Concentric Circles of Compassionate Support

Adrienne Carter works on a contract basis for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) along with her full-time job in British Columbia. In a recent email to her I described the model of the work she does in some of the most horrendous war torn areas, as “concentric circles of compassionate support.” Her response was, “What a good description of what we all could be doing with and for each other.”

I have never read any of her publications about her work, if they exist. (Perhaps this happens all too often in our closest, most intimate friendships?) From what I understand of the model she offers in other countries includes grassroots training of individuals and groups to form these concentric circles of compassionate support. They learn to surround, not only those who were direct victims and witnesses of gross human right violations and violent acts of blind-hatred against children, women and men, but also those who heard those stories at varying degrees of distance, with healing layers of real listening. For it is not only those who have directly experienced rational cruelty but also those who at-risk of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue or secondary post-traumatic disorders who could be supported and protected in these ever-widening ripples.

Adrienne has continued to offer her services to First Nations (and Inuit ?) communities in Canada but as yet there has been no response. Perhaps there is a reluctance or a repugnance to compare the youth suicide epidemic, human rights abuses regarding access to education, housing, employment and health services (legacies of muddled administrative meddling, intergenerational mistakes on the part of those one-sidedly handed power over Canadian aboriginal affairs (for example the ongoing CAS child-sweep-ops), systemic and conversational racism, that have caused intergenerational loss of parenting skills, endemic poverty, violence against women, child abuse, and the social challenges that accompany such conditions, as comparable to tragedies in far-off less democratic countries.

Perhaps when Rwandans (for example) and Canadian First Nations take part in open, frank, public, robust conversations about healing from trauma, we will all become more compassionate and more effective in dealing with these home-grown sources of shame and embarrassment.

In her email Adrienne Carter reflected on a book she’ s been reading that very deeply touches her heart. It is called An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty First Century by Dr. James Orbinski.

Dr. James Orbinski is one of the founders of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international humanitarian aid organization that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 70 countries that has been honoured with the Nobel Peace prize. Dr. James Orbinski described his own role in the midst of the the most horrendous suffering of people including the famine in Somalia and the genocide in Rwanda and how it changed him as a person as he reflected.

Adrienne is one of the few people to which I have entrusted my ongoing dilemma of being unable to rise above the life-shattering Carleton U-Nunavut experience (2002-2006). Her final sentence in that paragraph was: “I thought about you because you have also witnessed similar horrors up north and it also changed you as a person. ” Similar horrors up north in Canada in the 20th century . . . This is what makes it so hard to deal with . . .

There is also a paragraph at the end of Dr. Orbinski’s introduction that Adrienne found helpful,

“Today I am forty-seven, a husband, a father of two young boys, a doctor, a citizen, a sometimes humanitarina, and always, at the end of the day, a man. Over the last twenty years, I have struggled to understand how to respond to the suffering of others. I have come to know perhaps too well that only humans can be rationally cruel. Only humans can choose to sacrifice life in the name of some political end, and only humans can call such sacrifices into question. As a physician I am given virtually unhindered access to some of the most intimate experiences in people’s lives, usually through suffering, but not always. I can see a person, a family or a community grow into health. I have witnessed the good of which we as human beings are capable: the good that calls a mother to feed her child, regardless of how unbearable her own suffering may be; the good of a mother and a grandmother who carry their sick boy to a clinic in South Africa. The good of those who refuse to remain silent as another is violated, and who act to right a wrong. It is the good we can be if we so choose.”

Mothers and grandmothers . . . they’re often the ones left holding the child. And the children and grandchildren in their own way give the mothers and grandmothers strength.

And the strong ones like Adrienne Carter and Dr. James Orbinski are with them witnessing, sharing, walking with them and listening, really listening in concentric circles of caring . . .

Notes

For late 20th century profound insights into genocide see Zygmut Bauman.

See also Hannah Arendt (1963) Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963).

“It was as though in those last minutes he [Eichmann] was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us – the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”

Advertisements

Mariano Aupilardjuk, Pond Inlet Drum Dancers at Larga

Mariano Aupiliardjuk (1923-) was honoured with an Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2001 for his contributions as a bridge between generations, Inuit governance, local residents, on how to use IQ in modern society. In local Rankin Inlet elementary and secondary schools, at NAC, across Canada, advises RCMP, facilitates community and pan-territorial healing, works with youth to help them acquire land skills

“Aupilardjuk, a well-known elder who sits on the task force, recalled the arrival of Qallunaat: “When the Europeans arrived I felt very happy because I didn’t think we’d suffer anymore. But, in the long run, we lost our identity and culture,” he said. He pointed out, though, that while the two cultures may have clashed in the past, there’s opportunity now for mutual respect. “When I’m still alive I’d like to assist the next Inuit generation and their own identity,” Aupilardjuk said. No one is saying the task of implementing IQ will be easy. The Nunavut government has said it wants traditional knowledge to be at its foundation, but it has yet to be fully incorporated (Rideout 2001b).”

“If it were up to the Nunavut government’s Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit task force, Inuktitut would be their working language, government programs would reflect the Inuit way of life, and Inuit culture would flourish in the workplace. In meetings that were ripe with Inuit culture — the lighting of the qulliq, eating country foods and singing traditional songs — GN employees, Nunavut Social Development Council members, and elders talked about ways of bringing Inuit traditional knowledge into the daily workings of the territorial government (Rideout 2001b).”

“The task force’s mission is to direct the Nunavut government on how to apply Inuit traditional knowledge to its programs, policies and services, and to make government offices more conducive to the Inuit lifestyle. The task force — made up of Simon Awa, Sandra Inutiq, NSDC members Louis Tapardjuk and John Ningark, and elders Elisapee Ootoova and Mariano Aupilardjuk (Rideout 2001b)”
A respected elder and an Inuit filmmaker are two of the winners of this year’s national aboriginal achievement awards. Mariano Aupilardjuk of Rankin Inlet and Zacharias Kunuk of Igloolik are among a group of 14 notable people who will be honoured at a gala evening in Edmonton next month. Aupilardjuk, widely recognized throughout Nunavut for his wisdom and teachings of Inuit traditional knowledge, said he was proud of the award. “It made me accept myself more,” Aupilardjuk said through an interpreter. Aupilardjuk, who is now in his seventies, has spent years promoting Inuit culture. He’s given numerous talks at Nunavut schools, as well as throughout Canada, on Inuit traditional knowledge. He has a deep sense of how Inuit Quajimajatuqangit links the past, present and future of the Inuit people. Aupilardjuk said many Inuit are taking a keen interest in preserving their age-old traditions by incorporating them into everyday life. “I am happy about it. I’m hearing it more from others about how important it is and how it’s becoming a reality,” Aupilardjuk said. The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is also praising the elder for his work with healing circles throughout the territory. Aupilardjuk’s sense of spirituality and compassion was evident last week when he sang a powerful song at an Inuit Quajimajatuqangit meeting in Iqaluit. The song told the story of a homeless man Aupilarduk saw on the street in New York City. He said people walked past the man, showing little compassion for his suffering. During the song, the elder touched his heart and the words brought many people, including Aupilardjuk, to tears (Rideout 2001a).

Mariano Aupilardjuk of Rankin Inlet Aupilardjuk, widely recognized throughout Nunavut for his wisdom and teachings of Inuit traditional knowledge, said he was proud of the award. “It made me accept myself more,” Aupilardjuk said through an interpreter. Aupilardjuk, who is now in his seventies, has spent years promoting Inuit culture. He’s given numerous talks at Nunavut schools, as well as throughout Canada, on Inuit traditional knowledge. He has a deep sense of how Inuit Quajimajatuqangit links the past, present and future of the Inuit people. Aupilardjuk said many Inuit are taking a keen interest in preserving their age-old traditions by incorporating them into everyday life. “I am happy about it. I’m hearing it more from others about how important it is and how it’s becoming a reality,” Aupilardjuk said.The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is also praising the elder for his work with healing circles throughout the territory. Aupilardjuk’s sense of spirituality and compassion was evident last week when he sang a powerful song at an Inuit Quajimajatuqangit meeting in Iqaluit. The song told the story of a homeless man Aupilarduk saw on the street in New York City. He said people walked past the man, showing little compassion for his suffering. During the song, the elder touched his heart and the words brought many people, including Aupilardjuk, to tears.
[2004 Aupilardjuk is 81. He grew up near Nattiligaarjuk, Committee Bay where there was lots of ‘old ice’ and therefore Qallupilluq (Ernerk 1996)] Nunavut’s commissioner, Peter Irniq, said both men are well-deserving of their awards.

Peter Irniq has a special respect for Aupilarduk, because their families lived together in an outpost camp near Repulse Bay when Irniq was a child (Rideout 2001a).

Selected Bibliography

1995. “A Special Report on Nunavut.”
Bell, Jim. 1998. “MLA peeved at inaccurate documentary on Marble Island.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut981031/nvt81002_15.html

—. 2000. “Université Laval to host Nunavut blab-fest.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut000230/nvt20211_09.html

Editor. 2001. “Mariano Aupilardjuk: Heritage and Spirituality.” in First Nations Drum. http://www.firstnationsdrum.com/Sum2001/NAAA-Aupilardjuk.htm

Ernerk, Peter. 1996. “Life in another time.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/back-issues/week/60216.html

Legatto, Lisa. 2001. “Saint Mary’s to Archive Unique Interviews.” in Saint Mary’s The Times. Halifax, NS. http://www.stmarys.ca/thetimes/may01/article_archive.html

McKibbon, Sean. 1999. “Iqaluit museum hosts Rankin ceramics exhibit.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut991230/nvt91203_10.html

Minogue, Sara. 2004. “Swiss collectors eye Inuit artworks.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/40528/news/nunavut/40528_10.htm

Murphy, Kirsten. 2002. “A hard lesson in ceramics.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut021018/news/features/21…

Poll. 2004. “GN Government priorities.” in Nunatsiak News.

Rideout, Denise. 2001a. “Inuit filmmaker, elder win aboriginal achievement awards.” in Nunatsiaq News. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut010228/nvt10202_13.html
—. 2001b. “Nunavut’s Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit group gets started.” in Nunatsiak News. Iqaluit, NU. http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/nunavut010228/nvt10202_08.html

Secretariat, Rural. 2001. “Canadian Rural Partnership: Rural Canadians on the Internet: Rankin Inlet.” in Canadian Rural Partnership. Ottawa, ON. http://www.rural.gc.ca/internet/story3_e.phtml

Zygmunt Bauman: Theorist of Postmodernity’s Ethical Turn

For Zygmunt Bauman, “sociologizing makes sense only in as far as it helps humanity” and “sociology is first and foremost a moral enterprise,”

“To think sociologically can render us more sensitive and tolerant of diversity. Thus to think sociologically means to understand a little more fully the people around us in terms of their hopes and desires and their worries and concerns (Bauman & May, 2001).”

It would be hoped that his writings and work written about him would be made available through the Creative Commons License 3.5, preferred by academics in 2008. Unfortunately so much of what is really useful to robust conversations in civil society, foundational texts and articles such as Bauman’s are restricted to those with access codes to the deep internet, the dark place of open source and Web 2.0+. Many of the services of the Deep Internet operate within the private sector model as user-pay. Others are restricted to those who are members of exclusive academic associations, the insular knowledge elite, who also operate with obligatory membership fees.

to be continued . . . add notes from EndNote

The following is an excerpt from the exclusive Deep Internet, the less accessible internet restricted to members through a user-pay service:

“Zygmunt Bauman is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw and has written some of the more influential modern books on sociology.

Baumans thinking is mainly influenced by what he refers to as the big triad of influences. This triad includes: Antonio Gramsci, Georg Simmel and Bauman’s wife, Janina. Bauman explains the triad as follows: “Gramsci told me what, Simmel how, and Janina what for” (Beilharz, 2001).

Bauman perceives Gramsci’s work as an antidote to the determinism of so much Marxisant thought. Simmel provides Bauman with the methods, whilst Janina has taught him that, sociologizing makes sense only in as far as it helps humanity.

This last quotation gives us a strong clue as to Bauman’s general approach to sociology.

Bauman was born in Poznan, Poland in 1925.

He completed his graduate studies – with an MA in social sciences – and in 1954 became a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw. He was influenced by the work of his teachers Stanislaw Ossowski and Julian Hochfeld.

In 1971 Bauman came to Britain where he took up a position as a lecturer eventually becoming Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds in Yorkshire. Today he is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw. ”

(Source: http://www.sociologyonline.co.uk) now? www.sociologyonline.com

Anthony Giddens described Zygmunt Bauman as: ‘the theorist of postmodernity�he has developed a position with which everyone has to reckon'” (www.sociologyonline.com).”

“While heading the Department of Sociology at Leeds, Bauman brought great qualities of intellectual leadership. “From the start he saw his task as one of inspiring students, and among his academic colleagues promoting a collegial atmosphere in which new academic projects were welcomed and free and open discussion encouraged in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance and understanding” (www.leeds.ac.uk). Since his retirement, Bauman and his reputation has continued to benefit sociology at Leeds.”

Webliography and Bibliography

Adorno, Theodor. Inspired Bauman.http://www.sociologyonline.co.uk

Bauman, Zygmunt. 1987. Legislators and Interpreters. Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt(1988) Freedom Open University Press

Bauman, Zygmunt (1993) Postmodern Ethics Blackwell

Bauman, Zygmunt (1995) Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality Blackwell

Bauman, Zygmunt (1997) Postmodernity and Its Discontents Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt (1998)a Globalization Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt (1998)b Work, consumerism and the new poor Open University Press

Bauman, Zygmunt (1999) In Search of Politics Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt (2001)a Liquid Modernity Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt (2001)b The Individualized Society Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt; & Tester, K (2001) Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman Polity

Bauman, Zygmunt & May, T (2001) Thinking Sociologically Blackwell

Beck, Ulrich. 2002. “The Cosmopolitan Society and its Enemies.” Theory, Culture and Society. 19:1-2

Beilharz, P (ed) (2001) The Bauman Reader Blackwell

Berger, P ([1964]1974) Invitation to Sociology Viking

Carveth, Donald L. 1984. “Psychoanalysis and Social Theory: The Hobbesian Problem Revisted.” Psychoanalysis & Contemporary Thought. 7:1: 43-98.http://www.yorku.ca/dcarveth/social.htm

Castoriadis, Cornelius. Inspired Bauman

Gordon, Avery. 1997. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press

Gramsci, Antonio. Inspired Bauman

Krzemien. Microsociology: Symbolic-Interaction

Lemert, C (1995) Sociology: After the Crisis Westview

Levinas, Emmanuel. Inspired Bauman

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. “The Bureaucratic Ethos.” The Sociological Imagination. New York. Oxford University Press.

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York. Oxford University Press.

Simmel, Georg. Inspired Bauman

Smith, D (1999) Zygmunt Bauman: Prophet of Postmodernity Polity

Tester, K (1997) Moral Culture Sage

Weber, Max. Inspired Bauman

Wolff, Janet. 1999. “Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture” href=”http://www.rochester.edu/in_visible_culture/issue1/wolff/wolff.html” target=”_blank”>Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture.”

Bauman & May, 2001

The Sociological Imagination

In his influential book, The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills (1959) warned that the tendency to misrepresent social disorders as merely individual psychological disorders led to a depolitization of intellectual discourse and the undermining of social criticism. He challenged notions of the false dichotomy between private and public and self and society. He warned against an overdependence on superficial psychological explanations which ignore complex social accounts. These can only be dealt with through an in-depth sociology based on the nurturing of a sociological imagination that balances the tendency to depend too much on a psychological imagination. By treating public social problems as individual and personal psychosis, the sociopolitical status quo is maintained (Flynn-Burhoe 1999).

“The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals (Mills 1959:8).”

“No social study that does not come back to the problems of biography . . . has completed its intellectual journey (Mills 1959:8).”

“C. Wright Mills (1959 [1961:8]) once characterized the sociological imagination as entailing the transformation of private troubles into public issues. In this formulation, Mills intended to assert the superiority of the sociological over the psychological imagination, the latter being represented as serving the interests of the sociopolitical status quo by depoliticizing intellectual discourse and undermining social criticism by misrepresenting societal deficiencies as individual ones. But despite the validity of this insight into a widespread ideological abuse of psychology, it ultimately rests upon a false dichotomy and an insufficiently dialectical view of the relationship between the private and the public, the self and society. For even when we forego the sociologistic reduction of the psychological to the political, or the subjective to the objective, in favor of a penetrating self-reflexive inquiry into the depths of subjectivity, we inevitably discover that the most intimate truths have an almost universal reference. It is only superficial psychologizing that blinds us to our common plight, just as it is only superficial sociologizing that is oblivious to the inner depths of the man behind the social mask. If we require a social psychology, we are even more in need of a depth sociology (Carveth 1984 [1999]) . “

In the chapter on ‘The Bureaucratic Ethos’ (Mills, Wright 1959:100-) Mills portrays a scathing image of the social sciences within academia in the United State in the late 1950s. He was concerned about a ‘decisive shift’ in the role of the social sciences that was unfolding between 1935 – 1959 in which the older liberal practice of examining ‘social problems’ was overshadowed by a joining of the more bureaucratic, illiberable, managerial practicality with an abstracted empiricism. Mills described this mutant as bureaucratic social science. He was concerned that this type of costly, efficient, highly standardized and rationalized methodologies resembled those of accounting and advertising firms of corporations. As such, even in university settings, the ‘New Social Science’ applied social sciences, served bureaucratic clients like the army, the state and corporations. By addressing the particular needs of specific clients rather than the public, Wills contended that the objectivity of the social science practice was jeopardized. Chronologically Mills traced the embodiment of bureaucratic social science through the marketting agencies of the 1920s, corporations and polling in the 1930s, academic life in the 1940s and the American federal government in WWII and through other institutions throughout the 1950s. Wills sketches an image of academia in the 1950s in which the high cost of abstracted empirical work which is dependent on costly research units, forces these units to fall under corporate control. The university’s division of labour became transformed from the model of professional peers with apprentices, to research bureacracies composed of intellectual techicians, research promoters and intellectual administrators skillful in setting up and funding research projects (Mills 1959:104).

1995:83) A strong post war economy coupled wiMills revealed how the dogmatic, uni-perspectival social science operated under questionable assumptions. The ambiguous term “human engineering” as employed in the 1950s became tied to concepts of ‘mastery of nature’ and ‘mastery of society’. The model they emulated was that of the hard sciences, particularly physicists, who had proven their ability to control the atom by using Scientific Method. As Mills pointed out, this spirit of empty optimism reflected an ignorance of the nature of, and relationships between, power, knowledge, moral action and history. It became problematic when technocratic slogans replaced reasoned moral choice. (Mills 1959:117)The popular slogan, “The purpose of social science is the prediction and control of human behaviour”, came to mean that once social scientists learned how to accurately predict and control human behaviour, mankind would somehow be ensured of peace and prosperity. (Mills 1959:113) This resulted in an ‘epistemic optimism within sociology in the 1950s. (Wagner 1995:1) which was shared by the general public. The Gulbenkian report refers to this as a period when both ordinary people and scholars were state centric. Both ordinary people and the scholars thought and acted at state level. (Gulbenkian 1995:83) A strong post war economy coupled with a growth spurt in population and production in North America led to the rapid expansion of the university system and an increase in the number of social scientists. (Gulbenkian 1995:33-34)

These social scientists were involved in projects dependent on foundation funds that tend towards the large, politically safe, and noncontroversial research carried out by an army of research technicians of abstracted empiricism (Mills 1959:104).

Max Weber’s statement about endemic bureaucracy creating an “iron cage of the future” proved to be prophetic. Current debates in social sciences reflect the contradiction inherent in the late 20th century in which increasing bureaucratic process in all forms of governance collides with theoretical enquiries demanding constant reappraisals of these same processes. In the university setting, sociology as a discipline is situated at the centre of these debates. In practice sociologists as civil servants can become trapped into working on narrow, exclusive and specialized enquiries that allow them to operate only with hard facts such as statistics that resemble scientific methods. At worst this transforms them into bureaucrats operating in a safe and acceptable environment while investigating short-term answers to questions they did not formulate, questions that were not informed by a contemporary theoretical framework. It indeed becomes Weber’s cage. This is the view of sociology of the late 1950s presented by <a href=”abstracts.htm#mills”>C. Wright Mills.

Notes

C. Wright Mills’ intellectual geneaology might include:

One of the more influential social scientists of the late 20th century Zygmunt Bauman, became a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw from 1954 until(?) he came to Britain in 1971 where he took up a position as a lecturer eventually becoming Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds in Yorkshire. He was (2001-?) Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw. In 2001 he reflected (Bauman & Tester 2001: 27) upon a visit to his University department by the [now] famous US sociologist C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. As far as Bauman was concerned Mills’s sociology was ‘..the story of our own concerns and duties. There was a lot I learned from Mills’s books and what I learned was not primarily about America.’ (Bauman & Tester 2001: 27).’ Bauman is alluding here to that sociological classic of Mills: The Sociological Imagination.

Intellectual influences on Bauman might include Karl Marx, Max Weber, Theodor Adorno, Cornelius Castoriadis and Emmanuel Levinas.

Bauman’s ‘big triad’ of influences includes: Antonio Gramsci, Georg Simmel and Bauman’s wife, Janina (Beilharz 2001: 335). In a conversation with Peter Beilharz, Bauman expands as follows: ‘Gramsci told me what, Simmel how, and Janina what for..’ (ibid). Bauman perceived Gramsci’s work as an antidote to the determinism (Stalinism?) of so much Marxisant thought. Simmel provides Bauman with the method(s) (the reference to the ‘big triad’ by Bauman above is a deliberate allusion to one of Simmel’s central concepts!), whilst Janina taught him that, ‘..sociologizing makes sense only in as far as it helps humanity…’ (Beilharz 2001: 335).

Janet Wolff (1999) acknowledged that since she came to Rochester from Britain in 1989 she felt it her mission to to encourage a “sociological imagination” among students,

“. . . I suppose I have felt since coming to Rochester that my “mission” was to encourage a “sociological imagination”2 among students in the graduate program in Rochester, a program, after all, initially founded by the collaboration of colleagues in art history, film studies, and comparative literature, only more recently including the participation of colleagues from anthropology and history. (There is no longer a department of sociology at the University.) I have wanted to direct them to the texts and methods of sociology and social history, and to urge them to supplement their interpretative and critical readings of visual texts with attention to the institutional and social processes of cultural production and consumption. It was a very pleasant moment for me recently when a graduate student, who came to discuss his search for a useful concept of “style,” told me that he had been reading Max Weber, and said (without any prompting) before he left my office “I suppose I should look at Simmel’s work.” Earlier, I was delighted when a graduate student (now a faculty member at the University of Virginia) completely switched his dissertation topic and ended up writing a social and institutional (and, of course, critical) history of art education in the United States–a dissertation, by the way, that will be published next year by the University of California Press.3 Actually this last case was particularly interesting because a year earlier (my first year in Rochester) this student had taken a class with me on the sociology of culture in which I had devoted quite a bit of time to the work of American sociologists. Despite my strong reservations about this work, I wanted students to recognize the importance of paying attention to institutional processes and structures in the study of culture. Some members of the class (including him) complained that this work was boring (which, actually, much of it is). Moreover, given my own criticisms of the work, which I explained, they wondered why we were spending time on it. I did not have a very good answer, except to say that nobody else was doing this kind of work well, and that I had hoped that we could read it critically in order to consider how we might indeed investigate what sociologists call “the production of culture.” As it turned out, that is indeed what that graduate student did, incorporating what he found most useful in that tradition into a fine study whose intellectual influences were at the same time more wide-ranging and sophisticated.”

She also (1999) called for a stronger connection between sociology and cultural studies,

“In this essay, I want to suggest that cultural studies can benefit from a stronger connection with sociology. A good deal of what I have to say consists of a critical review of recent developments in sociology, a discipline which for the most part has still not come to terms with the fact that, as Avery Gordon has put it, “the real itself and its ethnographic or sociological representations are . . . fictions, albeit powerful ones that we do not experience as fictions but as true.” (Gordon 1997:11) I review this work not so that I can simply dismiss it, but because, first, it retains a very high profile in the study of culture within the discipline of sociology and, second, because, as I shall show, it makes claims either to supersede or to displace cultural studies.”

“My critique of trends in sociology is entirely motivated by my hope for a productive encounter between cultural studies and sociology. The benefit to both fields will be the mutual recognition that–again to quote Avery Gordon “the increasingly sophisticated understandings of representation and of how the social world is textually or discursively constructed still require an engagement with the social structuring practices that have long been the province of sociological inquiry.”(Gordon 1997:11) What sociologists can contribute to the project of cultural analysis is a focus on institutions and social relations, as well as on the broader perspective of structured axes of social differentiation and their historical transformations–axes of class, status, gender, nationality, and ethnicity.” (cited in Wolff, Janet 1999)

text here . . .

Webliography and Bibliography

Beilharz 2001: 335

Carveth, Donald L. 1984 [1999]. “Psychoanalysis and Social Theory: The Hobbesian Problem Revisited.” Psychoanalysis & Contemporary Thought. 7, 1 (1984), 43-98.

Carveth, Donald L. 1999. “Psychoanalysis and Social Theory: The Hobbesian Problem Revisited.” Revised on-line version.

(Gulbenkian 1995:33-34)

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York. Oxford University Press.

Wagner 1995:1

Weber, Max.

Wolff, Janet. 1999. “Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture.” Invisible Culture: an Electronic Journal for Visual Studies.