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Unformatted text preview: Today’s Music Intro
‘Respect’ by Otis Redding
“But all I'm asking for is for a little respect when I come home” ‘Why?’ by Tracy Chapman
“Why do the babies starve when there's enough food to feed the world” ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin
“All I'm askin' (ooh) is for a little respect when you come home” Q: What are these songs about? In Search of Respect:
Analysing Social Change and Inequality
Anthropology 1102, July 23, 2009 Martin Forsey 6488-3880 Martin.firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Anthropology is philosophy with the people in’ (Ingold, cited in Eriksen 2001, p.1) What are the unseen connections that determine our lives? How do the threads run? These are among the most profound questions a sociologist can ask (Matthewman, West-Newman & Curtis 2007, p.15) Previous lecture
I wanted to probe the Archilles heel of the richest industrialized nation in the world by documenting how it imposes racial segregation and economic marginalization on so many of its Latino/a and African-American citizens (Bourgois 2002, p.1). Three current projects
1. Participant-observation fieldwork in the shooting encampments of homeless heroin injectors for an HIVprevention study 2. Analyzing experiences of war and political repression in Central America 3. Follow-up interviews in East Harlem with the families of the Puerto Rican crack dealers he wrote about in: In Search of Respect Philippe Bourgois see http://philippebourgois.net/ Author of In Search of Respect …he is continuing to explore the macro-structural constraints that shape substance abuse and violence in the everyday lives of the socially vulnerable. Initial Questions
• Primo, Caeser and Candy as victims of global forces beyond their influence • Primo, Caesar and Candy as local players who are peripheral at best to the global arena • The search for respect in El Barrio is more important than economic success El Barrio Today
Pictures by Sandra Koehrich Analysing Social Change and Inequality
In this lecture: • Continue introducing the unit • Introduce the first assignment • Introduction to key social theory and ideas
– – – – Structural functionalism Conflict theories Cultural production theory Symbolic interactionism • Introduction to key social concepts
– Social structure – Agency – Culture Developments in Social Theory
• 1950s/60s – Structural Functionalism
– Society as an organism, institutions its organs – Focus on integration of society • 1960s/70s – Critical Perspective
– Institutions serve an unjust society – Society built on conflict • An alternative – Symbolic Interactionism
– Attempt to understand how people understand and interpret their own and others’ actions and reactions in everyday life – Focus on the collective and negotiated nature of perspectives developed by actors as they live through shared situations (Acker 1999) What’s your theory?
How do you explain poverty? Be prepared to consider the evidence and weigh up your argument Explaining anything…
… breakfast for instance Australia's wholegrain breakfast biscuits... spread them with butter and vegemite or honey and the kids just love them. Explaining Breakfast
EGO Social Structure Agency Our Guides
Matthewman, West-Newman & Curtis. Sociology as • A form of consciousness, a way of thinking • Revealing to us the unseen connections that determine our lives • Disciplined by history, anchored to persons and place, mindful of context and nuance • Of structures, systems and forces in motion; of relationships, connections and forms of interaction; of the meaning of individual and collective action (pp14-16) Our Guides
Emily Schultz and Robert Lavenda – ‘Anthropologists are convinced that explanations of human activities will inevitably be superficial unless they acknowledge that human lives are always entangled in complex patterns of work and family, power and meaning’(2001, p.4). The Terms
• Culture (S&L, p.17)
– Sets of learned behavior and ideas that humans acquire as members of a society. Humans use culture to adapt to and transform the world in which we live. • Culture (Eriksen, pp.3-4)
161 different definitions An integrated whole & a system of meanings, a ‘web of significance’ (after Geertz) the acquired, cognitive and symbolic aspects of existence Society = social organisation of daily life Social Structure
Wikipedia A term frequently used in sociology and social theory — yet rarely defined or clearly conceptualised (Abercrombie, et al., 2000; Jary & Jary 1991). Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences Patterned and relatively stable arrangement of roles and statuses found within societies and social institutions. Inseparable from cultural norms and values that also shape status and social interaction. Wikipedia Social institutions and norms embedded into social systems that shape the behaviour of actors within those social systems. LEGAL, EDUCATION & HEALTH SYSTEMS, GENDER, CLASS, ETHNICITY, CULTURE Agency
Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences Focus on the individual as a subject Social action purposively shaped by individuals within a context to which they have given meaning. Usually contrasted with those sociologies which focus on social structure and imply the individual is shaped and constrained by the structural environment in which they are located. Schultz and Lavenda (p.133) Human agency is not understood as absolute: we are not free to chart our own destinies unimpeded; quite the contrary, our agency is circumscribed by various limitations that result from the deployment of social, economic and political power in the societies in which we live. Explaining Breakfast
EGO Social Structure Agency Explaining Poverty
Individual Or Collectivity Social Structure Agency Studying Poverty
‘Don’t study the poor I wanted to probe the and powerless Archilles heel of the richest because everything industrialized nation in the you say about them world by documenting how will be used against it imposes racial them’ (Nader , segregation and economic cited in Bourgois marginalization on so 2002, p.18). many of its Latino/a and African-American citizens (Bourgois 2002, p.1). Cultural Production Theory
I hope to restore the agency of culture, the autonomy of individuals, and the centrality of gender and the domestic sphere to a political economic understanding of the experience of persistent poverty and social marginalization in the United States (Bourgois 2003, p.12) Structure
•A grand debate in sociology •Largely unresolved Agency Initial Questions
• Primo, Caeser and Candy as victims of global forces beyond their influence • Primo, Caesar and Candy as local players who are peripheral at best to the global arena • The search for respect in El Barrio is more important than economic success Why Do We Work?
EGO Social Structure Agency ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2011 for the course ANTH 1101 taught by Professor Watts during the Spring '11 term at Texas Brownsville.
- Spring '11