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JSIS 202 Week 2 Notes

by: Rachel Pollard

JSIS 202 Week 2 Notes JSIS 202

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Here are the notes for the second week of lectures.
Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World
Professor James Wellman
Class Notes
International Studies
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Pollard on Friday April 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to JSIS 202 at University of Washington taught by Professor James Wellman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 95 views. For similar materials see Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World in Art at University of Washington.


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Date Created: 04/08/16
Social Construction of Reality Monday, April 4, 2016 10:23 AM Max Weber (1864 -1920) • "Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun." - Clifford Geertz • The process of being spun Martin Jaffee • "All world views, religious, and secular, are constructions, it is not as if one is natural the other not, they are both constructed, both fragile, both relative, usually one or the other is accepted unconsciously, the goal of the study of society, religion, culture, is to make a conscious choice, what world view will you commit to, will it be a conscious choice?" • Jaffe, deeply influenced by the Weberian and Bergerian tradition of Verstehen sociology - understanding the meaning and motives in human action. • We are experiencing the disenchant ment of Western civilization. o The secular world, the real world of common sense. o Do we disenchant that secular world as well? • Is it spinning us or are we being spun by it? Weber's Life • Weber, oldest of eight children; Father, moved to Berlin; politician . Mother, highly educated, introspective, religious. • Full professor, 1895, political economy; mishap with Father, father dies; anxiety from 1897-1901; marries Marianne Schnitger; retursn to scholarship in 1907. • Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalis m. • He is ideal case of someone who undergoes Western disenchantment. • Economic studies of the world's religions. Verstehen • Cannot explain human action as one explains natural phenomena in the natural world. Human agents guided by external and internal factors. • Discern role of motives and meanings in human action. • Competing Methods in the Social Scientists • Nomothetic: o Actions that repeat themselves and create rules to explain. • Idiographic: o Human actions are singular events, requiring individual explanati ons. • It's difficult to do social science well. o You come into it with prejudice but your studies reveal other things. Weber differs from Marx • Class systems don't function in a singular fashion; social groupings are not formed according to class, but o By location (urban and rural) o By vocation (craftsmen, farmer, or warrior) o By status groups (regardless of money), bureaucrats or professionals. • In Marx: o Structure is the means of production, economic systems of labor that shape and determine superstructure - (ideology, cultural values, ethical ideals, religion) • For Weber: o Structure does not necessarily cause superstructure - Interaction and interrelationship between the two. • Radical empiricism o It's fully aware that what we see, touch, taste, hear and smell is not all there is. • Small choices have big impacts • Cultural prejudice. Weber: Forms of Rationality: Forms of Values and Norms • Motives and meanings create diverse forms of rationality: o Instrumental rationality (seek means to achieve goals) • Capitalism o Value-rational (seeks a goal as good in itself) • The common good is more important than the individual good o Affectional rationality (driven by emotions alone) • Our emotions become the driver of all our choices. • Modern advertising o Traditional rationality (habits of culture and society) • This is who I am Maturity • Martin Jaffee: o "Maturity is realizing the fragility of your own worldviews, your own identities, whether religious or secular, and nevertheless, you must commit to some - whether it's a religious point of view or secular. You can't live without a commitment or a worldview, whether it's an unconscious one or conscious. Most students commit unconsciously; but you can commit consciously - make a wise decision, (I wouldn't say a rational decision) about what is ultimately worth your time and life." • Humans are known by our interactions. o We are, our social interactions. • Ernst Becker, in his book, The Denial Death" o "Choose the most life enhancing illusion." Peter L. Berger • The Sacred Canopy, 1969 • The Desecularization of the World, 1999 o Secularization • Recognize human origins - nothing self-evident § VS. o Counter-secularization • Sacralization: make essential - taken for granted - self-evident, reifying World Construction • Dialectical Relationship o Humans create society; society creates humanity. o Humans are fundamentally unfinished - to create is a biological necessity. Externalization • On-going outpouring of the human being into the world. o Human nature is externalization - because we have few instincts, we must create to survive. o Invention is our symbolic creativity… symbols, throwing together of sign and things; creating worlds, never finished. Objectivation • Society becomes a reality sui generis; o What we create becomes distinct, alien to us o Ludwig von Feuerbach: • "Man - this is the mystery of religion - projects his being into objectivity, and then again makes himself an object to this projected image of himself thus converted into a subject. God is the highest subjectivity of man abstracted from himself." Internalization • Re-appropriation of objects into structures of subjective consciousness o Language created, objectified, and internalized; inventing social norms, feelings of guilt and shame; need for law and punishment: • Do not cheat • Do not take drugs • Do not gossip • Do not have sex o There are exceptions o The 10 suggestions Moral Mapping Wednesday, April 6, 2016 11:28 AM Society as Coercive Force • Humankind has NO original relationship with society; we create it • Alienation: Humans concoct institutions which then confront human beings as menacing constellations Socialization • Establishment of symmetry between the objective world and the subjective world of the individual o Given social identities, we discover a repertoire of selves; ONLY becomes a self in relation o No essential self • No "special" self: the human self is unique in the sense that we create, create symbolic worlds • "There is another world, but it is in this one." W.B. Yeats Congenital Meaning Makers • Craving for meaning, for world order: force of instinct • Society: o A nomocizing activity, without society, without order, life becomes anomic. Working against Alienation • Yeat's 1920 poem: "The Second Coming" Life Project • Socialization is never really complete • Individual co-producer of the world o Persons use creativity and innovation to invent and innovate. o Never underestimate the power of the individual Cosmization • Religion: Furthest reach of human self -externalization: essentialized projections: o Essentialism: Reification, enchantment, sacraliz ation: to make a world self -evident, taken for granted. o Sacralization used to legitimate social order. o What does religion want you to feel. o To bind one back. The essential definition of religion. • Humans need discipline. World Maintenance: Sacralizing Wor lds • Institutions seek to hide their constructed character: o States must have human consent; so its critical to allow the essentializing or reifying process to manufacture harmony between objective and subjective worlds. Sociodicy Pierre Bourdieu: Michele Lamont's Money, Morals and Manners: Inside the French and American Upper Class • How to legitimate the social norms in light of social anomie, social disasters - poverty? o Aristocracy: Unearned privilege based on position • Is inheritance a form of affirmative action for the privileged? o Democracy: • Tension between an equal playing field (allowing merit/talent to create unequal results) or requiring equal results (coercively taking from the privileged to distribute goods in an egalitarian way). • If a society creates suffering for the majority of its people, is it actually a good system? Moral Rafts: Christian Smith Moral, Believing Animals • Externalization • Rational discourse Moral Mapping • Openness (or lack there of) to new experiences o Affinity for progressive views… predicts liberal o Affinity for traditional views…predicts conservative • Groups generally select for one or the other: o When the world is broken in this either/or, harder to understand anyone from the other side. o Cultures break down: no chance of compromise or collaboration, sounds like our congress. • Liberals: openness to experience vs. Conservations: closed to new experience, choosing more traditional values. Five Moral Foundations: First Draft of Moral Mind • Apriori: that which is organized prior to experience: o Harm/care: bonding o Fairness/reciprocity: fair play, fair share o In-group loyalty: only humans loyalty to each other, fight others - tribal psychology o Authority/ respect: sources of tradition o Purity/sanctity: attain purity, sexuality/ food. Tribal Psychology on the conservative side deeply pleasurable Tribal psychology of liberals: How they celebrate Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights Social Entropy • Order tends to decay over time • Studies show: o In general, without social pressure, people, even liberals will free ride; not pay taxes o To solve collective problems, punishment increases cooperation (religion tends to do the same; makes groups cohere, cooperate) o Religion tends to add external pre ssure • Haidt: Religion most amazing invention… all of our moral mapping to create collective goods. An order that comes with costs. o Tends to all parts of the moral framework: • Care, fairress, authority, in groups, and purity The World divide, liberals and conservatives • Liberals speak for weak and oppressed; want change and justice, eve nat the risk of chaos • Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions; want order even at the cost to those at the bottom; order hard to achieve, easy to lose. o Edmund Burke Truth is both / and, not either or Haidt's Moral Injunction • Don't go charging in, I'm right, you're wrong • First understand that we think we are all right; understand our moral psychology • Step out of moral matrix; everyone has some reasons for doing what they do. • Cultivate moral humility, I may be wrong. Ethical Theory Friday, April 8, 2016 11:27 AM Kantian Principle: Deontological Ethics • Treat each as an end in themselves; • Categorical Imperative o Act only in ways which would make your action a universal law • Creating universals from Nothing: John Rawls: Theory of Justice - Theory, based on "original positions". Nancy Scheper-Hughes • Anthropologist. • Unsure if she should stay objective in the study o f group of people • Moral demand Moral Relativism no longer appropriate • If we refuse to prevent an epidemic, or stop an injustice, we lack moral courage - there is no ethical power in being an objective observer. • Scheper-Hughes: Lost the 'false neutrality' an "chameleon-like ambidexterity of the politically uncommitted." • "Watchful waiting or active, politically committed, morally engaged anthropology"? Join Struggle Against Evil • Evil is structural and systematic dehumanization. • "Here I will tentatively and hesitantly suggest that responsibility, accountability, answerability to the 'the other' - the ethical as I would define it - is precultural to the extent that our human existence as social beings presuppose the presence of the other." • M. Rosenberg: "N atural state - compassion." Negative Workers "The negative worker is a species of class traitor - a doctor, teacher, lawyer, psychologist, social worker, manager, social scientist, even - who colludes Utilitarianism • Obligation is the principle of utility, which says quite strictly that the moral end to be sought in all we do is the greatest possible balance of good over evil. Utilitarian's decide moral issues by trying to determine the aggregate good, which will produce the greatest non-moral good for the greatest number. • Do the best that you can for the most. Narrativist Tradition: Ethics of Virtue and Character • Ethical theory that is dependent upon principles or rational deliberation is rejected in favor of stories/narratives that shape a pa rticular community; character of the individual is developed through socialization of habits of virtue, arising from one's tradition. • Aristotelian ethics/ethics of virtue/ Anabaptist tradition of nonviolence, ethical theories for pacifism. Emotivist Tradiiton: Ethical Egoism • Modern version of hedonism that is generally a form of ethical egoism or expressive individualism/utilitarianism - that says one should get the most of what you determine to be good for you. Often supported by psychological theorists and new age movements. • The true you is always good, so go after whatever the true you wants; moreover, the true you will be good by definition for the rest of the world, thus one must do it. Western Religious Ethical and Moral Tradition • Mixed Deontologi cal Theory: o Principle of utility: maximize the balance of good over evil - arises from principle of beneficence: obligation to do good and prevent harm o Principle of justice: guide our distribution of good over evil; obligation of equal regard and equal treatment toward all.


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