New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Socially Constructed Wld

by: Ulices Anderson

Socially Constructed Wld NCLC 130

Ulices Anderson
GPA 3.69


Almost Ready


These notes were just uploaded, and will be ready to view shortly.

Purchase these notes here, or revisit this page.

Either way, we'll remind you when they're ready :)

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Course

Popular in New Century Lrng Communities

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ulices Anderson on Monday September 28, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to NCLC 130 at George Mason University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see /class/215073/nclc-130-george-mason-university in New Century Lrng Communities at George Mason University.

Similar to NCLC 130 at Mason

Popular in New Century Lrng Communities


Reviews for Socially Constructed Wld


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/28/15
Weekly Overview Week Two The central theme of our work this week is an understanding ofideology ofboth the concept itself and of the construction nurturing perpetuating and adjusting of the webs of social economic political personal national and international relationships we might identify as ideologies To the ideas of Berger Zerubavel Satris and Geertz we add Kavanagh s incisive exploration ofideology first as the concept is commonly misused and second in its meaning the identification ofa pervasive system of dominance which robs the individual of autonomy while perpetuating the illusion that she is free An understanding ofideology enables us to dissect the social world around us by asking and answering fundamental questions For example we might ask What is natural Or What does good mean and what does evil mean and how does distance in time and space in uence those meanings Or more practically we might ask How do social organizations a church the family a television network for exaInple exert their control over the individual Or Why do we obey the prohibitions that stop us from driving on the wrong side of the road or not paying our mxes For as the breakdown of the taxation system in contemporary Russia shows if enough people do not pay their taxes a state cannot accumulate enough money to pay the administrators bureaucrats and ultimately the legal actors lawyers judges amp police who can enforce such payment In this case we might ask ls power a consensual illusion of the rulers and the ruled We investigate these ideas through a focus on two different aspects of our global social world In the first we look at the relationships between the ideological systems we call religions and the questing mind initially through two readings from Plato then through an examination of the historical moment when one of the politically and socially subversive mystery religions of the Roman Empire Christianity succumbed to the prevailing social prescriptions and proscriptions which as Elaine Pagels notes at the end of her chapter dominate it still In the second we apply what we have learned about the discovery and interpretation of evidence from Namlie Zemon Davis and Elaine Pagels to investigate the dispute between Palestinians and lsraelis over the ownership of the geographical territory called lsrael We interrogate different kinds of evidence the essential raw materials of reaching conclusions for ourselves and not relying on those of others W primary documents journalism historical analysis literature and art W and attempt to undersmnd the complex human histories that lie behind such easy cliches as the problems in the Middle East Both these areas of study arouse strong emotions and opinions in many people In the case of religions for example some of us whatever our faith may feel with Tertullian that we have no need of further knowledge when we have the revealed word of our God to guide us Others ofus may feel like Valentinus that only through the perpetual search for knowledge wherever that search takes us can we approach God Some of us may feel like Socrates that religion shorticircuits thought Others ofus may like Euthryphro know what we know even ifwe cannot put it clearly into words or defend it successfully Or perhaps some ofus may reject all religions as illusions designed to enslave the individual intellect without perhaps realizing that the rejection of religions is as socially constructed as its acceptance What is impormnt during this week is not the answers that we reach individually or collectively but our willingness to interrogate without preijudgment the processes by which we reach our answers to understand both the visible and invisible inheritances that might limit our undersmnding of our own and others decisionimaking and to enjoy very important an intellectual debate about a concept which we as educated members of the world s richest nation cannot ignore Week 3 Imperialism Locatingz Mastering the quotOtherquot In its most traditional sense imperialism refers to the extension of rule or influence by one government nation or society over another The video on the Reformation highlights the changes in European thought and politics that led to the first Western overseas empire The readings at the beginning of the week will consider Spanish exploration of the New World beginning with Columbus in 1492 These readings will illuminate the ways in which quotexplorationquot was from the very beginning an imperialist enterprise The reading by Stewart Schwartz introduces the conquest of Mexico and then juxtaposes a Spaniard39s account of events against a Mexica39s account The readings by Sepulveda and Las Casas constitute a written debate over how to treat the inhabitants of the New World who were mistakenly called quotIndiansquot by the Spaniards Two theoretical readings early on will equip us with tools for our analysis the first by Mary Louise Pratt argues that early travel writing produced quotthe rest of the worldquot for European readership and in so doing garnered support for Europe39s expansionistimperialist agendas We will employ Pratt39s conceptions of quottransculturationquot and the quotcontact zonequot when we consider various encounters between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples of the Americas Pratt also makes important connections between European imperialism and the development and increase in popularity of quotnatural historyquot in the years following 1735 The essay by Foucault uses the famous painting Las Meninas by the Spanish painter Velazquez to explore changing regimes of the visible Part of what we will be exploring is the power of the quotgazequot the role looking plays in the subjugation of others and in the definition of the self In the second part of the week we will explore imperialism in Latin America in the 20th century and in particular the United States39 role as an imperial power In the 20th Century the United States emerged as the dominant world power much as the Spanish crown had been in the 15th Century While the documentary on the School of the Americas and the documents by the CIA and the International Court ofjustice reveal the United States39 military involvement in Latin America the essay by Louis Perez on Cuba demonstrates a different and perhaps subtler form of imperialism but one which has become increasingly more common in a global economy quotcultural imperialismquot The Perez article invites us to consider the connections between the importation of US goods and the impormtion of US ideologies In his essay the performance artist Coco Fusco describes a project she undertook with another artist GomeziPe a to expose contemporary attitudes towards quotnativesquot they dressed up as Amerindians from the Gulf of Mexico and lived in a cage for 3 days In so doing they sought to expose the quotcolonial unconscious ofAmerican Societyquot Gloria Anzaldua MexicaniAmerican writer and poet offers a more sanguine account oflife at the interface of two cultures her work explores the possibilities opened up by life literally and metaphorically on the border Week Four Identity In Unit I you were presented with the question How do I know who I am Through various readings and classroom discussions both your own sense of self and that of your generation were carefully scrutinized In essence by looking at this question you were pursuing the concept ofidentity both on a particularpersonal level as well as generally your generation and your relationship to it In Unit HI you will be expanding this understanding ofidentity and developing the ability to understand the importance and presence of this concept in different social contexts The texts and discussions ofweek four will challenge you to look again at the shape ofpersonal identity and consider how it is affected by looking both inward and outward You will also be asked to analyze how identity emerges and comment on that emergence as well as its repression in many geographic cultural and temporal locations The Return ome iz39n Gume will be a constant presence as the various analytic tools are being gathered and developed during week four In this story many questions ofidentity are in play Look closely at among other things particular characters the impact ofgender the relationships between individuals and groups to their society both on a micro and macro level and the influence of culture and nation As you become involved in this history make sure to use it as a sounding board for the ideas and concepts that emerge when reading the other texts especially the more theoretical ones Given the theoretical texts and your own exploration through reflection and classroom discussion consider why the renaissance and enlightenment periods are wonderfully rich staging grounds for pursuing questions of identity Along with Mam Gume and the western civilization texts we will start the week with an overview by Roy Porter In this introduction Porter will bring many of the texts you have been reading and will be reading into view He concentrates on the composition of self and how it has been constructed while paying careful attention to the many social constructs that impact identity These themes also take center stage in the essay by Marilyn Frye as she turns a discerning eye on the persistence of social constructs and their power to shape the identities ofindividuals and groups Ursula Le Guin in a fictional piece and Kate Bornstein in a much more direct fashion will attempt to turn these constructs upside down forcing the reader to confront several traditionally held assumptions In the middle of the week the work of Sigmund Freud is introduced both through the texts as well as a lecture by Dr Debra Bergoffen Here the focus will be turned inward as we follow Freud s exploration of the subconscious and how it shapes who we are Allow Freud s dialog to reverberate through your exaInination of the construction and emergence ofidentity in the personal experiences of Kitty Tsui Bei Dao and Gish Jen and also as you reflect back on the movie Vertigo You may want to attempt a momentary bracketing of your personal conceptions ofidentity in order to approach the various challenges to its emergence in other cultures for insmnce To Live is an excellent exaInple of the struggle to mainmin a sense ofidentity during radical cultural shifts It may be efficacious to allow that bracketing to continue as we close the week with Mircea Eliade and Li Liu considering how our links to the past both literal and transcendenml can have a tremendous impact on identity Week Five The Nation the Family In Week 5 of Unit III we will incorporate what we have learned about constructed ideologies and personal identities into a study of national and familial identities We begin the week with an excerpt from Ernest Renan s What is a Nation 4an important work written in 1882 that continues to influence scholarship on nationalism today In the essay Renan a French historian and essayist argues that national identity is contingent on memory of sacrifices that one has made in the past and on the desire quotto continue a common life Following Renan39s lead Benedict Anderson writing a century later de nes the nation as an imagined political communityquot that is paradoxically both inherently limitedquot and quotsovereign Also in uenced by Renan Ernest Gellner author ofNatiom and Nationalism argues that the Industrial Revolution spawned a kind of nationalism that was dependent on clear ethnic and political boundaries and on everichanging divisions oflabor After discussing these concepts of nation we will then investigate how the ideology of the nation intersects with the ideology of the family We look at these ideologies together because the words we use to talk about nations and nationalism often overlap with the words we use to talk about families and familial ties As a result relations and behaviors within and between nations are ideologically quotnaturalizedquot and relations and behavior within the family are ideologically weighted with significance for the health and wellibeing of the nation In particular we will look carefully at the ways in which the overlap of these ideologies affects who is included or excluded by our terms and definitions For example when speaking of a nation we frequently use terms that are associated with personal identities such as we are one people or we are like family Such emotionally appealing smtements of nationalism however may fuel intra and intersociety conflict For example as we join hands across the chasms that separate people of different races classes and genders after September 11 are we also generating a spirit that incites hate crimes against those whom we exclude from the national quotfamilyquot Does the idea that quotwe in the nation are onequot make political dissent against US government policies seem not just disloyal but somehow unnatural The interlocking vocabularies of nation and family also affect the way we view family life and structure For exaInple Alexis de Tocqueville a Frenchman writing in the midi nineteenth century analogizes the traditional European family to the old European political order which gives absolute power to the patriarch In the excerpt we will read from his Amerimn Demoimg he argues for a new democratic family based on love and trust analogous to the spirit of consent and equality he saw in the young American democracy This appealing and enlightenedisounding analogy however masks the pressures on the family structure caused by such quotexternalquot structural issues as gender inequality Friedrich Engels for example describes pairing marriage as the beginning of the abduction and purchase ofwomen In A Vindimtion ofthe Rights ofWoImm Mary Wollstonecraft skillfully uses woman39s traditional role as mother ofquotgood citizens for the nationquot to argue for the right ofwomen to education and to participation in the public arena In quotThe Fact of Blacknessquot we will see how Franz Fanon a psychiatrist born in Martinique and writing in the early 1950s finds the effects of systematic racism permeating every aspect of black identity down to the very sense ofwhether one possesses one39s own body We also visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum where we will bear witness to the extremes of attitudes behaviors and consequences that may follow when quotthe nationquot and quotthe familyquot are ideologically linked We also will explore new concepts of the family such as the concept of a quotfamily of choicequot discussed by contemporary essayist Graff in What Makes a Family To expand our understanding of nation and faInily beyond EuroaInerican traditions we will explore how these ideologies appear in African nationalist movements Ben Carton from GMU39s History department will be a guest lecturer We will visit the National Museum ofAfrican Art where we will see a presentation and View artifacts that focus on African nations and faInilies The final day will include a performance and presentation on quotMythic Modernismquot by Unit 3 seminar leader Suzanne Scott and guest presenter Lynne Constantine from GMU s Cultural Studies Department and the College ofVisual and Performing Arts Their presentation will focus on how the twentiethicentury movements known as quotmodernismquot in literature and in the visual arts produced powerful challenges to such romantic myths as those linking nation and family Ironically however modernism39s own ideologies were themselves easily coiopted by fascism and some of the most illustrious modernists allied themselves with fascist ideology without realizing that they were in effect condoning genocide Week Six C 391 The Indusu 39 quot 39 of Death The material for the final week of NCLC 130 is divided into three related parts Each part builds on the concepts of family and nation that were discussed in the preceding week In fact the focus of this week acts as a culmination of all of the many threads that have flowed through the course over the past several weeks A good way to enter into the material for this week is to ask yourself the following questions What does genocide do to history What does it do to memory How can history memory or culture be used to defend genocide How does ideology create the conditions ofgenocide How do genocide and imperialism differ What are the ramifications ofgenocide for notions ofidentity How do cermin notions ofidentity predicate genocide How are the nation the faInily and genocide interrelated The material for this week will help you come to terms with these difficult questions The first part of this week s material focuses on genocide as an abstract concept Genocide is not a concept that has a single accepted upon definition The two web pages from the Institute for the Study of Genocide provide a series of definitions for the concept ofgenocide The United Nations General Assembly resolution 260A HI offers the standard definition that most governments accept This definition however is a problematic one As Johasson amp Bjornson argue this definition ignores many potential cases ofgenocide They provide an alternative approach to this concept based on a sociological analysis Hirsch who also disagrees with the UN definition provides a psychological analysis of the conditions that create complacency in the face ofgenocide The Third Chimp takes a radically different approach to genocide It argues from an evolutionary biology perspective how genocide has selective advanmges However this argument does not claim that genocide it completely evolutionary it also has a distinctly human quality These readings indicate the range of the debate over genocide These competing definitions tend to have their own strengths and weaknesses they tend to be based on their own ideologies and forget specific histories


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Janice Dongeun University of Washington

"I used the money I made selling my notes & study guides to pay for spring break in Olympia, Washington...which was Sweet!"

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.