Interpersonal, Organizational, and Global Dimensions
Monday, 21 November 2005
Transformations in location and sources of authority.
First we discussed transformations in what look like the organizational structure of society, role
of family, community, religion.
Then we discussed the emergence of professional experts as
new sources of knowledge that substitute for these traditional organizations, mediating
Then, we discussed two examples about how the location of authority had shifted in
the modern world to professionals.
We left off with professional authority in family relations.
Today we add another perspective to the same question: a
transformation in social life
produced (in the end) by technology (
and maybe all along by technology). What happens when
you regularly, repeatedly, observe yourselves, when function and instrumental knowledge
become dominant over the taken for granted, habitual, organizations (institutions) and
explanations? We are slowly moving from discussion of organizational shifts (in forms of
aggregation and membership) along with associated types of authority to questions about
reflexivity and feedback in this system.
Most of the time, individuals live in a world that is taken for granted.
Today we’ll take another
cut at this
taken for granted
world and how might it have changed over time.
(German philosopher) – the fundamental structures/organizations/patterns in
which social life takes place are not questioned but are lived as seemingly natural and self-
evident aspects of life.
taken for granted
quality pertains to our interpersonal relations
(e.g. when we talk we face each other, or looking into eyes is so patterned that it’s taken as sign
This taken for granted quality pertains to interpersonal/micro arena as
well as the larger/macro world of nations, states, and societies.
e.g. classroom = familiar routine, unlikely that participants in this situation reflect upon what is
going on unless something happens to interrupt
Most interactions are not codified (vs. the syllabus), like what we should wear, coming to
class and sitting in seats, using pens instead of crayons – these behaviors are not directly
discussed about but actually go on day to day.
We have so much
assumption of what ought to happen
that we do not speak about what
The large context of
(e.g. universities, economies, families) serve as the background
of this classroom and will go unquestioned most of the time. This
taken for granted world
being massively questioned because it is
changing so rapidly
So many unaccustomed things
are happening, interactions with little precedent.
Thus, we are left with few ways to interpret or
understand what is happening (
no legitimizing myths
or norms); we cannot make sense of
experience or have meaning.
Family, religion, and state are often questioned because they no
longer seem to perform