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Re: [xmca] Ingold linking "figments" of imagination and "figments" of materiality as a single ontology

Hi Robert

You wrote

in Newspeak, “all ambiguities and shades
of meaning” (Orwell, 1949, p. 304) are purged from languages so that one
word conveys one rigidly defined thought. Freedom for example, could only
mean one thing. The result is that thinking in metaphor becomes less and
less possible.

Robert, the central place of ambivalence in ALL social imaginaries is a
theme which Tim Ingold and Zygmunt Bauman perceive as central to ways of
orienting to the world.

Mattias Junge wrote an article "Bauman On Ambivalence Fully Acknowledging
the Ambiguity of Ambivalence" that documents the centrality of ambivalence
and metaphor in all sociological imaginaries describing cultural and social
"order" [the object of sociology as a discipline]

Bauman's perspective of ambivalence is expressed throughout his work from
his earliest articles to his latest contributions.  The concept of
ambivalence is implicit in many sociological theories but Bauman's work
puts the concept of ambiguity at the heart of his project and ambivalence
is NOT a secondary or derived consequences of other primary processes but
rather ambivalences are seen as fundamentally grounded phenomenon and
driving force at the BEGINNING of social development.  For Bauman
ambivalence is NOT a by-product of modernity but rather the explicit
 impulse for freedom/emancipation AND the constitution of social order.

Bauman does NOT reduce ambivalence to a concept of "tension" or a concept
of "antagonistic contraries" because for Bauman ambivalence CANNOT be
reduced or destroyed but rather is unavoidable and indestructible. For
Bauman cultural, social, and moral phenomena are INHERENTLY ambivalent.
Bauman's theory explores the incurable ambivalence of cultural, social, and
moral orientations.

Bauman suggests that by using categorical schemes [order vs freedom,
conflict vs consent, globalization vs localization] we can get caught
within the polarized scheme and oscillate between the two poles rather than
see the two poles together as a unity of differences.

For Bauman, cultural and social order are the only way to build a human
world. Order is the necessary condition for human beings to live as social
beings. HOWEVER Bauman also keeps a strong focus on the possibility to
change a given order and its deep structures.

For Bauman, modernity constitutes a particular cultural and social order
which is inherently ambivalent [two (bi) valuations (valences) in conflict.
Every order has an inherent classification that excludes in the process of
legitimazing the order. Therefore the focus directed at constituting an
order requires ambivalence at the origin and constitution of the order.
Ambivalence is a fundamental CON DITION for the constitution of a
particular order.

Bauman  explicitly uses extensive metaphorical language to develop new
conceptual [and ambiguous schemes] for sociological analysis.
For example, in his latest work he is exploring and developing the concept
of "waste" in "liquid" modernity [the speeding up social change]
Waste is explicitly a 2 sided ambivalent concept binding together the
wasted products of the order of classification [a fixation of liquid
modernity] and "handling waste" as something that constitutes the order of
exclusion and inclusion.
Waste for Bauman is the NECESSARY by-product of LIMITING cultural meanings,
waste constitutes the realm of the excluded and encloses the aspirations of
the modern "garden state"

For Bauman, this concept of "waste" creates the foundation for an ethics of
alterity, transforming the waste of historical developments. For Bauman,
waste is a conceptual tool for imagining sociologically with negations with
the focus on social order [gardening]  The origin of waste stems from the
ambivalence of a social bifurcation between repressed [unable to choose]
and integrated persons.

Waste is the useless BY-PRODUCT of production.

For Bauman, naming humans as "waste" is a war cry criticizing social
processes of exclusion with ambivalence at the core of this particular
modern societal order. For Bauman there is an unavoidable ambiguity of
every kind of meaning and is the fundamental and UNSOLVABLE problem which
generates continuous attempts to deal with ambiguity in social and moral
orders and processes.

Not sure how others perceive Bauman's work but it leaves me somewhat


On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 6:55 AM, Robert Lake <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu>wrote:

> Thanks for sharing this wonderful treasure Larry!
>           It is interesting ( and perhaps instructive) to imagine the
> polar opposite of Ingold's
> view of imagination. For example in Newspeak, “all ambiguities and shades
> of meaning” (Orwell, 1949, p. 304) are purged from languages so that one
> word conveys one rigidly defined thought. Freedom for example, could only
> mean one thing. The result is that thinking in metaphor becomes less and
> less possible.  Orwell gives an example of this one dimensional aspect of
> freedom in Newspeak by saying that “The dog is free of lice” (ibid.).  You
> don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the trends toward Newspeak in
> standardized thinking, standardized tests and test preparation materials
> that comprise what  Herbert Kliebard calls a "curriculum of
> followership"(1995,p. 95).
> Robert
> On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 8:57 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Mike [and others who enjoy Ingold's writings]
> >
> > I'm reading his article "Ways of Mind -walking Reading Writing Painting"
> > [see attached article if interested]
> >
> > I love the way he writes and links up concepts and images into "fertile"
> > generative perspectives [as real]
> >
> > Page 16 & 17 describe how he "developed" the ideas for this article
> through
> > "accidental" encounters that were linked into coherence. This descriptive
> > journey of "mind" is in itself worth the effort of reading the article.
> >
> > However, I want to introduce the BIG question Ingold asks in this
> article.
> > He writes on page 16
> >
> > "The question of the RELATION between the observation of marks and traces
> > inscribed or impressed in surfaces in the WORLD and the imagining that is
> > carried on, as it were, on the hither side of eyesight, 'in the mind'.
> > Reading and writing surely involve the exercise of both eye and mind, and
> > the same must be true of walking. Is it possible, then, to find a way of
> > describing the imaginative activity that goes on as one walks, reads or
> > writes, without having to SUPPOSE that it involves the perusal of images?
> > Perhaps it is the very notion of the image that has to be rethought away
> > from the idea that images represent, ON ANOTHER PLANE, the forms of
> things
> > IN THE WORLD, to the idea that they are PLACE-HOLDERS for these things
> > which travellers watch out for, and from which they TAKE THEIR DIRECTION.
> > Could it be that images do NOT stand FOR things, but rather help you FIND
> > things?"
> >
> > This is a BIG question, worth asking.  The fundamental question, Are
> > aesthetically produced objects productions or compositions OF things in
> the
> > world, or are they LIKE things in the world in the sense that we have to
> > FIND OUR WAY through and among them as wayfarers dwelling in the world.
> > Ingold says he has NO FINAL ANSWERS to this big question, but as an
> > anthropologist the way he approaches the question is through an analysis
> of
> > the answers that people of radically different life experiences have come
> > up with. In other words Ingold accepts the EXCESS and "ambiguity" at the
> > center of his inquiries into the big question.
> >
> >  Ingold, [like Zygmunt Bauman] engages with metaphors as a fundamental
> tool
> > for exploring the place of the imaginal within the world.  Not as two
> > separate realities or ontologies but as a single ontology. Ingold
> > definitely thinks outside the frames of received knowledge.
> >
> > In a simple phrase the question becomes, Is it "true" that imagination IS
> > reality???
> >
> > Hope you enjoy the article.
> >
> > Larry
> >
> > __________________________________________
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> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
> >
> --
> *Robert Lake  Ed.D.
> *Assistant Professor
> Social Foundations of Education
> Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
> Georgia Southern University
> P. O. Box 8144
> Phone: (912) 478-5125
> Fax: (912) 478-5382
> Statesboro, GA  30460
>  *Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
> midwife.*
> *-*John Dewey.
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