Re: [xmca] homo academicus

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth who-is-at uvic.ca>
Date: Wed Oct 24 2007 - 15:36:55 PDT

Hi Jay,
I always thought of the relation between habitus and field as
dialectical and thus not deterministic. I think this is the position
Sewell takes (1992, AJS) when he elaborates his structure|agency
dialectic, which was designed to deal with shortcomings in the
Bourdieu and Giddens' frameworks.
Cheers,
Michael

On 24-Oct-07, at 2:02 PM, Jay Lemke wrote:

In some ways the social habitus is a prison, but of course it is also
a resource. It allows us to do some things, and perhaps do them as
"second nature", but then it also limits what we are likely to do and
we tend to do it. The habitus for ideas and values lets us live
together and cooperate, but it may also limit our imaginations for
alternatives. It leads us to accept many things that perhaps we
should not accept, or to not even see them, but it also then lets us
get on with other business.

We do not often enough examine our political positions within the
academic field and how our positions there set up relationships also
outside the field. Bourdieu became quite unpopular with many of his
academic colleagues in France for making such a public examination in
his published work.

The price of a truly reflexive sociology?

JAY.

At 12:01 AM 10/23/2007, you wrote:
> I think so. The inquisitorial accusations against one of the earlier
> metioned "real heroes", Giordano Bruno, never mentioned his defense of
> Copernican heliocentrism, but focused on his theological writings. The
> animistic occultist Bruno didn’t die a martyr for the cause of
> modern science.
> Of course, Francis Bacon was also interested in magic and
> milenarianism; Tycho
> Brahe's vast collection of observations was made primarily for
> astrological
> purposes, Kepler believed that the universe was constructed around
> geometrical
> forms and musical harmonies, fellows of the Royal Society defended the
> existence of witches and Newton was a devoted alchemist.
>
> Bourdieu, earlier mentioned by Paul D., referred to "the universe
> of prejudice,
> repression, and omission that everyday successful education makes
> you accept,
> and makes you remain unaware of, tracing out that magic circle of
> powerless
> complacency in which the elite schools imprison their
> elect" (Bourdieu quoted
> in Reed-Danahay, Deborah. Locating Bourdieu. Bloomington, IN: Indiana
> University Press, 2004:51).
>
> Bourdieu echoed the Durkheimian sense of "mechanical solidarity" in
> traditional
> society, in that a shared body of knowledge, including ways of
> moving, slang,
> and jokes, was transmitted as a secondary habitus. He termed this
> community
> a "magical prison" of which the teachers were "ostensibly the
> guards", even
> though they were themselves prisoners/products of this same system.
> The
> teachers exert their influence through the "charisma of office"
> and "consecrate" the students by awarding prizes, titles, and
> certificates."
>
> In Homo Academicus, he wrote that "it is not, as is usually
> thought, political
> stances that separate people’s stances on things academic, but
> their positions
> in the academic field which inform the stances that they adopt on
> political
> issues in general as well as on academic problems."
>
> E.
>
> On 2007-10-23, at 05:40, Jay Lemke wrote:
> >
> > "Unscientific" viewpoints will necessarily play a
> > role in whatever cultural advances humanity
> > manages in the future to move beyond science,
> > just as "un-religious" viewpoints were in the
> > development of what passes today for (sometimes) more enlightened
> thought..
> >
> > No?
> >
> > JAY.
> >
> > At 08:03 PM 10/22/2007, you wrote:
> >>David P,
> >>
> >>It remains diffuse to me what you mean by "doing science." The
> Steve Connor
> >>comment says a lot of things (as already mentioned: representing
> a more
> >>balanced view). The issue here (as far as I am
> >>concerned) is not to decide "who
> >>is right" (that would be outside the scope of my
> >>competence, anyway) but rather
> >>to emphasize the scholarly legitimacy or value of conflicting
> views, of
> >>multivocal/polyphonic (or, perhaps, cacophonic) discourses. The
> papers you
> >>referred to earlier, seem to me to represent that kind of
> "cacophony."
> >>
> >>Eirik.
> >>
> >>On 2007-10-22, at 22:08, David Preiss wrote:
> >> > Eirik,
> >> >
> >> > The Steve Connor comment you send us (second link below) tells
> >> > exactly why JW was not doing science at all. Particularly, why
> you
> >> > can't infer from an heritability ratio a conclusion about the
> >> > intelligence of people that works with you (as Watson say). On
> the
> >> > other hand, something can be statistically heritable and not
> genetic
> >> > at all. A nice explanation is in the Sternberg, Grigorenko and
> Kidd
> >> > paper I sent before.
> >> > David
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > David
> >> >
> >> > On Oct 22, 2007, at 3:16 PM, E. Knutsson wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> Amanda,
> >> >>
> >> >> JW's comment (http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/
> >> >> article3075642.ece)
> >> >> concludes with this request: "[W]e as scientists, wherever we
> wish
> >> >> to place
> >> >> ourselves in this great debate, should take care in claiming
> what are
> >> >> unarguable truths without the support of evidence."
> >> >>
> >> >> Some of the other comments also seem to give a more balanced
> view:
> >> >>
> >> >> http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article3070538.ece
> >> >>
> >> >> http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/
> article3075640.ece
> >> >>
> >> >> "Curtailing free debate is almost always a mistake. Allowing
> >> >> scientists and
> >> >> individuals to air their theories openly does not validate
> them. On
> >> >> the
> >> >> contrary it allows them to be refuted."
> >> >>
> >> >> Eirik.
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> On 2007-10-21, at 01:26, Amanda Brovold wrote:
> >> >>> Just for the record, it sounds to me as if Watson has
> suggested he
> >> >>> may have
> >> >>> been misquoted. In the article linked to 3 messages below he
> >> >>> says: "I can
> >> >>> understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was
> quoted as
> >> >>> saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To
> >> >>> those who have
> >> >>> drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a
> continent, is
> >> >>> somehow
> >> >>> genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly.
> This is
> >> >>> not what I
> >> >>> meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no
> >> >>> scientific basis
> >> >>> for such a belief." I am not sure why the first two
> sentences of
> >> >>> this quote
> >> >>> are generally left off when it is repeated. Such common
> >> >>> occurrences though
> >> >>> (even on this very list) lead me to believe it is plausible
> that
> >> >>> what Watson
> >> >>> said my not have been as appalling as what has been passed
> around
> >> >>> makes it
> >> >>> seem. I agree that it seems certain he has a view I very much
> >> >>> disagree with
> >> >>> and seems to be contradicted by the preponderance of evidence.
> >> >>> However, I
> >> >>> find un-thoughtful knee-jerk responses to such views to be at
> >> >>> least as
> >> >>> dangerous as the views themselves. I have heard people stress
> >> >>> that it is
> >> >>> important for academics to respond appropriately to events
> such as
> >> >>> these. I
> >> >>> very much agree, it is important for experts in the relevant
> >> >>> fields to
> >> >>> correct any misunderstandings that stories like this are
> likely to
> >> >>> perpetuate. It is also extremely important though for the
> academy to
> >> >>> remember that academic freedom is absolutely vital. As
> appalling
> >> >>> as views
> >> >>> expressed by one academic may be, the expression of
> controversial
> >> >>> view
> >> >>> points simply cannot be allowed to threaten the protections
> >> >>> necessary for
> >> >>> inquiry to be carried out.
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Something else to consider, phrased a different way, I feel
> >> >>> confident that
> >> >>> many people outraged by Watson's remarks would agree that in
> fact
> >> >>> there are
> >> >>> differences in the intelligences of different people, often
> >> >>> correlated with
> >> >>> differences in culture. These are not differences in terms
> of one
> >> >>> being
> >> >>> overall superior to another, but I do not think that reading is
> >> >>> forced by
> >> >>> the words that have been quoted without context, even if
> they are
> >> >>> accurate.
> >> >>> It is at least possible that Watson, as he now seems to claim,
> >> >>> really meant
> >> >>> to refer to differences without evaluating them. And isn't the
> >> >>> recognition
> >> >>> of the complexity of intelligence one of the things that makes
> >> >>> many of the
> >> >>> outraged so upset about IQ testing?
> >> >>>
> >> >>> -Amanda
> >> >>>
> >> >> _______________________________________________
> >> >> xmca mailing list
> >> >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >> >> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >> >
> >> > David Preiss, Ph.D.
> >> > Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
> >> > Escuela de Psicolog a
> >> > Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
> >> > Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
> >> > Macul, Santiago
> >> > Chile
> >> >
> >> > Fono: 3544605
> >> > Fax: 3544844
> >> > e-mail: davidpreiss@uc.cl
> >> > web personal: http://web.mac.com/ddpreiss/
> >> > web institucional: http://www.epuc.cl/profesores/dpreiss
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > xmca mailing list
> >> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >>
> >>_______________________________________________
> >>xmca mailing list
> >>xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >>http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
> >
> > Jay Lemke
> > Professor
> > University of Michigan
> > School of Education
> > 610 East University
> > Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> >
> > Tel. 734-763-9276
> > Email. JayLemke@UMich.edu
> > Website. <http://www.umich.edu/~jaylemke%A0>www.umich.edu/~jaylemke
> > _______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
> _______________________________________________
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Jay Lemke
Professor
University of Michigan
School of Education
610 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Tel. 734-763-9276
Email. JayLemke@UMich.edu
Website. <http://www.umich.edu/~jaylemke%A0>www.umich.edu/~jaylemke
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Received on Wed Oct 24 15:43 PDT 2007

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