Posts tagged ‘massey’

Reactions to Massey

By js, 5 August, 2008, No Comment

I have finished reading my first complete book. Now I have to write my notes. I have chapter 1.

I will continue thinking about the book especially as I write my notes. One thing which disconcerted me, but which may be a function of the discipline out of which this book comes, is the focus on the problem and no discussion of the solutions. I guess that is what the rest of us are for.

I now feel I am at a loss. The information and compilation of data that he presents is so overwhelming. Futhermore, it seems to me that the book is not strong enough in tone denouncing those who are most responsible and with the most power to change things. Of course, that is probably the idealist in me speaking.

I have also read the essay published in the Harvard magazine and have ordered the book that focuses on inequality and education. I think that one may have at least one chapter in which possible solutions are discussed.

The main question that I now have is: how does technical communication help create stratification? I will continue pondering that question as I write my notes.

Now what do I think about the competence and warmth categories. The way that he discusses them make sense to me although I do think that how those categories are defined exactly are culturally determined. He seems to be operating on the tenet that stratification is caused by how we apply those categories but how we define the categories depends on culture, too, so I expect that there are more layers that need to be unraveled.

Also, I was thinking of what a friend said about Mexicanos being against Mexicanos and it fits exactly with the concept of emulation and adaptation which Massey discusses. In order to get ahead and be part of the in-group, some Mexicanos choose to disassociate from other Mexicanos and copy the behavior of the control group which includes exploitation and opportunity hoarding. This behavior seems to be very individualistic, but again it is more complex and what Massey argues seems to suggest that it is more a reorganization and balancing of who is in the in-group.

Now how does the postmodern idea of the shift away from the voice of a single-authority affect these ideas? Does it mean that we see the decentering of authority only in rhetoric but not in the actual material conditions? Or has the discourse not caught up with the material conditions yet and will eventually? When will it happen? What can each one of us do? or will it take a catastrophic series of events like war and depression which affects all our society for our society to become more egalitarian?


Should we all move to Finland? :-)