Re: [xmca] social-societal

From: Mary K. Bryson (
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 11:52:58 PST

I don't know what are the specific "misgivings" about subjectivity. However,
when I was working on my re-thinking of the CHAT model in preparation for my
AERA CHAT SIG last Spring, Stetsenko's work was absolutely critical to my
attempts to articulate what I needed the triangle to do by way of the scope
of its analytic reach. The major shift that I wanted to enable was to
consider practices of subjectification -- of subject formation -- as
significant forms of activity requiring careful analysis --- As far as I am
concerned there is no way to write about subjectivity without folding into
the analysis insights from post-structural work (like Foucault) and from
object relations. A very helpful text to start with here is one of the
latest from Judith Butler, (2005) Giving an Account of Oneself...

Where CHAT is useful is in drawing connections between social units,
artifacts, and leading activities -- back to Stetsenko -- the self as
leading activity....

I am going to cite critical segments from my AERA paper here:

Following the logic of Stetsenko and Arievitch, a materialist ontology of
subjectivity takes seriously the study of what mediates the ongoing and
complex production of self "as a leading activity". ... In this context,
then, ³virtually queer² marks the intersection between the performative, ³in
progress² and endlessly deferred temporalities of queer self and community
making as leading activities, and their material and spatial manifestations
and permutations mediated by networked collectivities.

So, how might we want to think about learning ³to do² queer and the
relationships between social networks, artifacts, and the, of necessity,
unfinished project of ³becoming queer²? Lave and Wengerıs (1991)
sociocultural model of learning as ³legitimate peripheral participation²
reframes and repositions learning from an individual (and cognate) process
of knowledge acquisition, to the politically invested negotiation of
participation in various communities of practice where engagement, mediated
by discourse, social relations and cultural artifacts, dialectically
produces both identity and the rumpled fabric of community coherence and
continuity, as well as incoherence and discontinuity.

It is, at this juncture, critical to point out that there are significant
aporias in LPP, as in other CHAT models, that in the case of my project,
coalesce around moments of undecideability regarding power, alterity and the
politics of difference. Diane Hodges eloquent MCA article gives us an
insightful analysis of the latter, which I donıt have time to get into

Ethnographic accounts of the struggle to forge queer community, create queer
space, and engage in the complex and intersectional practices of self
formation highlight particular spatial, relational, and mediated elements.


On 11/8/05 10:41 AM, "Mike Cole" <> wrote:

> Sasha-- Just one note where there is misunderstanding in the conversation.
> The issue of social/societal makes a difference to many.I wish who discussed
> exactly this issue at ISCAR. Social, in Anglo-US discouse, is often a way of
> reducing "THE SOCIAL" to two people having a phone conversation, any sort of
> interaction. The term societal has been invoked as a way of blocking this
> form
> of reductionism.
> Could somone, other than Anna who uses the term subjectivity and knows well
> how to use it in their work please respond to the misgivings about its use
> that
> I tried asking about some days ago? And Joe asked about in a different way
> today?
> I think that it might help us sort out misunderstandings from disagreements.
> mike
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Dec 01 2005 - 01:00:07 PST