Comments for The Sociological Imagination http://sociologicalimagination.org A daily dose of the Sociological Imagination Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:30:27 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Comment on “I’m a cyborg? I thought I was just wearing glasses”: technology, agency and ontology by Sociological Imaginationhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14171/comment-page-1#comment-132426 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:30:27 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14171#comment-132426 “The point, at least for me, is the acknowledgement that people do not live in vacuums. You might be a reflexive and embodied person now, but lock you up in a vast, white room with nothing to interact with, and I think you’ll feel different!”

I couldn’t agree more! My question is what we do with that relationality in concrete cases of trying to explain things as social scientists. I have no disagreement with the point on a philosophical level, my question is a methodological one. I’d be genuinely interested in seeing studies that have applied the cyborg concept (etc) to case studies of specific people interacting with technology over time.

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Comment on “I’m a cyborg? I thought I was just wearing glasses”: technology, agency and ontology by Rasmus Birkhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14171/comment-page-1#comment-132425 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:16:29 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14171#comment-132425 This was retweeted on twitter, and I just wrote a reply and noticed this post is a bit old. I’ll reply anyway!

There’s a pretty vast literature on these topics. David Chalmers has written a lot on “the extended mind” (a youtube video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksasPjrYFTg), Bruno Latour has written a paper called “on interobjectivity” which presents some of these thoughts, Ingunn Moser has written some good papers on disability, technology and subjectivity as well.
Of course you are right that your phone is not “in you” in a literal sense, but you do enter into a relation with it, which enables you to do things which you did not do before. The point, at least for me, is the acknowledgement that people do not live in vacuums. You might be a reflexive and embodied person now, but lock you up in a vast, white room with nothing to interact with, and I think you’ll feel different! Further, people develop their cognitive skills as reflexive beings through interactions with, amongst others, things! The psychologist Lev Vygotsky wrote on this in the 1930s.

Anyway, I think you should expand on what you mean by the fact that this type of theory doesn’t allow “explanatory purchase”. Also, it should be considered that not all the scholars writing about these issues are especially interested in (causal) “explanation”.

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Comment on Your ‘daily dose of Sociological Imagination’: reflections on social media and public sociology by » Sociology’s Promise and the Sociological Imagination The Sociological Imaginationhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/14861/comment-page-1#comment-132423 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:01:08 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=14861#comment-132423 […] This post by Mark Carrigan and Milena Kremakova is an extract from a longer co-authored essay.  […]

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Comment on Ignorance in the ‘Golden Age of Television’ by traceyjensenhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16786/comment-page-1#comment-132422 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:40:59 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16786#comment-132422 I take the point Steve, and thank you for it. At the same time, I don’t agree that ‘academically oriented’ necessarily means ‘inward-looking’ – I know so many public-facing sociologists who are trying to bring their research, and the research of others, onto the tables where it can influence and shape policy (we all want our research to have ‘impact’, right?) – too often they are blocked, silenced and ignored. If anyone is inward-looking it is think-tanks (and the politicians who set them up) who fail/refuse to consult these experts and instead conduct their own rigged research (what Tom Slater memorably calls ‘policy-based evidence-making’), rely on ‘research by dipstick’ and ‘anecdote’ to drown out the literature base that already exists.

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Comment on Ignorance in the ‘Golden Age of Television’ by Steve Fuller (@ProfSteveFuller)http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16786/comment-page-1#comment-132421 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:15:32 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16786#comment-132421 While I appreciate your outrage and I certainly endorse the study of agnotology, your piece reads more like an advertisement for the need for more research into the public misrepresentation of poverty than a strategy for addressing the response of the committee chair who professed not knowing where to begin sifting through the relevant social research literature. This suggests to me that sociologists should try to work as researchers for MPs and their committees to bring the relevant literature to their attention. Otherwise, you may just end up unwittingly reproducing the problem that you’re trying to solve — i.e. by expanding the literature base and pushing it in a more inward-looking (i.e. academically oriented) direction.

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Comment on Jazz and Sociology by sayan biswashttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/13933/comment-page-1#comment-132420 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:30:28 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=13933#comment-132420 JAZZ IS A DISTINCTIVE ELEMENT OF AMERICAN CULTURE AT LEAST AT A SUPERFICIAL LEVEL. DURING COLD WAR JAZZ HAD VERY LIMITED ENTRY THROUGH THE IRON CURTAIN BECAUSE THE DOGMATIC COMMUNISTS FELT THAT IT WAS A SELF INDULGENT LIGHTWEIGHT DISTRACTION OF MARKETED CULTURE. TOO UNFORTUNATE FOR A MUSIC WHICH HAD STRONG PROLETARIAN ROOTS.
I AM SAYAN BISWAS AN INDIAN FAR AWAY FROM THE EPICENTRE OF THIS MUSIC.BUT THIS MUSIC TOTALLY UNCONNECTED WITH MY CULTURAL AMBIENCE HAS THRILLED ME WITH ITS MYSTERIOUS QUALITIES. TO ME JAZZ IS THE PROFOUND MUSIC DEALING WITH EVERYDAY RHYTHMS OF LIFE.IT HAS SIMILARITIES WITH THE SLAPSTICK TRADITION OF HOLLYWOOD AND AMERICAN VAUDEVILLE.I AM NEITHER A SOCIOLOGIST NOR A JAZZ MUSICIAN .PLEASE RECTIFY THESE PERCEIVED IDEAS FROM A NAIVE HOBBYIST.

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Comment on Sociology as the Science of Human Uplift: The Sacred Project of UK Sociology? by etseqhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16093/comment-page-1#comment-132405 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:39:13 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16093#comment-132405 Smith’s public interventions include promoting right wing think tank funded “science” that smears gay parents as child molesters. I’m sure you can justify this as some sort of reverse affirmative action for straight, white christian homophobes but at that point you should just drop your pretense at being a leftists, liberal, etc.

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Comment on Sociology as the Science of Human Uplift: The Sacred Project of UK Sociology? by etseqhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16093/comment-page-1#comment-132404 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:33:42 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16093#comment-132404 I am amazed that Fuller is still taken seriously in the UK – his reputation was destroyed in the US because of his creationism. If you want sociology taken seriously, I’d suggest not having him speak at your annual BSA meeting!

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Comment on “What do you wish you’d known when you started your PhD?” by Annetta Mallonhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/13313/comment-page-1#comment-132355 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:36:27 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=13313#comment-132355 That a supervisor who wants you to write the thesis they want you to write will cost you a year of recovery time.

On the upside, I am now a well-informed and articulate advocate for HDR student rights, happy to support and mentor new candidates, and know that changing a supervisory panel is not the end of your academic world.

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Comment on Does Sociology as a Discipline Have a Future in the UK after the REF? by Steve Fullerhttp://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/16661/comment-page-1#comment-132313 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:01:15 +0000 http://sociologicalimagination.org/?p=16661#comment-132313 Everything that Carl May says is true and in most cases obvious (and sometimes even mentioned in my post). The question is what if anything would count for him as signs of a discipline in decline. However, one can’t but admire his HEFCE-friendly brave face…

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