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[Xmca-l] Re: What are we doing here?



Great question Rod!

As to the answer, as John Cage was fond of saying: "no why, just here."

Okay, fair enough. But it seems like the question deserves a more
thoughtful answer than this.

I suppose if I were entirely honest, I find this to be a nice place to hang
out and learn and occasionally I try to use the listserve to put something
out there in the interest of getting some feedback to help develop it. I've
had much more success with the former than the latter.

I do wonder what the mission statement of this listserve would be if there
were such a thing. It seems like we don't engage with MCA nearly as much as
we should if that were to be the goal of the listserve.

Other than that, I would guess that the mission statement would be
something like: it's a place for people who are interested in CHAT to hang
out and talk about stuff that they care about (sometimes CHAT and MCA
related, sometimes not).

Is that too cynical? Or is that just about right?

Perhaps someone else can give a better statement of what the listserve is
"about"? (and I hate to even get into the question of what it SHOULD be -
I'd rather live it and see what works that deliberate about what that life
should look like, but, sure, there is some value in doing the former).

Thanks for your question/contribution Rod. Right to the point.
-greg

On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
wrote:

> This is a good contribution. Thanks -- H
>
> Helena Worthen
> helenaworthen@gmail.com
> Vietnam blog: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>
> On Nov 4, 2016, at 2:30 AM, Rod Parker-Rees wrote:
>
> > I am an interested but time-poor lurker on the margins of xmca but the
> ripples stirred by Mike's decision to reduce his pastoral contribution to
> our community have made me question how different participants understand
> what kind of activity we are engaging in here.
> >
> > It seems to me that each of us may understand the social form of what we
> are doing in different ways. For some it is like a conversation and we feel
> disappointed or hurt if our contributions are met with silence or if the
> chain moves on in a different direction. For others we are a working group,
> collaborating to develop a practical and ethical theoretical model. For
> others we are something like a conference, where thoughts and ideas can be
> put before others for their consideration and response - and I am sure
> there are many other ways in which different people understand their
> participation differently.
> >
> > Does this matter? Would xmca be 'better' if it was more consistent, more
> coherent, more tightly and predictably governed by shared social
> understandings? While more explicit regulation (protocols for labelling
> streams and posts and for timing of responses etc.) might help to make our
> activity feel more inclusive and more sharable it may also introduce new
> kinds of discomfort.
> >
> > What I have found interesting in my time around the margins of xmca is
> the challenge of sustaining conversations without all the non-verbal
> feedback which we rely on when we talk with people. When 'wordings' float
> off into the ether, cast off from the body and personhood of their speakers
> or writers they become objects which can be scrutinised and revisited and
> this can be a reason for 'lurkers' to feel reluctant about contributing.
> What we are doing is not a conversation. Nor is it even a forum, in the
> sense of people taking turns to orate before a crowd, because contributors
> often get very little phatic feedback from the lurkers and may have very
> little sense of how their arguments have been understood or received. But
> we are moved by our understandings of what it is and is not OK to do, which
> come from other kinds of interactions. Can I say something if I have not
> been part of what has gone before? Should I respond or stay quiet? What
> should I do if I am annoyed or angered by something someone else has
> contributed?
> >
> > I am already getting anxious about how what I have said might be
> interpreted by others and feeling I have had a long enough turn but I would
> be really interested to hear what others think about why we are here!
> >
> > I have found what people do here very helpful but I do feel uneasy about
> risking contributions!
> >
> > All the best,
> >
> > Rod
> > ________________________________
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-- 
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
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