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[Xmca-l] Re: Does the All-Stars article document a social movement?
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Does the All-Stars article document a social movement?
- From: Helena Worthen <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:18:31 +0700
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David, please clarify your description of the curriculum reforms in Korea. Maybe I misunderstood? Are you saying that the union — the Jeongyojo - is studying the curricula in the Scandinavian countries for students who are planning to get jobs as HR or union leaders (like an Industrial Relations degree in the US or Canada)? Or is this a curriculum for K-12 students?
We have just been told that the VGCL, the unitary (represents everyone, no autonomous unions allowed) labor union in Viet Nam, feeling itself under pressure to reform as foreign direct investment firms (FDI) from the US, Korea, Australia, China, etc bring free market labor relations to a country that still has a socialist culture in many respects, has decided to re-boot itself in the “customer satisfaction” mode, including providing credit cards, supermarkets, recreational facilities for its members.There is of course a debate going on inside the VGCL over this.
So I am asking if it is in fact the union, the Joengyojo, that would adopt this curriculum for its members.They would not be unique.
We feel very lucky to be able to teach collective bargaining at all.
Berkeley, CA 9470 Phone VN 0168 4628562
Blog US/ Viet Nam:
> On Oct 12, 2017, at 6:03 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
> I thought Helena's contribution was completely a propos, Andy. (I also
> think that your own position makes no sense. On the one hand, the whole
> question of what social movement is can be dismissed as "useless". On the
> other hand, the moment when a social movement stops moving is a "useful
> Helena was able to articulate exactly what I felt about the article
> (including her remark about the artistry of the prose and the necessity of
> publishing it). She was actually addressing TWO of the five questions that
> Mike raised in his comments on the plenary on social movements in Quebec
> a) Studying a social movement is not at all the same thing as advancing it,
> and in fact in many instances the two are quite antithetical; perhaps in a
> majority the two ends are simply indifferent to each other. In Yrjo
> Engestrom's presentation, what usually transpired was that the researched
> were interested in "growing" or "de-growing" the movement while the
> researchers simply wanted to study it as it was; in this instance, the
> roles are pretty much reversed: Carrie is interested in advancing a
> movement towards social justice, but the movement itself seems almost
> indifferent to those goals.
> b) Not all social movements are progressive, and in many cases the
> unprogressive, institutionalized, petering-out ones are the ones that we
> most need to study and to understand. Actually, Yrjo's plenary had as a
> subordinate goal understanding why the "Occupy" movement disappeared so
> rapidly after the election of Trump.
> Helena--here in Korea, our own trade union movement, the Jeongyojo, is busy
> studying the curriculum reforms underway in the Scandinavian countries
> (Norway, Finland, Lithuania). I have just trudged through several hundred
> pages of this stuff. So many programmes for instilling the spirit of
> "entrepreneurs" in the children, so many visits by local business leaders,
> and not one by leaders of the union movement. So much on how to be a
> consumer, how to open a bank account, how to manage a credit card. Not
> one word on how to collectively bargain, how to read a contract, how to
> discuss conditions with your workmates. This kind of curriculum is also
> part of the problem, not part of the solution.
> David Kellogg
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 7:17 PM, Helena Worthen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Ok, I see I was answering the wrong question. Apologies for not having
>> remembered enough of the previous relevant thread to see why people were
>> talking about social movements. Shall I re-think this with a different
>> question in mind?
>> Sitting in my university housing room on a very rainy afternoon in Ho Chi
>> Minh City, after teaching a class in bargaining to students enrolled in the
>> Faculty of Environment and Labor Protections. These are undergraduates
>> who will have jobs inspecting and remediating environmental and workplace
>> hazards. Where else do you find an undergrad major like that?
>> Helena Worthen
>> Berkeley, CA 9470 Phone VN 0168 4628562
>> Blog US/ Viet Nam:
>> skype: helena.worthen1
>>> On Oct 12, 2017, at 3:53 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> Helena, the assessment of the All Stars Project Inc. as a
>>> "social movement" is nothing to do with what takes place
>>> between the kids who are recruited into the program and the
>>> adult organisers. It is to do with the process described on
>>> pp. 221-222 in which group of good citizens around the US
>>> and in other countries pick up the All Stars franchise, or
>>> emulate it under a different name and do what they take to
>>> be good work in helping poor kids. What makes it relevant
>>> from a social movement point of view is this *proliferation*
>>> and emulation, with people freely associating themselves
>>> with the project by their own free will to join with its
>>> objective, rather than for reward. Apparently this process
>>> has been rolling on for 36 years.
>>> Generally speaking I think the question of whether this is
>>> or is not a social movement is a useless question; it is the
>>> dynamic of spreading from an isolated solution to a social
>>> problem, proliferating through others freely participating
>>> towards the project's object and eventually either dying out
>>> or becoming an institution which makes the "social movement"
>>> lens useful.
>>> Andy Blunden
>>> On 12/10/2017 7:05 PM, Helena Worthen wrote:
>>>> Sorry to be so late to the conversation. I would not characterize the
>> All Stars activity described in the Lobman paper as part of a social
>>>> I will accept that by bringing a group of disadvanged minority youth to
>> the offices of a bank in Manhattan and having them engage a group of bank
>> employees in some theater games, both groups can learn something. I can
>> also see that because the rules of the theater games create a “stage” for a
>> performance that would never happen under the rules of the bank office
>> culture, participants on both sides get a glimpse of 1) how much behavior
>> is governed by the unspoken rules and 2) the reality that those rules can
>> be temporarily suspended or changed. This lesson my be transferrable to a
>> social movement context - for example, Occupy changed the rules about
>> whether you could create andmove into a tent city in a small public park
>> not far from where that bank may have been located.
>>>> But I don’t think that’s what the article about. If this activity is
>> part of a social movement, what social movement are we talking about? The
>> civil rights movement? There’s nothing in here about the collective power
>> of the minority youth to change the balance of power that keeps them poor.
>>>> The paper raises a couple of other points for me. One is that I don’t
>> think you can always assume and equation between performance and play. The
>> performance that these youths engaged in was very tightly controlled and
>> rehearsed, led by adults who bridged the two worlds. The youth did not
>> really “play” in any sense other than that they performed. Therefore to me
>> the thread that Lobman follows from early childhood play through adult
>> performance breaks in the middle for me. Lobman touches on this
>> discontinuity on page 221in the final paragraphs before the next section,
>> but she doesn’t really fix it and I don’t think she can. To me, this means
>> that a different theoretical basis (not play as a developmental activity
>> available to children through adulthood)is needed.
>>>> The other point that I felt begged for attention was the way the paper
>> mentioned but avoided expanding on some stark realities. A group of
>> minority kids, Black and Latino, are bused into Manhattan. The race of the
>> group leaders is not given; one at least might be Black, but it is not
>> clarified. They have what may be their first experiences with getting past
>> Bank security and into express elevators. They do their performances for a
>> group of White office workers who are undoubtedly on paid time and under
>> orders to cooperate, even to being told to “volunteer.” In between
>> performances, the youth are given small group lessons about credit and
>> debit cards.
>>>> No doubt this is a valuable lesson. However, what becomes of the
>> information that youth provide that credit cards are used to buy food, pay
>> hospital bills, and fix cars — all desperation purchases, borrowing money
>> to cover things necessary to keep life going? It just floats past without
>>>> So my problem with the article is that is brings highly developed
>> analytic skills and months of investment of reasearch time to studying a
>> situation but that it looks at it askew — it’s like taking a photo of a
>> crowd in motion and choosing to talk about the different brands of sneakers
>> the people are wearing. The phrase ‘white blind spot” keeps coming into my
>> mind, when I think about what the author chooses to comment on and what to
>> look away from.
>>>> This is obviously a huge, well-run program with a big budget.Is it part
>> of a social movement? I would say that not only is it not part of a social
>> movement, it’s actually part of the problem.Think what that money could do
>> if it was spent in the public school system itself, instead of a non-profit
>> that draws tax deduction donations from businesses.
>>>> Really well-written, though. Very publishable.
>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>> Berkeley, CA 9470 Phone VN 0168 4628562
>>>> Blog US/ Viet Nam:
>>>> skype: helena.worthen1
>>>>> On Oct 12, 2017, at 8:13 AM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Helena!
>>>>> Can you also come to Colin's assistance in discussing the paper about
>>>>> All-Stars that is the article de jeur? Andy raised the question of
>>>>> its worthwhile to think about whether such efforts constitute social
>>>>> movements. But I am interested in the question.
>>>>> When I do a project like the 5thDimension, and what starts out as just
>>>>> another design experiment turns into a study of sustainability because
>>>>> "catches on", I do not think of myself as studying social movements.
>>>>> when an organization has a budget of 10 million dollars a year, and
>>>>> operates on such a large, institutionalized scale, and keeps pushing
>>>>> for social justice by organizing resistance to forced removal from
>>>>> it seems a whole lot like a social movement to me.
>>>>> "What," to quote our friend, Eugene, "do you think?"
>>>>> On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 5:58 PM, Helena Worthen <
>>>>>> Yes, I will certainly come to Colin’s assistance!! This is a
>>>>>> small conference where students from PhD programs in various countries
>>>>>> (mostly Europe and the US, and the presentations are in English) come
>>>>>> bring research that I’ve found fascinating both for theoretical
>>>>>> and sheer fresh content. Also presenting are mentors and professors
>> of the
>>>>>> students and some people like myself and Joe who come unattached,
>> just to
>>>>>> learn. Colin organizes enough pub and restaurant activities to
>>>>>> plenty of side conversations.
>>>>>> We are seriously thinking of coming again this spring, despite being
>>>>>> Viet Nam right now. Manchester is an endlessly interesting city with
>>>>>> manageable museums, especially for labor educators. Manchester
>>>>>> is a short bus ride away from City Center but also near some low-cost
>>>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>>>> Berkeley, CA 9470 Phone VN 0168 4628562
>>>>>> Blog US/ Viet Nam:
>>>>>> skype: helena.worthen1