan", "prediction",
>>> "conjecture" and "recount' (storytelling). The big differences came in
>>> "generalization" (elaborated code +) and "action" (restricted code +), and
>>> the differences were statistically highly significant (Mann Whitney test).
>>> David Kellogg
>>> On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 8:24 AM, Greg Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>> Thanks for this elaboration (!) of Hasan, Bernstein, and a bit of
>>>> Very dense and lots for me to learn. I'm absorbing it as best I can...
>>>> Two clarification that might help me in my understanding:
>>>> 1. Are your a) and b) actual recorded examples of talk? I found the use
>>>> the habitual be to feel a bit out of place (unless the point was that the
>>>> parent was going to repeatedly (habitually) be hitting the child upside
>>>> their face).
>>>> 2. If these are actual examples of talk, could you help me make more
>>>> links between what Bernstein/Hasan have to say about these examples and
>>>> examples themselves? I think I'm getting the point about code vs. dialect
>>>> vs. register but I'm confused about the specific analysis you offer when
>>>> you write:
>>>> "Accordingly, in a restricted coding orientation, like b), the
>>>> is to sameness, to objective rules that bind us together in communal
>>>> solidarity, and therefore not towards individual choices.In an elaborated
>>>> coding orientation, like a), the orientation is to difference, to
>>>> individual motivation, and towards interdependence."
>>>> There is a leap here (perhaps justified) between the examples as I read
>>>> them and the claims about orientation and as a result I wasn't clear how
>>>> these features were manifest in the examples.
>>>> Sorry for being so restricted in my reading, and many thanks for your
>>>> multiple elaborations!
>>>> On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 3:44 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com>
>>>>> First of all, I appreciate--nay, I share--every moment of Paul's rage.
>>>>> even some of his incoherence, although I suspect some of it is due to
>>>>> use of a hand-held device. I really should have explained my comments
>>>>> Obama's speech much better. Yes, Henry--I did think it was stupid and
>>>>> heartless. It was stupid in its lack of logic (God makes things worse
>>>>> that we'll make them better) and its lack of irony (we don't deserve
>>>>> "grace" but God gives it to us anyway--out of the barrel of a racist's
>>>>> gun). It was heartless in its emphasis on healing (forgiveness is not
>>>>> an impossible but an impudent demand, because the only people who have
>>>>> right to forgive the killer are dead; what the survivors now need is
>>>>> Secondly, I'm really in awe of Greg's exegeses on Bernstein and Hymes,
>>>>> I don't think it at all beside the point. I am re-reading Ruqaiya's
>>>>> Collected Works right now, and there is a lot there, all of it
>>>>> But I want to extract only two points--Ruqaiya's careful distinction
>>>>> between dialect, register and code, and her rejection of the
>>>>> between competence and performance.
>>>>> Consider the following pair of sentences, spoken to two six year olds:
>>>>> a) If you get your new shirt dirty,you'll be sorry.
>>>>> b) Get dat dirty an I be hit you up side yo face.
>>>>> The difference in dialect extends right down from the meaning (the
>>>>> semantics), to the wording (the lexicogrammar), to the phonology (the
>>>>> "sounding"). It is also, contrary to what people think, mostly
>>>>> you can choose to lose your dialect, and many people do. You can also
>>>>> choose to acquire a new one, and when Paul complains about the
>>>>> inauthenticity of Obama's dialect he is pointing to the fact that it is
>>>>> voluntary (although I should point out that while Obama was indeed
>>>>> in a white family, he was also raised in a state where whites were a
>>>>> minority). Unlike Paul, I believe the voluntary quality of a dialect
>>> is a
>>>>> guarantee of its genuineness (that is, its meaningfulness to the user),
>>>>> I am not a big fan of authenticity (since I am mostly a second language
>>>>> user myself). Authentic dialects have an essentially conventional,
>>>>> meaningless relationship to the people who are born into them; genuine
>>>>> dialects have a relationship of choice (whether the user is born into
>>>>> dialect and chooses to retain it or the user has to learn it
>>>>> as an act of identity), and for that reason they are more meaningful
>>>>> (because for Ruqaiya meaning is always paradigmatic; it implies you
>>>>> have done or said something else but you didn't). Either way, a dialect
>>>>> a distinction of the user, and not of the use.
>>>>> The difference in register is much more slight; it does not include the
>>>>> phonology but it certainly does include the wording. Labov would
>>>>> concentrate on the non-standard use of the copula (and a lot of his
>>>>> argument on the complexity of AAVE has to do with the complex rules for
>>>>> copula insertion and deletion). Halliday would concentrate on other
>>>>> which are less formal: In one case, the newness of the shirt is
>>>>> while in the other it is left exotropic (that is, in the here and now
>>>>> rather than encoded eternally in the language). In one case, the
>>>>> consequence is left somewhat vague: it is quite possible, although
>>>>> unlikely, that the six year old will not interpret the utterance as a
>>>>> threat, while in the second it is much more specific and concrete.
>>>>> But the difference in code orientation is very clear, and my wife, who
>>>>> up with the Chinese equivalent of b) in her ears, recognized it
>>>>> immediately. Bernstein derived coding orientation from the ideas of
>>>>> Toennies, and in particular his distinction between Gemeinschaft
>>>>> (community, solidarity, mechanical unity) and Gesellschaft (society,
>>>>> interdependence, organic unity). In a Gemeinschaft, the emphasis is on
>>>>> you are not who you are, and in a Gesellschaft the emphasis is on your
>>>>> ineffability and irreplacabitlity. Accordingly, in a restricted coding
>>>>> orientation, like b), the orientation is to sameness, to objective
>>>>> that bind us together in communal solidarity, and therefore not towards
>>>>> individual choices.In an elaborated coding orientation, like a), the
>>>>> orientation is to difference, to individual motivation, and towards
>>>>> interdependence. Unlike dialect, it's not a difference in the way it
>>>>> and it's not restricted to the user: you could easily create elaborated
>>>>> coding orientations in South Chicago English, and people do. Unlike
>>>>> register, it's not a difference in the way things are worded and it is
>>>>> at all a function of particular uses of language. Coding orientation
>>> is a
>>>>> pattern of meaning--it's an instance of what Ruqaiya calls semantic
>>>>> variability, and it is related causally to class.
>>>>> Hymes accepts Chomsky's distinction between competence and
>>>>> fact, he multiplied it times four, because his construct of
>>>>> competence" actually includes four categories: whether or not something
>>>>> linguistically permissible, whether or not it is sociolinguistically
>>>>> appropriate, whether or not it is psycholinguistically feasible, and
>>>>> whether or not it is pragmatically done. But for Ruqaiya, such
>>>>> are dualisms--they imply an ideal competence divorced and actually not
>>>>> available for marriage to material performances: we can never really
>>>>> for example, in an instance of grammatical, sociolinguistic,
>>>>> psycholinguistic or pragmatic failure, whether the underlying
>>>>> there or not. For Ruqaiya, the only bifurcation--and it is a highly
>>>>> transient, ever-shifting one--is between the potential and the
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 5:06 AM, HENRY SHONERD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>>>> I ‘m waiting on David too! And I would love your question as to
>>>>>> Ruqaiya answers your conjecture:
>>>>>>> “...the efficacy of deployment of a code/style may not be a
>>>>>> the code/style or of the speaker but rather of the combination of
>>>>>> code/style, speaker, and context.”
>>>>>> I especially like that this issue is raised in the context of an
>>>>>> use of code shifting in the public eye. I suspect that Ruqaiya would
>>>>> like a
>>>>>> theory of grammar that can take on just such a language usage event.
>>>>>>> On Jun 30, 2015, at 9:54 AM, email@example.com wrote:
>>>>>>> Henry, this raises a question that is similar to the one that Hymes
>>>>>> raises with regard to Bernstein, namely, what is the effect of the
>>>>> of a
>>>>>> given code/style?
>>>>>>> Hymes' concern is that Bernstein assumes that a code is a thing
>>>>>> properties all by itself, outside of the contexts of use.
>>>>>>> As for obamas eulogy, my sense from listening to the audio was that
>>>>>> was VERY well received by the audience. Maybe someone has evidence to
>>>>>>> But this would make an important point that the efficacy of
>>>>>> of a code/style may not be a property of the code/style or of the
>>>>>> but rather of the combination of code/style, speaker, and context.
>>>>>>> Is this ground that is covered by Hasan?
>>>>>>> (And I wouldn't want to take away from that discussion but this
>>>>>> help provide more clarity with regard to what exactly she was up to).
>>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>>>> On Jun 30, 2015, at 12:25 AM, HENRY SHONERD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>>>>>> Ouch! Paul blew my cover. And President Obama’s as well.
>>>>>> he’s not the code shifter I thought he was and my ear is just not
>>>>>> enough to hear it. Maybe I didn’t want to hear. I have been so
>>>>>> with what is happening with our political “leadership” in this
>>>> country, I
>>>>>> didn’t want to believe the president’s eulogy was one more charade.
>>>>>> the amazing Supreme Court decisions last week put me in a state of
>>>>>> and I just didn’t want to come down. But, is there no middle ground
>>>>>> Obama is at least seen to be trying, in good faith, to connect with
>>>>>> who ARE adequate representatives of African American English
>>>>>> One might say that Obama learned AAEV as a second dialect and will
>>>>>> have a “foreign accent” in it. I am wondering how the audience in
>>>>>> church in Charleston, especially those who have truly lived the
>>>>>> prophetic tradition", felt about Obama’s attempts at code shifting.
>>>>>>>> I hope this post is seen more as an attempt to move the discussion
>>>>>> issues dear to Ruqaiya, especially code, than as a pol
>> [The entire original message is not included.]