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[Xmca-l] Re: Interesting to think about: the social springs of giving
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Interesting to think about: the social springs of giving
- From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 20:17:49 +1100
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I watched the story.
I already knew about Make-a-Wish so it was no surprise, but
Mike's point was of course the way MaW became a vehicle for
a fantastic wave of building social fabric.
XMCAers are all going to be interested in any idea which can
lead to building this kind of *trust* in a community. Trust
is basically what "social capital" is, but the point is only
how does one go about *building* that trust? Robert Putnam
says almost any doing-something-together will have this
effect, and took choir groups as his typical example.
Personally, I think MaW would do better than choir groups,
but that's not the point. Putnam's own data in his original
study in Italy actually showed that the best predictor of
social capital was having a PCI local government, which was
inconvenient for Putnam's theory, so he just excluded this
from his results.
The story this week in Australia has been about Tamworth,
famous for an annual Country Music festival, but otherwise a
typical remote outback town. It is now building a
Pharmaceutical plant. How did this huge change happen? A
young boy had bowel cancer and his mother, a good member of
the Country Women's Association, discovered that cannabis
was the only medication which relieved the pain and nausea
the boy was suffering. She took up the cause. While
illegally acquiring cannabis she started lobbying government
to legalise medical cannabis and she won, though the whole
business will take a year or so to implement. And Tamworth
will be all set to market it. She has gathered a huge social
movement and local support radiating out from Tamworth.
My point. Make-a-Wish worked for North East Arkansas, partly
because of one child who lived to champion it. Cannabis
legalisation and production worked for Tamworth.
As Myles Horton said:
What you must do is go back, get a simple place,
move in and you are there. The situation is there.
You start with this and let it grow. You know your
goal. It will build its own structure and take its
On 20/10/2015 4:00 AM, mike cole wrote:
What did you make of the CBS segment, Jay? Does it provide useful example
of principle of community's in Turner?
On Monday, October 19, 2015, Jay Lemke <email@example.com> wrote:
For an interesting approach to "community", I'd recommend Edith Turner's
"Communitas". Ethnographic deepening of late Victor Turner's concept.
LCHC/Department of Communication
University of California - San Diego
On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 8:58 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, indeed I am interested, Mike.
Critiquing the concept of "social capital" and developing an alternative
concept of "social solidarity" and searching for a suitable unit of
analysis was how I got started down the track I have been on ever since
then, about 2003. What is the difference between community as in all
living in such and such town, and "real" community? Robert Putnam had
assembled evidence that almost any collective activity fosters what he
called "social capital." The problem was that he couldn't distinguish
between the mafia taking root in a community and a community taking
of crime on its streets, etc. His classic "example" activity was the
formation of choir groups, proven promoters of collective "wealth".
On 19/10/2015 2:07 PM, mike cole wrote:
I found a segment of the American weekly TV program, 60 minutes, more
usually interesting this evening, and one segment in particular
seemed to have a lot of relevance to many different interests of people
xmca. The topic was the the activities of the "Make a Wish Foundation."
Of the very many issues that the program discusses, one which I found
particularly interesting was the ability of the organized practice of
raising money to give seriously ill children "a last wish" is one that
particular relevance to questions about the mechanisms of social
solidarity. In small towns in northern Arkansas, a relatively poor and
of the part of the US, people raise amazing amounts of money to provide
special experience for kids who are dying of some disease that has not
known current cure. What particularly caught my attention especially is
powerful effect that participation in the money raising and the
social organization of the activities, has on community members across
several generations, from peers to grandparents. In one sense, it seems
that everything is so focuses on the individual kid that it is "just a
manifestation of late capitalist individualism." If effects on the kids
interesting, but it is the reflected effect on the community pretty
generally, and the emergence of strong personal bonds in particular that
caught me most.
Andy might find this interesting as an example of a project.
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/topics/60-minutes/ click on make a