The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 29, 2009

FAKEBOOK Like a broken uheel:

75% ov k!lrz aud!z!on 4 TV showz (AP) ! dz!nk our roov m!ght b kolapz!ng.
Ue had a buz9nezZ meet!ng toda! + ! d!dnt dr br!ng !t up! R!ze h!gh dze
roophb=, karpentr! :-( Nou uve go1 + do1 !t! !v ! folou u + u folou me, a
nooze around uz both u!l b ! uept bkauze ! had no shoez unt!l ! tzau a man
uho had no tear-duktz. Whatz happen!ng +? Evrydz!ng on earth! Al dze t!me!
Even ztuphv dzat doeznt tzeem 2 move az long az people tz !t! Me 2! ! tz
!t! Ztuphv! 2 dz!nk longr ztuphv, mayb more komplekkx, dze tzoluz!on at
lazt 2 no rel!, m! konphezZ!on az a l!ar + dze abjekz!on hum!l!az!on !
reze!ved at dze handz ov m! enem!ez, m!zrable, zr!ouzl! ! ztarted ur!t!ng
about m! karr az zkammr + arzon!zt hre + bgan 2 run out ov room go 2
FAKEBOOK 4 ekkxz!t!ng konkluz!o

Hi - I'm teaching this course as an adjunct/replacement; the description 
covers racism, feminism, queer theory, religious factionalism, the 
shrinking planet, and so forth - more or less of a grab-bag. I want to 
emphasize the global aspect. For reading materials, I'm hoping to use 
Ryan's Culture Studies: An Anthology (as background), and all sorts of 
online materials (as foreground). The approach will be less theory and 
more description, etc. than usually the case (perhaps). Anyway, below is a 
description of the first two classes' material, which is designed to 
create a kind of backdrop; it's divided into 'Picture' and 'Framework' - 
the former, a rough description of global issues, etc.; and the latter, a 
close division emphasizing theory, practice, and example. Any feedback 
will be greatly appreciated, including URLs of relevant sites.

Thanks greatly, Alan

Notes for course on 'cross-cultural human relations':


Global resources: ecological constraints: water, territory, food,
climate, population.
Group resources: cultural inhibitions, identifications.
Wars and their causes, increased weaponry, numbers and power.
Expansion gap between haves and have-nots: enclaves, gangs, 'rogue 
states,' and shifting territories.


Heredity and environment: entangled (Waddington's chreod).
Essentialism and 'choice': what is taken as a given in human experience.
Prosthetic technologies: transformations of essentialism.
Identifications, a-identifications, non-identifications, issues of -
tolerance, prejudice, advocacy, all the way up and down.
Projections and introjections.
Purity and abjections.
What are the cultural and political manifestations?)
Race (how defined, how divided, how is it culturally and
biologically manifest, what sorts of groups are created?)
'Traditional' male/female divisions: political and biological issues
(wage, pregnancy, life-span, crime, socio-cultural issues).
Cross-gendered, trans-gendered, gays, lesbians, heterosexuals: queer 
Religious divisions: issues of inerrancy, truth, world-view.
Subcultures: punk and other divisions.
Class and caste divisions: related to economic divisions.
Cultural and economic capital (Bourdieu, Distinction).
Age divisions (individual and national/international demographics).
National divisions.
Bias, stigma, bullying: symptomology and theory.
Sociobiology, anyone?
History and historiography of divisions, individual and group memory.
Technological capital increasingly important.
Related to technological capital: information/communications capital.
Related to all of the above: attention economy.
Can one speak of an entertainment economy?
Global culture identifications: Michael Jackson, football (soccer), etc.
-- Their relation to corporate production and local cultures. (Think of
radio/television in this regard.)
Splintering of identifications online: Youtube or Facebook for examples.
Hardening of identifications online: Stormfront, jihad sites, political
Animals: extinctions, bushmeat, starvation, habitat shrinking, disturbed
systems ('extreme' sports etc.).

How are all of the above entangled/interrelated?
Ecological constraints: the carrying-capacity of the earth, limited
resources (water, energy, food, shelter, transportation, medical care,
wilderness, changing climate, pollutions, extinctions, etc.).
Labor force. (Slave, wage, surplus, global, etc.)

What are the lines here?
1. Ecological constraints.
2. Inherent identifications: sexual?, health, age, race?
(What constitutes inherency?)
3. Cultural and territorial identifications: subcultures, religious,
national, global: ~~ selves and others.
(Primatological, psychoanalytical, sociobiological explanations.)

Think of a playing-field of continuously-changing structures, virtual-
particle vacuum.

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