Ernest Gellner's understanding of the social role of absurdity is discussed & illustrated with examples of how different kinds of irrationality have social consequences. Gellner notes that anthropologists often attempt to explain away apparent incongruities with two principles of charitable interpretation: elastic contextualization & underlying structuralism. It is argued that moral & cognitive uncertainty is universal & expressed through incoherence. Absurdity may also be the consequence of a mistake or stupidity. Carlo M. Cipolla's (1989) useful analysis of stupidity is shown to be widely applicable. There is considerable reluctance to call stupid incoherence perceived by ethnographers, but not their hosts. It is argued that the recognition of absurdity is often superior to the principle of charity when interpreting societies. 28 References. H. von Rautenfeld
Caught up in current social changes, we do not fully understand the reshaping of social life. In sociological analyses there is a conceptual gap between subjectivities and social structural processes, and we face real difficulties in understanding social change and diversity. Through analysis of key areas of social life, here, Sarah Irwin develops a new and exciting resource for better understanding our changing social world. Breaking with conventional approaches and reconnecting the subjective with the objective, Irwin's book develops a new conceptual and analytical perspective with social relationality, interdependence and social context at its heart. The new perspective is developed through grounded analyses of empirical evidence, and draws on new data. It explores and analyzes: * significant changes in family forms, fertility, gender relations and commitments to employment, children and care, both now, and with comparisons to early twentieth century developments * the meshing of norms and social relations in contexts of change * diverse values, norms and perceptions of fairness, analyzed with respect to diversity over the life course, and in respect of gender, ethnicity and social class. Through analysis of context, Irwin offers new insights, and tackles puzzles of explanation. Reshaping Social Life offers a fascinating and innovative way of slicing into and re-interrogating our changing social world, and is sure to become a landmark resource for students, scholars and researchers.
"Should be read by anyone interested in understanding the future," The Times Literary Supplement raved about the original edition of The Social Life of Information. We're now living in that future, and one of the seminal books of the Internet Age is more relevant than ever. The future was a place where technology was supposed to empower individuals and obliterate social organizations. Pundits predicted that information technology would obliterate the need for almost everything--from mass media to bureaucracies, universities, politics, and governments. Clearly, we are not living in that future. The Social Life of Information explains why. John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid show us how to look beyond mere information to the social context that creates and gives meaning to it. Arguing elegantly for the important role that human sociability plays, even--perhaps especially--in the digital world, The Social Life of Information gives us an optimistic look beyond the simplicities of information and individuals. It shows how a better understanding of the contribution that communities, organizations, and institutions make to learning, working, and innovating can lead to the richest possible use of technology in our work and everyday lives. With a new introduction by David Weinberger and reflections by the authors on developments since the book's first publication, this new edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the human place in a digital world.--
The unwritten codes that govern social behavior, & the cues given by people engaged in a number of activities -- on holiday, walking on the street, in men's public lavatories, shopping, & among women waiting for friends in public -- are discussed. Mistakes in the production & recognition of cues are attributed to ignorance of the rules or being in an unfamiliar setting. F. S. J. Ledgister
"In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops the view that cultural sociology and ?cultural pragmatics? are vital for understanding the structural turbulence and political possibilities of contemporary social life. Central to his approach is a new model of social performance that combines elements from both the theatrical avant-garde and modern social theory. Alexander uses this model to shed new light on a wide range of social actors, movements and events: from Mao, Martin Luther King and Fanon to the Arab Spring and Black Lives Matter; from Marx and Keynes to the Great Recession; from Ayn Rand and Jean-Paul Sartre to Obama?s re-election in 2012. These and other examples show that social life is strikingly dramatic. Producing successful dramas determines the outcome of social movements and provides the keys to political power. Modernity has neither eliminated aura nor suppressed authenticity: on the contrary, they are available to social actors who can perform them in compelling ways. This volume further consolidates Alexander?s reputation as one of the most original social thinkers of our time. It will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, cultural studies and throughout the social sciences and humanities"--
Our use of media touches on almost all aspects of our social lives, be they friendships, parent-child relationships, emotional lives, or social stereotypes. How we understand ourselves and others is now largely dependent on how we perceive ourselves and others in media, how we interact with one another through mediated channels, and how we share, construct, and understand social issues via our mediated lives. This volume highlights cutting edge scholarship from preeminent scholars in media psychology that examines how media intersect with our social lives in three broad areas: media and the self; media and relationships; and social life in emerging media. The scholars in this volume not only provide insightful and up-to-date examinations of theorizing and research that informs our current understanding of the role of media in our social lives, but they also detail provocative and valuable roadmaps that will form that basis of future scholarship in this crucially important and rapidly evolving media landscape.
Science that pays for itself: nanotechnology and the discourse of science policy reform / Matthew N. Eisler -- When space travel and nanotechnology met at the fountains of paradise / W. Patrick Mccray -- Conferences and the emergence of nanoscience / Cyrus C.M. Mody -- Is nanoscale collaboration meeting nanotechnology's social challenge? A call for nano-normalcy / Christopher Newfield -- Working for next to nothing: labor in the global nanoscientific community / Mikael Johansson -- Nanotechnology as industrial policy: China and the United States / Richard P. Appelbaum ... [et al.] -- The Chinese century? China's move towards indigenous innovation: some policy implications / Rachel Parker and Richard P. Appelbaum -- Nanotechnologies and upstream public engagement: dilemmas, debates, and prospects? / Adam Corner and Nick Pidgeon -- Different uses, different responses: exploring emergent cultural values through public deliberation / Jennifer Rogers-Brown ... [et al.] -- News media frame novel technologies in a familiar way: nanotechnology, applications, and progress / Erica Lively ... [et al.] -- Public responses to nanotechnology: risks to the social fabric? / William R. Freudenburg and Mary B. Collins