Re: [xmca] Material cognition

From: Elinami Swai <swaiev who-is-at>
Date: Tue Oct 30 2007 - 09:10:00 PDT

I tend to associate tac it knowledge with implict or subjective knowledge in
the sense that we can know about something, not through the 'accepted'
sensory organs, but from other unaccepted organs such as 'hunch,' my mother
would say 'blood' or 'body,' I would say our experience with the
event/phenomenon at hand. What I see the cause for the neglect of tacit
knowledge is our focus on Western scientific way of knowing and its
hegemonic tendency to dis-value subjective knowledge.


On 10/30/07, Martin Packer <> wrote:
> Once again a thread on XMCA has intersected with something I'm currently
> working on. I'm feeling stupid, so let me just throw out a question,
> perhaps
> provocative, perhaps dumb. How do we reconcile the fact that tacit
> knowledge
> is undoubtedly important but neglected by much mainstream research (and
> devalued in society) with the suggestion that participation in the
> practices
> of modern society leads to MISunderstanding how that society works (false
> consciousness, alienation, etc.)?
> Martin
> > All of these hover around my central interest, which is the often
> unspoken
> > (sometimes called "tacit") knowledge that people working develop and
> share
> > about how to get the work done. For example: a class which we have been
> > asked to teach in November will take place at a plant where the workers
> are
> > represented by the grainmillers' union. This is an old plant. Under the
> > original management, the workers essentially ran the plant -- they had
> the
> > knowledge and the means to run the plant efficiently and safely. Then
> the
> > plant was sold and new management came in. This new management took an
> > adversarial position against the union and attempted to take over
> control of
> > the work without fully understanding how it was done (without exploring
> the
> > social practices related to the working knowledge of the plant?). A
> bitter,
> > non-productive culture developed. Now another new management has taken
> over,
> > and this new management has gone to the union and together they have
> > approached us to teach a class to the supervisors that is essentially
> about
> > getting them to respect the working material knowledge that the workers
> have
> > developed. "Leave us alone and we'll run the plant better than you can
> ever
> > do it," the union is saying.
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Received on Tue Oct 30 09:16 PDT 2007

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