Comments for The Sociological Imagination http://sociologicalimagination.org A daily dose of the Sociological Imagination Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:09:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Comment on The Sociology of Intellectual Faddishness or, Why it’s unfair to blame everything on Foucault by Sam Burgumhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/13567/comment-page-1#comment-132492 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:09:00 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=13567#comment-132492 Sociological Hipsterism = ” what do you mean you’ve never read [insert fringe theorist]?! They are the pinnacle of sociology. As so happens, I am an expert on them and therefore an authority over you and everything you say or argue”

Or the equally annoying…
“I liked [insert fad] before they were cool…”

Some theorists can perhaps be assumed to be popular enough that you don’t need to explain their theory, but for the majority, surely a critical outline of how you have interpreted them and found them useful/problematic is always necessary, rather than an appeal to expertise.

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Comment on Coping with Acceleration by Sociological Imaginationhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16860/comment-page-1#comment-132456 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 18:21:26 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16860#comment-132456 In other words, I think ‘discounting’ suggests the variation in cognition is entirely individual in its origins, whereas I’m suggesting it’s mostly social

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Comment on Coping with Acceleration by Sociological Imaginationhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16860/comment-page-1#comment-132455 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 18:08:10 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16860#comment-132455 Thanks Steve, I’d never heard of ‘picoeconomics’ and it’s fascinating – this seems to be the thread that unites all the things I’m trying to do at the moment. A kind of sociological picoeconomics I guess.

But I’m not sure I accept the framing of ‘discounting': it seems to imply a cognitive bias in an otherwise uniform faculty of cognition, whereas I’m trying to suggest that cognition is *not* uniform in the first place. Social conditions engender different temporal horizons and these in turn tendentially lead to outcomes. It’s a minor distinction between this and what you mean by ‘discounting’, assuming I’ve understood you correctly, but I think it’s an important one in terms of the methodological consequences that follow from it.

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Comment on Coping with Acceleration by Steve Fullerhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16860/comment-page-1#comment-132454 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:26:44 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16860#comment-132454 I find this a rather topsy-turvy way, though perhaps interesting, way of talking about the problem of ‘discounting’ in what is known as ‘picoeconomics’ (i.e. the economics of allocating psychic resources). People generally discount the future too heavily when deciding what to do. Thus, short-term desires swamp long-term desires, even when people know that long-term desires are more important. This is how addiction is explained by people (e.g. George Ainslie) who apply rational choice theory to psychiatry, namely, as people lurching from satisfying one short-term desire to the next, fully realizing that their long-term desires are less likely to be satisfied in the process.

However, your example about not wanting to go to work in the snow is unclear. Is your lack of desire to go out to be read as a sign of discounting or not? Because you want to give this a social acceleration spin, one might interpret you to mean that actually the first-order lack of desire is the right one, since the second-order desire is simply imposed by our urgency culture. However, in the normal picoeconomic rendering of the example, that second-order desire would be seen as the one to follow because it has your long-term interest in view.

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Comment on The Promise of Sociology in 2015 by Tomhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16869/comment-page-1#comment-132451 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:24:25 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16869#comment-132451 Really enjoyed that, thanks. Haven’t seen Nick since York years ago.

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Comment on 10 reasons why you need social science by Robynhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14915/comment-page-1#comment-132449 Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:11:34 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14915#comment-132449 Social scientists work to eliminate mass inequalities. They care about the poor, the working poor and the working poor middle class.

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Comment on Book Review: The Storytelling Animal – How Stories Make us Human. by mashup32http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16908/comment-page-1#comment-132448 Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:56:31 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16908#comment-132448 Thanks for your review, Emma! I also think important and interesting can be found in Gottschall’s book to understand the social role of storytelling. However, as sociologists, shouldn’t we be more skeptical about his evolutionary approach? For instance, a risk is to assume that the social functions of stories are a-historical…

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Comment on The Shoes and Lives of Refugees by “Don’t just look up, look down” | I Spy with My Inner Eyehttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14663/comment-page-1#comment-132447 Sun, 15 Feb 2015 12:57:30 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14663#comment-132447 […] can tell stories – such as what it might be like to flee to safety, or how important you are, but as with all stories they are given meaning by the teller. Imelda […]

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Comment on Academics Against Mass Surveillance by Academics Against Mass Surveillance (US) (feimineach)http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14783/comment-page-1#comment-132446 Sun, 15 Feb 2015 08:02:24 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14783#comment-132446 […] [HT sociologicalimagination.] […]

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Comment on Bourdieu meets Marx, Gramsci, Fanon, Freire, Beauvoir and Mills (in Burawoy’s imagination) by Peter Hausslerhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/15311/comment-page-1#comment-132445 Sat, 14 Feb 2015 10:13:02 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=15311#comment-132445 Great idea to converse with a ‘world’ of thinkers. I like particularly the ‘dialogue’ with Beauvoir’s view (good to remember in gender-discourse) and with Freire’s approach. We miss a debate on ‘education for the people’. It’s needed not only because of the neo-liberal (capitalist?) domination but because of the new fascinating ‘big wave’ of consumerism in our IT-world (with a formalized, minimized and ‘democratized’ communication). We need the discourse against this stream. As intellectual and popular ‘life-west’ to survive the ‘tsunami’ and, … get a new chance to swim. For instance, discussing and politicising Habermas’ discourse-ethics in public space could do it, I think. To stop a growing sickness of observed ‘self-disempowerment of people and intellectual ‘self-mutilation’.
What about a fictive communication on ‘freedom to learn’? Michael Burawoy could invite Habermas, Benhabib and Freire; and he would be a great moderatior, I am sure. Thanks – good luck.

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