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Re: [xmca] schools-without-computers-by-choice-and-conviction-that-they-dont-help-kids


I get the basic idea of where you are coming from with this. I'm familiar
with Paul Willis' use of the unfortunate term "penetrations" in his book
Learning to Labo(u)r. It is quite similar to Bourdieu's notion of being
able to see through ideology and into the "real" relations between things
(my scare quotes around real). I see both Willis and Bourdieu as developing
Marxist ideas.

Having said that, I still have some concerns (aside from the unfortunate
term "penetrations"). My concern is that there is a posited "real" that the
critical critic has available to them that is not available to others
(maybe we would say that he has the intellectual "equipment" to "penetrate"
reality). I don't have a problem with the idea that the critical critic has
a different and useful perspective on things, I just don't agree that we
should speak of this in terms of a better grasp of reality.

Instead, I would say that the critical critic has a better perspective FOR
some particular ends. But I'm not convinced that it is necessarily because
their perspective is "more real" or closer to reality. It depends on what
reality, and what for.

Elsewhere Bourdieu notes that misrecognition ("misknowing" - i.e.,
meconnaissance) is absolutely essential to social life. Misrecognition is
at the heart of meaning - without it we encounter a meaningless, lifeless
world. So I'd suggest that it is better to be honest about our shortcomings
when it comes to reality. Better to ask what a given way of "seeing" is
good for. What does it allow us to see and do?


On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 1:13 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>wrote:

> On 27 October 2011 22:14, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On 27 October 2011 20:56, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> On 27 October 2011 20:47, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >>
> >>> Huw,
> >>> Is reality really something to be "penetrated."
> >>> -greg
> >>>
> >>
> >> If you wish to get from one side of a city to another, there are finite
> >> ways of doing so using conventional transport.  If you wish to
> articulate
> >> that intention in terms of a particular route, you will have to mentally
> >> penetrate the fog of obstacles from A to B prior to an accurate
> >> articulation.  Does 'penetrating to reality' sound better?  Hopefully
> the
> >> gist is clear.
> >>
> >>
> > ... but that also the intention successfully acted upon is a change and
> > thereby a form of penetrating reality.
> >
> >
> I thought this loose-end might be helpful.  Bourdieu, in 'Distinction'
> p387, expressed this aspect:
> "What the relation to 'mass' (and, a fortiori, 'elite') cultural products
> reproduces, reactivates and reinforces is not the monotony of the
> production line or office but social relation which underlies working-class
> experience of the world, whereby his labour and the product of his labour,
> opus proprium, present themselves to the worker as opus alienum,
> 'alienated' labour.
> i.e. the difference between a participatory, intentionally influential
> relation and a passive one.
> Huw
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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