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[Xmca-l] Re: A supplement to David's reflection on Translatability



Huw,
Aren't ethics by definition normalizing?
Maybe we mean something different by this term?
-greg

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 10:08 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Well, I'm not sure that this is what Larry's intent was, but it does have
> obvious relevance.
>
> It seems to me that one can "escape" normalisation, if one is ethical.
> Ethics are what defines a profession.  Without ethics we are merely guns
> for hire.
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
> On 2 January 2016 at 16:57, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Yes, I see the contradiction there. I had the same reaction when I first
> > heard MS say it in his Language in Culture seminar (MS is not afraid to
> > repeat himself, indeed, in his short manuscript on Abe Lincoln, he notes
> > that the Gettysburg address had a long history in Abe's mouth and among
> his
> > friends prior to being said in its canonical version).
> >
> > If I may give the sympathetic reading, one might make the anthropological
> > argument that one must fully inhabit an oppressive regime in order to
> > understand it. Thus, using his Wizard of Oz metaphor, we might say that
> the
> > position that MS is inhabiting is simultaneously Toto and the Wizard.
> >
> > I think that this can provide the seeds of revolutionary action by
> exposing
> > the workings of power to critique by others who can see those
> > inner-workings but without having to fully participate in them.
> >
> > [and perhaps this goes back to an older question I have about
> understanding
> > a system from the "inside" as opposed to from the "outside" - or perhaps
> in
> > a more Gadamerian sense we might just speak about these as two different
> > horizons of understanding the system?].
> >
> > -greg
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 9:34 AM, Martin John Packer <
> > mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > No, my point was that one the one hand we have a call to be
> > > "citizen-scientists" in the face of oppression, while on the other hand
> > we
> > > have a confession that although the university is "at the highest
> > pinnacle
> > > of what you might call the oppressive regime" grading will continue as
> > > usual.
> > >
> > > If we can't change the very institution we work in, what kind of
> > > citizen-scientists are we?
> > >
> > > Martin
> > >
> > > On Jan 2, 2016, at 11:10 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Martin,
> > > > I'm not clear on what the expectation was that the speakers were
> > setting
> > > up?
> > > > To pull back the curtain to reveal the role that language plays in
> > social
> > > > stratification?
> > > > You don't suppose that this can be found elsewhere in their work?
> > > ("their"
> > > > in the generic sense of "linguistic anthropologists' work").
> > > > Seems a tall order to fill in a single conversation between just two
> > > people.
> > > > -greg
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 6:52 AM, Martin John Packer <
> > > mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >>> Its only disappointing if you thought that anything else could come
> > out
> > > >> of
> > > >>> it.   Note that this was uttered in the context of ethics.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Best, Huw
> > > >>
> > > >> But the speakers themselves set up this expectation! Here are the
> > > >> remaining remarks:
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: Yes, exactly. Indeed there are norms even of these other
> > components,
> > > >> these non-denotational components as we were saying. They're
> > understood
> > > in
> > > >> terms of a folk system of enrigisterment, but there's lots of other
> > > >> variation as well that people are actually behaving in terms of and
> > > working
> > > >> in terms of. But this one particular, massively complex system - to
> > > which
> > > >> indeed the aspiration of working under the umbrella of
> superdiversity
> > > >> responds - is indeed a complex one in which people confuse standard
> > > >> register with normativity in the first place, and they confuse
> > language
> > > >> with denotational structure. So all of these sorts of things that
> > we've
> > > >> taken decades and decades to pull apart, at least so that they
> become
> > > >> visible to us as students of languaging, as it were get collapsed
> into
> > > one.
> > > >> And most importantly and - as you pointed out - most tellingly, they
> > > become
> > > >> instruments of oppression and stratification.
> > > >>
> > > >> JB: At the individual level.
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: At the individual level, through various kinds of
> > institutionalized
> > > >> forms so that you are summoned as a citizen-scientist to say: 'Where
> > do
> > > I
> > > >> stand on using my knowledge to, as it were, maybe illuminate people,
> > > maybe
> > > >> reveal what's going on.'
> > > >>
> > > >> JB: At least show what's going on. That's the least we can do.
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: That's the least we can do. There is a wonderful scene in the
> 1939
> > > >> Hollywood movie 'The Wizard of Oz' in which...
> > > >>
> > > >> JB: 'The witch is dead'
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: no no it's not that the witch is dead
> > > >>
> > > >> JB: ...a hit a few weeks ago when Margaret Thatcher died
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: that's a different story! Leave the Baroness out of this...
> there
> > > is a
> > > >> wonderful scene in which Toto - the little dog of Dorothy - pulls
> > back a
> > > >> curtain when you see the mountebank, the snake-oil salesman, working
> > the
> > > >> levers of the machine that's running this thing which supports
> > > [purports?]
> > > >> to be Oz. And we can certainly try to be that little Toto.
> > > >>
> > > >> JB: So on that note thank you very very much, Michael.
> > > >>
> > > >> MS: Well it's always a pleasure to talk to you guys!
> > > >>
> > > >> On Jan 1, 2016, at 11:38 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>> On 2 January 2016 at 03:04, Martin John Packer <
> > > mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
> > > >>> wrote:
> > > >>>
> > > >>>> It's a little disappointing that they oppressed their own
> > conversation
> > > >> at
> > > >>>> the following point, no?
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> Martin
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> MS [Michael Silverstein]:  I say to my students all the time: 'now
> > > that
> > > >>>> I've revealed to you the entire massive machinery of
> > socio-linguistic
> > > >>>> oppression, of stratification around the standard and so on, that
> > will
> > > >> not
> > > >>>> stop me from correcting your papers because my institution is at
> the
> > > >>>> highest pinnacle of what you might call the oppressive regime'.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> JB [Jan Blommaert]: Absolutely. And at the same time - maybe this
> > > could
> > > >> be
> > > >>>> a useful conclusion of this conversation - at the same time it
> > proves
> > > >> also
> > > >>>> that there is no absence of norms, there is no shortage of norms
> > even
> > > >> in a
> > > >>>> sociocultural organization of language. Normativity is everywhere.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> On Jan 1, 2016, at 9:16 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>> I decided to start a new thread because I did not want to shift
> the
> > > >>>> focus that David’s thread opened up on myth busting.
> > > >>>>> However, I do want to share a paper on the topic of
> translatability
> > > and
> > > >>>> the uses of standardization that does overlap somewhat with the
> > other
> > > >>>> thread.
> > > >>>>> The format is a conversation between Michael Silverstein, Jef Van
> > de
> > > >> Aa,
> > > >>>> and Jan Blommaert.
> > > >>>>> Entering this conversation exploring the notion of
> translatability
> > > as a
> > > >>>> culturally bound philosophical construct may have some relevance
> for
> > > the
> > > >>>> other thread ongoing.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>>> <NOVEMBER 4 2014 390 BLOMMAERT and
> > > Silverstein_in_conversation.pdf>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > > Assistant Professor
> > > > Department of Anthropology
> > > > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > > Brigham Young University
> > > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
>



-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson