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[Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie



So I am still not exactly sure what perezhivanie is, but I think I am getting a better idea through this discussion.  Being an analogous thinker usually I sort of tie it to the combination of praxis and conscientization that Robert was talking about - maybe I am getting this wrong.  But anyway, I have recently had a renewed interest in Bateson's idea of the double bind, exploring some of the conversations of the period has given me a new appreciation for concept - the idea that we know there is something wrong with what is happening but we cannot really challenge it because we fear the collapse of the system we live within.  I think of this idea of the basket of deplorables that was mentioned.  When Hillary first said it I thought it was a harsh truth.  An uncomfortable percentage of Trump supporters are alt-right and/or racists.  There is no way around this.  I don't think Hillary Clinton was making fun of or picking on anybody.  What I also think though is it may have put many others in very uncomfortable positions.  There alt-right individuals are perhaps integral parts of the communities they live in, people who will help them when they have an emergency, people they see as dealing with the same heroin and opoid epidemic.  If they turn against them they may see the local systems they depend upon as being in danger of collapse.  They may think what they do is wrong, but they also identify with them much as members of a family with an abusive parent identifies with the parent because losing the parent means dissolution of the only system they have and feel they can depend on.  It's not just realization or insight that what you are doing isn't working on some level, it is trust that when the system you depend on collapses there will be something there to take its place.  So individual wear t-shirts that say basket of deplorables to protect the system that they have.  

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:50 AM
To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Trump's speech and Perezhivanie

Andy,
A decade or so? not very optimistic (but perhaps accurate).

A few thoughts:

1. Hillary wasn't just talking about the way people speak, she referred to them (as they understood it) as a "basket of deplorables" (and previously Obama had that comment about these people "clinging to their guns and religion" - that pissed a lot of these people off too). Here is a collection of t-shirts supporting Trump that make reference to Clinton's quote about deplorables:
https://www.spreadshirt.com/adorable+deplorable+t-shirts
Hard to know exactly what these mean to someone wearing them, or how they feel about it, but I bet that they wouldn't think that it was saying "I'm a racist" (although other people might think this).

2. I'm still a perezhivanie neophyte and am wondering how perezhivanie might be linked to something beyond the individual (as we saw yesterday in the marches, and, yes, the day before in those in solidarity and support for Trump). What of something like "the mood of the country" or at least of a group? How does perezhivanie speak to that? Is this simply a "collection"
of individual perezhivanie? Or is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

Just some initial thoughts/questions.
-greg


On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 1:24 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Greg,
>
> As Marc has made clear, we can talk about perezhivanie with reference 
> to Trump's capture of the Presidency at several different levels.
>
> I chose to interpret the directions very literally and discussed 
> listening to the Inauguration Speech as an experience, that is, as one 
> of innumerable perezhivaniya in my life through which my view on things has been formed.
> As Helena points out, listening to this speech would be a different 
> experience for men and women who live with industrial decline, and 
> have been humiliated countless times by professionals like Hillary 
> picking on their way of speaking. But this speech is only one moment 
> in an experience for them which will be decades long. It is doubtful 
> if this Speech will be a very significant moment in the perezhivanie 
> of a Trump voter. The crucial moment will be some incident when 
> suddenly the whole episode takes on a new meaning, perhaps betrayal, perhaps life-changing redemption, who can tell?
>
> The perezhivanie of listening to Trump's speech is not going to be a 
> fully developed perezhivanie because if you knew he was a conman what 
> you heard only confirmed that; if you thought he was the saviour of 
> the nation, the Speech confirms that too. It is the experience which 
> does not confirm but overthrows one's view which belong to 
> perezhivanie. Such a moment (e.g. the announcement from the medical 
> professional that you do not have access to the procedure needed to 
> save your life) is not in itself the perezhivanie, which includes the 
> process of digesting this news and re-organising your life accordingly.
>
> There is, as Mike referred to, also the issue of a collective 
> perezhivanie, of the entire nation discovering what Trump's election 
> is all about and overcoming it. Give America a decade or so. The 
> Vietnam War is something comparable, I think.
>
> Andy
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 22/01/2017 6:21 PM, Greg Thompson wrote:
>
>> Loving everything I'm seeing on facebook about the marches today 
>> around the country and around the world. Really inspiring stuff, 
>> particularly after what happened yesterday. And yes, there is a 
>> feeling, a mood here that gives me great hope. (and thanks Peg for 
>> the sign slogan, I posted it to my fb page).
>>
>> But back to the nasty business that Alfredo proposed we deal with, 
>> here is a description of some of Mr. Trump's words:
>> "Mr. Trump on Friday described the nation as a landscape of 
>> “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones” and inner cities 
>> infested with crime, gangs and drugs."
>> I wonder, for whom might this resonate?
>>
>> Similarly, who would accept the premise of this statement:
>> "The American carnage stops right here and stops right now,"
>> I fear that this is striking a nerve with many people's perezhivanie 
>> abuilding over the past 10 years or so (I'm still a little unsure of 
>> how best to use perezhivanie, help please). Anyway, I'm still 
>> wondering about the circumstances and experiences of Trump 
>> sympathizers. Some of you out there must have some first-hand contact with such folks.
>>
>> But perhaps this is getting too far afield from CHAT since it seems 
>> like it starts to get into an area of communication theory called 
>> Media Ecology - the media environments of people in various places 
>> (The problem of the
>> (media) environment?).
>>
>> Alfredo, Peg, Helena, Andy, maybe you guys can give us some advice 
>> about how to go about treating Trump's speech in a CHAT kind of way? 
>> How to proceed with this endeavor?
>>
>> -greg
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 9:48 PM, Helena Worthen 
>> <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Hello -
>>>
>>> I hope we pause and consider Alfredo’s suggestion.  Thank you, 
>>> Alfredo for the phrase “gut feeling of true tragedy.” Can we work 
>>> with that?
>>>
>>> How, given the xmca medium of long-chain texts from voices all over 
>>> the world, would we carry out such a project? Let me see if I can 
>>> say Alfredo’s proposal in my own words: to read Trump’s speech at 
>>> his inauguration and ask, “Who could find this speech hopeful, 
>>> inspiring, uplifting, comforting?
>>> Who would listen to it and think, ‘I am glad I voted for this man 
>>> and I am glad he is my President.’”  But also ask, “Who could find 
>>> this speech horrifying and frightening? This man Trump is lying to 
>>> us all and I am sick to think that he is my President.” The social 
>>> situation — like the alcoholic mother in the case with the three 
>>> children each with a different perezvhanie - is the same for both 
>>> people who are listening to the speech, but the people (like the 
>>> children) respond differently.
>>>
>>> This sounds to me like a project for going out and finding strangers 
>>> to talk with. Thank you, Greg, for bringing attention to Arlie 
>>> Hochschild's book, Strangers in their Own Land. I have only read the 
>>> first chapter of it, but I think this is what she is trying to do: 
>>> give us insight into the person who might find the inauguration 
>>> speech something other than a case of a celebrity clown practicing 
>>> The Big Lie.
>>>
>>> Joe and I spent today at the Women’s March in Oakland, California. 
>>> The police estimated 60,000 people there. Although there was 
>>> supposed to be first a march and then a rally, there were too many 
>>> people to fit into the streets between the starting point of the 
>>> march and the destination, so many marchers never got to the end. 
>>> However, that didn’t seem to be a problem. there were all kinds of 
>>> small (200 person) gatherings going on all over the place. The mood 
>>> was cheerful, mainstream, determined, friendly — tremendous variety 
>>> of signs including the one that Peg saw in DC about regulating 
>>> women’s bodies but not corporations. I actually feel better right 
>>> now than I did yesterday at this time. There sure were a lot of us 
>>> out there. So my perezvhanie has been expanded by a day on the street.
>>>
>>> Helena
>>>
>>>
>>> Helena Worthen
>>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>> Berkeley, CA 94707
>>> Blog about US and Viet Nam: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jan 21, 2017, at 5:47 PM, Greg Thompson 
>>> <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>>>>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Alfredo,
>>>> I find this to be a fantastic suggestion.
>>>>
>>>> One interesting analysis that helps us understand the
>>>>
>>> circumstances/context
>>>
>>>> in which many people experience Trump's speech as beautiful, even
>>>>
>>> hopeful,
>>>
>>>> is this book:
>>>> http://thenewpress.com/books/strangers-their-own-land
>>>>
>>>> Democracy Now did a nice interview with her as well:
>>>> https://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/28/what_drives_trump_
>>>>
>>> supporters_sociologist_arlie
>>>
>>>> In the book (and the interview) Hochschild engages with, among 
>>>> others,
>>>>
>>> the
>>>
>>>> question of why someone who has had been directly deleteriously 
>>>> affected
>>>>
>>> by
>>>
>>>> the impact of fracking and oil production would support politicians 
>>>> who
>>>>
>>> are
>>>
>>>> against government regulation of those industries. She appears to 
>>>> deal
>>>>
>>> with
>>>
>>>> the situation very thoughtfully and compassionately, helping those 
>>>> of us who can't understand Trump supporters see how they might have 
>>>> a different experience of what Trump has to say.
>>>>
>>>> Hopefully this doesn't take too far off track, but seems relevant 
>>>> to
>>>>
>>> really
>>>
>>>> consider the circumstances of Trump supporters in order to 
>>>> understand
>>>>
>>> their
>>>
>>>> experiences.
>>>>
>>>> Just a thought.
>>>>
>>>> -greg
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 6:29 PM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Alfredo,
>>>>> I will share an impression I had as I listened to a particular 
>>>>> group
>>>>>
>>>> being
>>>
>>>> interviewed who were inspired by the Trump speech.
>>>>> The group were ‘the biker’s for Trump’. I asked what symbolic form 
>>>>> they were inhabiting or living out? The answer i came up with was 
>>>>> the modern symbolic of being ‘On the Road Again’ and distancing 
>>>>> from the perceived limitations of social con/striction. Then 
>>>>> Thelma and Louise came to
>>>>>
>>>> mind.
>>>
>>>> Now how does this modern American cultural imaginary of being on 
>>>> the
>>>>>
>>>> road
>>>
>>>> again  inter/sect with Trump’s speech.
>>>>> Trump said now there is only the future. No doubling back. The 
>>>>> form changes, but there is a deeper (layered) imaginary being 
>>>>> expressed that
>>>>>
>>>> is
>>>
>>>> shared between the biker’s for Trump and Trump’s speech. This 
>>>> symbolic
>>>>> (taking multiple forms) is profoundly anti-historical in rhetoric. 
>>>>> It creates ‘dramatic places’ in which people ‘fall into’ and 
>>>>> become
>>>>>
>>>> animated
>>>
>>>> and encouraged and re-enchanted and re-vitalized. There is a 
>>>> re/lease
>>>>>
>>>> from
>>>
>>>> perceived constraints.
>>>>>
>>>>> Alfredo, My impression watching the inauguration and the 
>>>>> motivating dramatic place Trump opens for some while sending a 
>>>>> shudder down the
>>>>>
>>>> spine
>>>
>>>> for others. The myth of escape from the shackles of history runs 
>>>> deep
>>>>>
>>>> as a
>>>
>>>> symbolic imaginary that takes multiple ‘forms’ in the American dream.
>>>>>
>>>>> This is only one quick pass through as an impression.
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>>>>>
>>>>> From: Alfredo Jornet Gil
>>>>> Sent: January 21, 2017 12:46 PM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Trump's speech and Perezhivanie
>>>>>
>>>>> Dear Helena, Andy, all,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the time to watch the 
>>>>> movie Fate of a Man, but I have followed the very interesting 
>>>>> analyses and conversations about it. I am opening this thread as 
>>>>> connexions between those analyses, perezhivanie, and current 
>>>>> tragic social and political situation in the US and elsewhere. 
>>>>> This also connects with the article
>>>>>
>>>> that
>>>
>>>> Mike shared on the position of the Learning Sciences with regard to 
>>>> this
>>>>> situation (how happy I was to see this initiative!).
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> In particular, I wanted to pick up on Helena's very true comment 
>>>>> that
>>>>>
>>>> "the
>>>
>>>> US is going to have to produce some works of scholarship or art, or
>>>>>
>>>> both,
>>>
>>>> that attempt to explain what is happening now here in the US -- for
>>>>> example, this afternoon, under President Trump."
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Yesterday, we saw at home Trump's speech. Although we had followed
>>>>>
>>>> Trump's
>>>
>>>> campaign and its denigrating tenor, it was yesterday, for the first
>>>>>
>>>> time,
>>>
>>>> that my wife and me got this gut feeling of true tragedy, of a real
>>>>>
>>>> *drama*
>>>
>>>> as we heard those empty, but to recover the prior article for
>>>>>
>>>> discussion,
>>>
>>>> hollowed and hollowing words coming out of that mouth. It came upon 
>>>> us
>>>>>
>>>> that
>>>
>>>> there may be lots of people for whom those words are not hollowed, 
>>>> but
>>>>> actually encouraging, rich, beautiful. How can you hear that as beauty?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> So, I was wondering, and in following up with our 2016 MCA Issue 4 
>>>>> discussion,  whether we could not actually conduct an analysis of 
>>>>> the
>>>>>
>>>> sort
>>>
>>>> Marc offers in his article of the perezhivanie. Just as Vygotsky
>>>>>
>>>> explains
>>>
>>>> how 3 different children experience the situation of an alcoholic 
>>>> mother
>>>>> differently, could not we perform an analysis ?of that 
>>>>> perezhivanie in which a person experiences yesterday's situation 
>>>>> as one of
>>>>>
>>>> encouragement,
>>>
>>>> of freedom and hope. Would that not be a way to try to understand 
>>>> what
>>>>>
>>>> is
>>>
>>>> going on? This would not be a piece of art, but could be something 
>>>> we
>>>>>
>>>> could
>>>
>>>> do to try to understand and change this situation.
>>>>>
>>>>> We could then contrast that perezhivanie with the one many of as 
>>>>> have,
>>>>>
>>>> in
>>>
>>>> which the situation is experience as a real TRAGEDY. I think in the
>>>>>
>>>> first
>>>
>>>> case, there is no hope for change, there is contempt; in the 
>>>> second,
>>>>> hearing those words as hollowed and hollowing require that you 
>>>>> live the situation as a doubled situation in which you experienced 
>>>>> it from a very different developmental stage. One in which the 
>>>>> speech sounds as a case
>>>>>
>>>> of
>>>
>>>> involution.
>>>>>
>>>>> Should we find the transcribed speech and perform such analysis?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Going now to support the Woman's march here in Victoria BC.
>>>>>
>>>>> Alfredo
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> 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
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>


--
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