Research that begins by asking how language, culture, and society are related and determine the nature of mind and man are usually either prolegomena on the future of social science or epitaphs for careers. In either case, the ease of asking belies the difficulty of answering, and perhaps it is the refractory nature of the problem that has led to the creation of so many opposed camps, each striving to reduce the discourse of the others by translation, usurpation, or dismissal. In the study of mind, the debate surfaces between the "rigor" of "scientific" methodologies and the "softness" of mentalism. The epitome of the natural science dismissal of mentalism is probably the work of the philosopher Quine, who in his preference for austere landscapes populated only by those things allowable by logic, sees mentalist discourse as akin to talk of witches. The debate runs deep, ranging from the nature and existence of propositions, intentions and intensions, to the very role of mathematical theories of truth in articulating the structure of language and thought.
The natural science onslaught within anthropology views culture as a sophisticated means for ensuring the survival or dominance of humans as a species. The principles that determine cultural and social evolution, particularly kinship systems, are merely biological evolutionary principles writ large, as if society itself had a genetic code ensuring its own reproduction. However, for something to be subject to various laws does not necessarily mean that those laws explain it. To understand the biological processes underlying writing a novel is not to understand what that act is, just as an accurate phonetic transcription of a conversation does not let us understand what it is about. What is clearly at issue is the problem of meaning, whether it be the target of the behaviorist's dismissal or the humanist's embrace.
Such a lucid and forthright paper as Mr. Buchanan's [James M. Buchanan, "Rational Choice Models in the Social Sciences," paper presented at the Symposium on Social Science Paradigms, University of Chicago, November 15, 1985] hardly needs a glossing kind of commentary, especially from someone like myself, who am familiar with the area of rational choice—both in theory and in practice—only as a kind of tourist (viz., my presence here today). But I do very much appreciate the fact that Mr. Buchanan's paper suggests a number of lines of thought from the point of view of someone like myself, someone whose empirical work consists in studying language and social action cross-culturally as systems of meaningful communication. Let me articulate some of these, or at least try to, to see if others here also have come to similar conclusions.
As I understand it from Mr. Buchanan's confessedly reluctant characterization, not endorsement—for that is the stance he takes—the theory rests on a general model of interrelated constructs that might be applicable to studying empirical situations, to the different degrees ints conditions are operationalizable. Like any model, it is "reconstructive and explanatory" of observation, in Mr. Buchanan's words, in that it purports to find, to whatever degree of accuracy, instantiation of the model in actual, investigable cases. That is, it presumes that if the model corresponds to fact, it merely describes those facts. The discourse of a theory in this technical sense purports to be a set of what we call "representative utterances," stating as true what is already the case. It would seem that the facts of this theory are that, to a certain degree of accuracy, all conscious human behavior ought to be represented as rational choice behavior, of a very specific sort. It is this empirical claim that we should think about.
I would like to outline aspects of a reinterpretation of Marx's social theory that reconceptualizes his approach to the problem of the nature of social relations in capitalist society and of the social constitution of subjectivity. It does so in a manner that changes the terms of discourse with non-Marxian social theory and, in my opinion, could contribute significantly to the construction of a powerful critical social theory of modern civilization. The focus of my exposition will be the question of the significance of the category of labor in Marx's mature works.
It is a commonplace for analysts of contemporary American culture to point out the powerful impact of advertising on the development of a "culture of consumption" characterized by the shift from production to consumption as the source of socially recognized values and the creation of artificial or symbolic needs unrelated to relatively more objective use-values. What is less clear, however, is precisely how advertising succeeds in this manipulation of the collective consciousness, that is, how the pragmatic functions of advertising communication are achieved. My argument here is that the effectiveness of advertisements cannot be understood apart from what Silverstein (1979) has called "linguistic ideology," that is, a culturally determined, historically grounded set of interpretive standards for understanding linguistic and by extension visual communication. In other words, messages of any sort are received in the context of explicit and implicit understandings of how language and non-verbal codes function. To make an argument parallel to Silverstein's (1985) paper on gender categories and Mertz and Weissbourd's (1985) work on legal ideology, I will argue that modern consumers' understanding of advertising is significantly skewed by an institutionally regimented view of the nature of commercial speech and, further, that this official ideology is so far from being an accurate account of the form and function of advertising messages that their manipulative potential derives at least in part from enforced consumer misunderstanding. And the argument will go one step further to claim that the senders of advertising messages, namely, the agencies representing commercial interests, are fully aware of this disjunction between the nature of advertising and the available interpretive standards and have in fact structured their commercial messages to maximally exploit this gap. The global pragmatic function of advertising becomes, then, a result of the combination of its "communicative character" (e.g. the ways language is employed, the role of visual images, and the presentation of value-laden symbols) and the surrounding ideology which reinforces consumers' interpretive standards (e.g., assumptions about whether or not ads are to be believed, awareness of the official informational function of commercial speech, and knowledge of existing government regulations).
The basis for the argument which follows consists of a study of the legal and regulatory decisions dealing with commercial speech, a review of empirical research done by others on the impact of certain deceptive forms of advertising on consumer beliefs, and continuing analysis of linguistic and visual forms of contemporary advertising on television and in magazines. In all three of these areas my research is at a beginning stage and the conclusions of this paper are entirely provisional and suggestive of further work.
The methods of a discourse-centered approach to culture, while originally developed for small-scale societies, can be employed with profit in the study of the social functions of discourse in our own society. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the utility of these methods through an examination of a recent article by Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, entitled "U.S. Defense Strategy," which appeared in Foreign Affairs in spring of 1986. The general hypothesis advanced here is that this text, as a linguistic sign vehicle, is not simply a device in which an image of reality is encoded. It is also an object whose semiotic characteristics can be understood as part of a mechanism for maintaining and enhancing the power and prestige of the author and the institution he represents within a field of social power.
Among post-Freudian psychoanalytic theorists, Heinz Kohut ranks as one of the most significant. The theoretical framework he propounded—now widely referred to as "self psychology"—represents a far-reaching reconceptualization of the underpinnings of psychoanalytic theory and practice. The purpose of this essay is to provide a general introduction to the concepts and methods of self psychology, as these have been elaborated by Kohut and his followers.
My title comes from two sources, one of which I assume is rather more familiar to an anthropological audience than the other. The familiar one is Durkheim's (1983) The Division of Labor in Society. The other is Hilary Putnam's discussion of a "division of linguistic labor" (in "The Meaning of 'Meaning,'" 1975:227). Of course, a notion of the "organization of diversity" in language (Hymes 1964), a diversity that relates to the organization of a social system, is fundamental to sociolinguistics and the ethnography of speaking, though deriving from a partly different intellectual tradition (see Wallace 1961). But Putnam's paper suggested to me that this diversity can be found in more aspects of linguistic structure than sociolinguists usually consider; and it spurred me to think a bit differently and more systematically about the links between linguistic and socioeconomic realms. (I shall return to Putnam a bit later.)
What I want to do in this paper is to summarize and order some views concerning relations between a verbal economy (so to speak) and a more material economy, and to try to lay out the range of possibilities as to what those relations can be—that is, to attempt a typology of sociolinguistic divisions of labor. What distinguishes my types are (a) what kind of diversity they envision on the linguistic plane; and (b) whether they see language as related to social divisions of labor constitutively or indexically. These views, or types, are not mutually exclusive, but differences in focus.
The age of nuclear weapons has brought with it many paradoxes. One of the most perplexing of these is that, when asked individually, almost no one is in favor of the nuclear arms race, yet when acting collectively, humans continue to engage in it. A wide range of explanations for this perplexing state of affairs has been proposed. Some have claimed that we are being driven by a collective death wish, others view the nuclear arms race as just one more reflection of a deep-seated alienation that afflicts modern societies, and still others frame their explanation in terms of an "action-reaction" cycle grounded in game theory. As the authors from Ground Zero (1982) have noted, however, when all is said and done, "'the best and the brightest' minds in this country cannot agree on why there is an arms race" (p. 62).
Any attempt to identify the causes of the nuclear arms race will surely have to consider a wide range of phenomena. The issue I shall examine should therefore be viewed as being part of a larger picture. However, I think that this piece of the picture has remained largely unexamined even while playing a powerful role in shaping the current state of affairs. The piece of the picture that I have in mind is the organization of discourse in the nuclear arms debate.
One of the most important issues in sociology concerns the creation and reproduction of stratification systems. In recent years, social scientists have become increasingly interested in studying how culture and education contribute to social reproduction. While some scholars have focused on culturally-based power and on the contribution of the new middle class to the reproduction of capitalism (Abercrombie and Urry 1983; Burris 1980; Gouldner 1979), others examine how culture, broadly defined, mediates both social reproduction and power relations. This second group focuses on the politics of life-style (Goffman 1951), status politics (Gusfield 1963; Lipset and Raab 1970; Marshall forthcoming), and hegemony (Hall et al. 1980). The notion of cultural capital has rapidly become an important conceptual tool shared by American researchers working on this cluster of related isses.
The analysis of the first person singular pronoun ("I"), as outlined by Benveniste in his now classic articles "The Nature of Pronouns" (1971a ) and "Subjectivity in Language" (1971b ), has supplied a framework for conceptualizing the relationship between self, language, and ultimately culture. This analysis has been taken up in theorizing about the self that is of a semiotic-philosophical character, especially in the work of Ricouer (1974) and Singer (1984), but also in the semiotic-linguistic framework developed by Silverstein (1976). I wish to argue in this paper that the analysis proposed by Benveniste is only partially adequate, and that, in fact, an empirical investigation of the use of the personal pronoun "I" in actual discourse reveals a much richer picture of the semiotic functioning of that pronoun. Ultimately, this enriched picture leads to a modified conceptualization of the relationship between self and culture.
Specifically, I propose that in narrative discourse "I" occurs predominantly within quotation marks, and that there it acts as an anaphoric device, analogous to the third person anaphoric pronouns (in English, he, she, it, and they. This "I" conforms only apparently to the Benveniste analysis, its character as a "referential index," to use the semiotic terminology, arising only metaphorically through the semantically described situation, and being considerably removed from true token-level indexicality. There is also, in some instances at least, a kind of "de-quotative 'I,'" where the metaphorical "I" of quotation, though a kind of theatrical substitution, becomes again a referential index, but this time pointing to the speaker not with respect to the speaker's everyday identity or self, but rather with respect to an identity the speaker assumes through the text. I will argue that this substitution of de-quotative "I" for referential indexical "I" is at the heart of the cultural construction of self.
This number of the Working Papers and Proceedings of the Center for Psychosocial Studies is made up of three related papers, "The Role of Performance in the Ethnography of Speaking," by Richard Bauman, "Domains of Description in the Ethnography of Speaking: A Retrospective on the 'Speech Community,'" by Judith T. Irvine, and "The Concept of Speech Genre in the Study of Language and Culture," by Susan U. Philips. The papers were originally delivered at a session on the Ethnography of Communication: Current Trends and Prospects, at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, in Philadelphia, December 5, 1986.
We are now in the 25th year since the publication of Dell Hymes's essay, "The Ethnography of Speaking" (in Anthropology and Human Behavior, T. Gladwin and W. Sturtevant, eds., pp. 15-53. Washington, DC: Anthropological Society of Washington), an appropriate occasioning principle for taking stock of what has been achieved in the ethnography of communication in the ensuing quarter-century. Each of the following papers is a critical examination, both retrospective and prospective, of a foundational concept in the ethnography of communication, assessing its place in the ongoing development of this field of inquiry, including its relation to other key concepts and its relevance to thought in anthropology, linguistics, and adjacent disciplines more broadly.
The industry of interpreting Marx seems to be limited only by the amount of "productive consumption" that Marx's own texts can bear before they dissove under the wear and tear of countless re-readings. In recent years, the range of exegetical art expended in uncovering the "true" Marx has been matched only by the industry and perseverence of its practitioners. We now have Marx as a materialist-functionalist (Cohen, 1978), as an arch-deconstructionist (White, 1978), as the founder of a science (Althusser and Balibar, 1970), and as a precursor to rational decision theory (Elster, 1985). Strangely enough, especially in light of the recent interest in textual analysis, none of these readings has taken serious account of the narrative structure of Capital, making use of Marx's own metacomments (such as his postface to the second edition of Capital) as guides to critical reinterpretation.
The first part of the paper discusses the structure of the Grundrisse and pays particular attention to those passages which Marx notes will have to be rearranged and reordered in the final version. In the next section, we analyze the structure of volume I of Capital, contrasting it with the Grundrisse. We focus on Marx's discussion of the development of the money-form and argue that Marx's order of presentation of the various forms of the expression of exchange value is the inverse of his order of discovery, as his own postface to the second edition of Capital suggests. A major part of our evidence is the intermediate status of the A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, written between the Grundrisse and Capital. We then briefly discuss some of the implications of our analysis for understanding "fetishism" and "objectification."
The evidence of societal plurilingualism is everywhere about us, on urban public transportation, in classrooms, wherever service-sector personnel are encountered, and on lettuce farms and across vast tracts set aside as reservations. Yet, since we live in a nation-state perpetually trying to constitute of itself an officially unified society with a uniform public Culture, one of the strongest lines of demarcation of that public Culture is linguistic, in the form of advocacy of or opposition to something that, in keeping with terminologized usage, I shall call The Standard. It is obvious that advocacy of The Standard has, in certain contexts, posed problems for those for whom the linguistic realm should be but a special case of their more widely-held, or generalized, longings for an ideal pluralism, or egalitarianism, or even free-market consumerist smorgasbordism as a construction of the American sociopolitical telos. And it should also be obvious that, once debate is focused on linguistic issues in terms of The Standard versus whatever purportedly polar opposites, then the fact that the situation is conceptualized in terms of The Standard indicates what we might term its hegemonic domination over the field of controversy, no matter what position is taken with respect to it.
Indeed, we might say that we live in a society with a culture of monoglot standardization underlying the constitution of our linguistic community and affecting the structure of our various and overlapping speech communities. I want to explore some of the dimensions of this culture of monoglot Standard, and to show how the essentially sociopolitical problems for societal plurilingualism present themselves in its terms. In this, the work is part of the linguistic anthropology of modern American society.
"Life history" is one of those common-sense notions which has been smuggled into the learned universe, first with little noise among anthropologists, then more recently, and with a lot of noise, among sociologists. To speak of "life history" implies the not insignificant presupposition that life is a history. As in Maupassant's title Une Vie (A Life), a life is inseparably the sum of the events of an individual existence seen as a history and the narrative of that history. That is precisely what common sense, or everyday language, tells us: life is like a path, a road, a track, with crossroads (Hercules between vice and virtue), pitfalls, even ambushes (Jules Romain speaks of successive ambushes of competitions and examinations). Life can also be seen as a progression, that is, a way that one is clearing and has yet to clear, a trip, a trajectory, a cursus, a passage, a voyage, a directed journey, a unidirectional and linear move ("mobility"), consisting of a beginning ("entering into life"), various stages, and an end, understood both as a termination and as a goal ("He will make his way," meaning he will succeed, he will have a fine career). This way of looking at a life implies tacit acceptance of the philosophy of history as a series of historical events (Geschichte) which is implied in the philosophy of history as an historical narrative (Historie), or briefly, implied in a theory of the narrative. An historian's narrative is indiscernible from that of a novelist in this context, especially if the narration is biographical or autobiographical.
Without pretending to exhaustiveness, we can try to unravel some of the presuppositions of this theory.
The legal treatment of squatters across different periods of history and across different cultures affords an excellent example of the role of cultural contexts in providing a crucial background of meaning; legal treatment of squatters has varied with changing social structures and attitudes regarding property and land settlement, and with differences in attitude toward the individual's place in society—as well as toward intentionality itself.
Observations of public apathy in today's electoral democracies are commonplace (Neumann, 1986). For many social scientists, low voter turnout and similar indicators are simply reasons for believing that liberal democracies will always be governed by elites, though these may shift over time. Recently, a number of authors have argued against this view, and indeed against the presumption that representative institutions are the only form of participation workable in modern, large-scale polities. Characterizing representation as a form of "thin democracy," for example, Barber (1984) has called for a move towards a "strong democracy" based on new or revitalized forms of popular participation. His proposals stress two dimensions of such participation: the renewal of community level institutions of self-rule and the development of more frequent national referenda....
My argument in this paper is that the theoretical grounds on which most discussion of these issues takes place are doubly deficient. In the first place, numerical size, while a central variable, does not adequately grasp the transformation in social organization wrought during the modern era. We need to address contrasting forms of social integration as well as sizes of population. I shall adopt Habermas's (1984) distinction of system world/system integration from lifeworld/social integration for this purpose. I will argue that the current efflorescence of populist politics (of both left and right) simultaneously is a response to the split between system world and lifeworld, and is limited in an often poorly recognized way by the implications of large scale system integration. Secondly, academic discussion of representative vs. direct democracy has tended to focus on mechanisms of decision-making at the expense of attention to public discourse and the educational functions of politics. Communitarian populists (though generally not plebiscitarians) are sensitive to this, and offer proposals for improved settings for local discourse and political language less prejudicial to the values of community and tradition (Barber, 1984; Bellah, et al., 1985; Evans and Boyte, 1986). Most, however, approach this predominantly in cultural rather than social structural terms, and underestimate the limits imposed by large scale system integration. Above all, both communitarian and plebiscitarian visions tend to neglect the structural difficulties which social change has put in the way of public discourse among people significantly different from each other. Changes in cities and community patterns on the one hand, and in communications systems on the other, make it likely that no extension of community level discourse or mobilization will constitute a public discourse at the level of the state. This is a limit to communitarian politics, but not an argument against them. At the same time, the issues presented here do argue against most proposals for extensive reliance on referenda.
The contribution of received anthropological wisdom to the study of conventionality—wisdom I propose to challenge here—can be summarized as follows. From the external perspective of analytical reflection (philosophical, scientific, linguistic, or ethnographic) social convention appears arbitrary in stipulating a non-natural, socially derived relationship between a regulative or constitutive principal and its corresponding appropriate context (different nations prescribe driving on different sides of the road) or between an expressive sign and its signified meaning (arbor and kerrekar mean "tree" in different languages). But from the internal perspective of social actors these same conventions appear necessary: if I drive on the left side of the road in this country I will either be arrested or cause an accident; if I want to talk about trees in the Belauan language of Micronesia I must use the phonetic shape kerrekar. Indeed, because it would never occur to me to consider the possibility of an alternative practice, I do not imagine myself following a rule at all as I drive or speak. As Benveniste (1971) points out in his critique of the Saussurean doctrine of the linguistic sign, there is no real contradiction here, since the external observer has the benefit of comparative knowledge of different societies, while the active participant is oriented toward achieving immediate communicational or pragmatic goals. Arbitrariness in these examples refers to the lack of natural or external motivation between rule and context or between signifier and signified and not, of course, to the random or free choice of individuals (cf. Holowka 1981). In fact, absence of motivation implies the complete responsibility of the community as the sole authority for acknowledging—or, as Kripke (1982: 89) would say, applying justification conditions to—one of several possible alternative relationships.
A characteristic shared by political philosophy and political psychology is a failure to provide a theoretical account of the emergence of nuclear war as a political phenomenon and of attempts to manage that phenomenon through threats of total destruction, i.e. through deterrence. In this paper I propose to speculate on the outlines of two avenues of analysis which will lay a foundation for a more general political theory of nuclear war. Parts I and II seek to locate deterrence in an interpretation of the history of theorizing about political rationality. This philosophical reflection concludes by raising a number of psychological issues and, as a consequence, parts III and IV suggest a depth psychological perspective on the application of a policy of deterrence. These sections of the paper can be taken as a supplement to work such as that of Robert Jervis (Jervis 1976) and other political psychologists, although by the conjunction of a psychological approach with a philosophical argument I intend to move beyond applied cognitive psychology. Part V concludes with proposals for continuation of this line of investigation.
In her analysis of Belle Van Zuylen and the Enlightenment, Courtney (1975) argues that after being fascinated with the powers of rationality during her early years, Belle came to recognize the limits of abstract reason imposed by the concrete experience of life. According to Courtney, Belle discovered that "Cartesian reason yields only a few general abstract principles which are difficult to apply in real life" and that any notions of "pre-established harmony between the rational and empirical, or the head and the heart, are belied by experience" (p. 175).
In Courtney's view this evolution in Belle's thinking did not result in her becoming a disillusioned romantic or a pessimist. Instead, Belle remained devoted to the rational principles of the Enlightenment, but she recognized and explored the "tension between her pursuit of intellectual certainty and her awareness of the ambiguity of the values implied in concrete lived experience" (p. 172).
The kind of tension Courtney identifies in Belle Van Zuylen's thinking is a tension between ways of representing events, objects, dilemmas, and so forth in speech and thinking, or between what I shall term "voices." Specifically, it is concerned with the difference between representing phenomena in terms of abstract, rule-governed systems of categories (what I shall call the "voice of decontextualized rationality") and representing reality in personalized, context-bound terms.
The kind of conflict in voices recognized by Belle Van Zuylen is not unrelated to some recent observations of Gilligan (1982) in her analysis of the different voices males and females tend to use to represent and reason about the issues in certain moral dilemmas. For example, in comparing the answers two eleven-year-olds provided to questions about relationships and moral dilemmas, she found that the boy, Jake, considered the moral dilemma to be (in his words) "'sort of like a math problem with humans'" (p. 26), whereas the girl, Amy, approached it in terms of concrete relationships that exist between real people. In response to questions about conflicting responsibilities, Amy responded "contextually rather than categorically, saying 'it depends' and indicating how choice would be affected by variations in character and circumstance" (p. 38). In contrast, Jake sees "a world...through systems of rules" (p. 29).
Both Belle Van Zuylen and Carol Gilligan are srtiving to understand how it is possible to represent reality in alternative ways and why people choose certain ways over others. Gender differences have provided one of the major forums where this issue is currently being discussed, but the general problem of what alternative ways of representing the world exist and why some come to be chosen over others extends into a variety of areas of modern life. In what follows, I shall outline a theoretical approach that can hopefully help us make some sense of this issue and interrelate various concrete cases of voices as they represent reality and as they come into contact.
I shall approach these issues from the perspective of the developmental, sociocultural approach in psychology. By "developmental" I mean that it is an approach grounded in the assumption that one can fully understand mental functioning only by understanding its origins and the genetic (i.e. developmental) transitions it has undergone. By "sociocultural" I mean an approach that focuses on the institutional, cultural, and historical specificity of mental functioning rather than on universals. I want to pursue a sociocultural approach not because I believe there are no universals; rather, I do so because I believe that universalism has come to dominate psychological theory today to such a degree that there has been little attention given to the historical, cultural, and social situatedness of mind. One of the results of this is that psychology has often produced ethnocentric or "gender-centric" (as Gilligan might say) conclusions, thereby avoiding some of the most complex and interesting issues that we should be addressing.
Most of the questions and objections which have been put to me reveal a high degree of misapprehension, which can go as far as total incomprehension. Some of the reasons for this are to be found on the consumption side, others on the side of production. I shall begin with the latter.
I have said often enough that any cultural producer is situated in a certain space of production and that, whether he wants it or not, his productions always owe something to his position in this space. I have relentlessly tried to protect myself, through a constant effort of self-analysis, from this effect of the field. But one can be negatively "influenced," influenced a contrario, if I may say, and bear the marks of what one fights against. Thus certain features of my work can no doubt be explained by the desire to "twist the stick in the other direction," to react against the dominant vision in the intellectual field, to break, in a somewhat provocative manner, with the professional ideology of intellectuals. This is the case for instance with the use I make of the notion of interest, which can call forth the accusation of economism against a work which, from the very beginning (I can refer here to my anthropological studies), was conceived in opposition to economism. The notion of interest—I always speak of specific interest—was conceived as an instrument of rupture intended to bring the materialist mode of questioning to bear on realms from which it was absent and [to bear] on the sphere of cultural production in particular. It is the means of a deliberate (and provisional) reductionism which is which is used to take down the claims of the prophets of the universal, to question the ideology of the freischwebende Intelligenz [free-floating intellectual]. On this score, I feel very close to Max Weber who utilized the economic model to extend materialist critique into the realm of religion and to uncover the specific interests of the great protagonists of the religious game, priests, prophets, sorcerers, in the competition which opposes them to one another. This rupture is more necessary and more difficult in the sphere of culture than in any other, because we are all both judge and judged. Culture is our specific capital and, even in the most radical probing, we tend to forget the true foundation of our specific power, of the particular form of domination we exercise. This is why it seemed to me essential to recall that the thinkers of the universal have an interest in universality (which, incidentally, implies no condemnation whatsoever).
But there are grounds for misunderstanding that stand on the side of consumption: my critics rely most often on only one book, Distinction, which they read in a "theoretical" or theoreticist vein (an inclination reinforced by the fact that a number of concrete analyses are less "telling" to a foreign reader) and ignore the empirical work published by myself or others in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales (not to mention the ethnographic works which are at the origin of most of my concepts); they criticize out of their context of use open concepts designed to guide empirical work; they criticize not my analyses, but an already simplified, if not maimed, representation of my analyses. This is because they invariably apply to them the very modes of thought, and especially distinctions, alternatives and oppositions, which my analyses are aimed at destroying and overcoming. I think here of all the antinomies that the notion of habitus aims at eliminating: finalism/mechanism, explanation by reasons/explanation by causes, conscious/unconscious, rational and strategic calculation/mechanical submission to mechanical constraints, etc. In so doing, one can choose either to reduce my analyses to one of the positions they seek to transcend, or, as with Elster, to act as if I simultaneously or successively retained both of these contradictory positions. These are so many ways of ignoring what seems to me to be the anthropological foundation of a theory of action, or of practice, and which is condensed in the notion of habitus: the relation which obtains between habitus and the field to which it is objectively adjusted (because it was constituted in regard to the specific necessity which inhabits it) is a sort of ontological complicity, a subconscious and prereflexive fit. This complicity manifests itself in what we call the sense of the game or "feel" for the game (or sens pratique, practical sense), an intentionality without intention which functions as the principle of strategies devoid of strategic design, without rational computation and without the conscious positing of ends. (By way of aside, habitus is one principle of production of practices among others and, although it is undoubtedly more frequently at play than any other—"We are empirical," said Leibniz, "in three quarters of our actions"—one cannot rule out that it may be superseded, under certain circumstances—certainly in situations of crisis which disrupt the immediate adjustment of habitus to field—by other principles, such as rational and conscious computation. This being granted, even if its theoretical possibility is universally allocated, the propensity or the ability to have recourse to a rational principle of production of practices has its own social and economic conditions of possibility: the paradox, indeed, is that those who want to admit no principle of production of practices, and of economic practices specifically, other than rational consciousness, fail to take into account the economic preconditions for the development and the implementation of economic rationality.)
In a 1985 article, Richard Ohmann has characterized literacy in a remarkably concise fashion. As he says:
Literacy is an activity of social groups, and a necessary feature of some kinds of social organization. Like every other human activity or product, it embeds social relations within it. And these relations always include conflict as well as cooperation. Like language itself, literacy is an exchange between classes, races, the sexes, and so on. (685)
In this paper I will try to draw out the implications of such a view—that literacy is an activity which 'embeds social relations'...of 'conflict as well as cooperation'. Beginning with the work of Foucault on the institutionalization of particular discursive practices, I will briefly trace the historical development of social conceptions of literacy in the United States and England. That history reveals what is all too often missing in Foucault's accounts—a direct motive in class conflict for the institutional shaping of discourse. Turning then to discuss the particularly effective linking of literacy and linguistic prescriptivism, I will note ways in which work by Gramsci and Bourdieu helps us to think about these matters, whether viewing them as historical process or contemporary practice. Ending on a critical note, I will try briefly to explore some of the difficulties of wedding studies of language to accounts of social reproduction, using the notion of literate tradition as an exemplary case of just this dilemma.
At the level of rhetoric itself, imputations of rhetoric are a mark of social unpleasantness. In ordinary usage, the term implies pretension, bombast, even deliberate dishonesty. As a result, the social sciences have generally treated rhetoric as an epiphenomenon on a real world to which it blocks access. Yet the consequent refusal to take rhetoric seriously is symptomatic of precisely what rhetoric does best: it backgrounds its own rhetoricity. Thus, all claims that social science should be free of rhetoric, that it should make modesty its watchword, are as rhetorical and immodest as anything they oppose. They suffer from the ultimate self-deception of positivism, the illusion of pure, direct, unmediated knowledge. And this conceit, as Vico points out with delicate subversion in the New Science (1744), is what makes the pretensions of scholarship and those of politics so hard to tell apart. This paper is a prolegomenon to the contrary argument that, in some intellectually productive sense, all social interaction is rhetorical, and that the denial of its rhetoricity perpetuates a separation of expression from structure that is logically incompatible with the recognition of agency in the creation of social relations.
My purpose here is not to document the rhetoricity of social science, which is a relatively trivial instantiation of the larger problem, albeit a useful one inasmuch as it challenges our complacency. It is, rather, to sketch the necessary presuppositions for a rhetorical account of social relations in general. Such an account (I would only label it a "theory" unless we can agree to extend that label to indigenous exegetical traditions as well) must be conceived as what Bourdieu (1977) has called a "theory of [social] practice," an examination of the part rhetoric plays in the active constitution of social relationships, and especially of the relationship between cultural form, performance, and the creative deformation of structures and normative patterns. It must be an explanation of how "emergent" social structure (Bauman 1977; Karp 1980; Giddens 1984) can be creatively modeled and explored through the daily interactions of sentient human beings.
This paper is intended to complement—in a highly tentative way—current research on relationships between discourses and emotions. I have been guided to the perspective I will propose by the people with whom I have worked, rural, Hindi-speaking Fiji Indians. On the one hand, I will provide a brief ethnographic account of some of the notions and theories through which they inform their own understandings of talk and sentiment. My underlying contention, however, is that there may be a broader heuristic value in the countercase they provide.
In this paper I develop several ideas about the self, the other, and their characterizations that have received preliminary formulation in several of my previous publications, particularly those on life history (1977, 1980), transference and countertransference (1981), dialogue (1987a), and the relationship between self and desire (1982). In these papers I adopted a radically dialectical approach to the self. I argued that self-awareness arises when the ego—my most primitive pre-reflexive term—views himself, herself, or more accurately (since gender attributions require minimal self-reflection) itself (understood in a pre-gender way) from the vantage point of the other. Unlike Hegel (1977), George Herbert Mead (1964), and Jean-Paul Sartre (1956, 1964), however, I maintained that the dialectical movement is continuous; that the characterizations, or the typifications, of the other are subject (a) to conventional constraints embedded in language (understood broadly, as in the German Sprache), (b) to desire (itself articulated through and constrained by language), and (c) the resistance of the other, resistance being understood in phenomenological terms as the most elementary criterion of the real. I maintain further that the arrests of the dialectical process through desired characterizations and typifications of the other (and therefore the self) mask, ideologically as it were, the continuous movement of self and other constitution. Put simply: one casts the other (subject to conventional constraints and resistance) in order to cast oneself. And, I hasten to add, one casts oneself in order to cast the other. The movement is complexly circular, and any description of it whether expressed in narrative form (as in Hegel's tale of the master and the slave or Sartre's of Jean Genet) or theoretically (as in Mead's, Sartre's or, for that matter, Lacan's  formulations) insofar as their description has to begin somewhere, suggests a determinable beginning to the movement and a reality to the arrests. In other words, exposition confirms the ideological masking of circularity and the play of desire and language with resistance—the real.
The theme of this Workshop is, apparently, the role of language in the (genesis and exercise of) power: a topic of some antiquity, and one whose very framing in these terms—imagining "language" as something separable enough from other realms of human activity to be assigned its own "role," or the nominalization of yet other realms or aspects of human activity under the rubric of what in Romance linguistics is called (with certain metaphysical confidence) a substantive, that is, a noun, 'power'—is an example of its own referent: the power of language to cast phenomena into a certain shape and nature. This is a matter that linguists spend lamentably little time thinking about, and that anthropologists perhaps find hard even to understand. I come to you today as both linguist and anthropologist....
My empirical focus here is [close] to home. In fact, it is about thirty minutes from my home in Southeast Portland (Oregon). The facts are...complex, though they involve only three 'languages': English, Spanish, and Mixtec, an Oto-Manguean language of Mexico, in this case dialects of Mixtec from the state of Oaxaca. There are language choices involved here...whose terms are set by what we might call the "entry-level" institution of the state political order: the county courtroom. I will describe certain details of a murder trial, conducted in Clackamas County in late 1986, in which a young Mixtec was convicted of the murder of another Mixtec—like the defendant, an undocumented migrant strawberry picker from Oaxaca—and sentenced to life in prison. This man, Santiago V., has now passed his 18th, 19th, and 20th birthdays in the Oregon State Correctional Institution, and, even if he manages parole, he can still expect to spend another ten birthdays on the inside—all for a crime he very probably did not commit.
The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, to outline the institutional character of theatre; second, to show that institutional constraints on theatre contain critical theatre practice by selectively legitimating those practices that represent and reproduce cultural hegemony; and, third, to suggest that the force of these legitimate theatre boundaries derives less from explicitly social or political exclusion than from the apparently autonomous criterion of literary or dramatic excellence. Legitimate theatre—including the abstract expressionism of contemporary performance art as well as the classical and commercial repertoire—is defined against autonomous aesthetic or literary standards, while practices such as music hall or political review that might well be excluded because of intention and audience are dismissed as essentially untheatrical. In other words, the only grounds for debate legitimated by the institution are aesthetic; excluded as illegitimate are not only particular practices known as "entertainment," but also the formulation of "extra-aesthetic" factors such as material organization and audience that make such activities possible. Legitimation is thus not just normal, "legal" aesthetic practice; it is also the site of dispute over what constitutes those norms (Murray, 1987: 111).
In 1765, in the early stages of an imperial crisis and of his career as a lawyer, John Adams wrote a brief retrospect of the political and legal history of the West. Appearing unsigned and untitled in four installments of the Boston Gazette, the essay depicts the history of power as a history of knowledge. It tells modern history as a story of human self-determination rising through reflection. Much of the power of such a narrative for Adams, as later for D'Alembert and other Enlightenment intellectuals, was that it offered him a political self-understanding. But Adams's history offers a more particular self-understanding in two main respects: its history of self-determination yields a protonationalist consciousness of America, while its history of reflection takes the form of a history of letters. Writing at the very moment when America was emerging as a symbolic entity, Adams perfects a story of America's history. It is a history of literature, and its telos is emancipation.
In recent years, legal scholarship has been receptive to influence from the social sciences, especially from economics. While the introduction of economics into the study of law should be welcomed, at least one key claim of the Law and Economics school is deeply flawed, namely, the claim that they can replace legal judgement by "scientific" decision-making through application of the 'as if' individual rational choice utility (or wealth) maximization model. Good arguments against this claim are to be found in the legal literature, but these seem to have had little effect, possibly because the validity of the individual rational choice utility maximizing model in economics itself is usually taken for granted.
Economists know that, in fact, neither consumers nor businessmen are actually rational utility maximizers. This paper challenges Friedman's argument that because economists can successfully predict from a model which assumes that individuals behave as if they were rational utility maximizers, it doesn't matter whether or not they actually are. In fact, I will show that the assumption is pernicious in economics, and, if it is pernicious in economics, it is doubly so when the model is applied to law and legal decision-making.
I start this paper with an assumption: Advertising is a very powerful form of social communication in modern society. It offers the most sustained and most concentrated set of images anywhere in the media system. The question that I wish to pose and attempt to give an answer to from this assumption is what lies behind the considerable power that advertising seems to have over its audience. Particularly I wish to do this without reverting back to one-dimensional explanations of manipulation and the use of sophisticated techniques by advertisers. I do not want to deny this element (there is of course a huge amount of accumulated knowledge in the advertising industry concerning persuasion) but I wish to probe culturally rather than tecnhically.
Circumstances that should have been under my control have been keeping me from materials I gathered in Java in 1985-86, which I am just starting to think about as parts of some fine-grained descriptions I want to write of Javanese uses of Javanese and Indonesian. This paper is concerned with sociohistorical background for understanding usage in Java now, and especially with Javanese understandings of their ethnic and national languages. I borrow from and improvise with two different paradigms here to thematize issues which will later be backgrounded to use of Javanese and Indonesian—life's linguistic imponderibilia, Malinowski might say—as referential tools, mediators of social interaction, and markers of contextually relevant social identities. I foist few linguistic particulars on the reader and, by the same token, risk some ethnographic flatness to dwell more on expository strategies with which I am experimenting than the kinds of texts they will later serve to contextualize.
The goal is to describe schematically the shifting institutional bases of valorization of Indonesian and Javanese: how language-related values have been propagated, assumed, and interactionally invoked by members of geosocially different kinds of Javanese speech communities over eighty years or so of rapid social change. Since I have written elsewhere about traditional elite usage I try here to foreground the rural side of this situation, drawing from research during six months in a Javanese village. But to describe villagers' changing understandings of Javanese and Indonesian communities, language-related institutions, social authority, and power, I cannot avoid talking about their relations to and views of cities. These are joined linguistic and social issues crucial for a study of a new national language's dissemination and assimilation in a new-yet-old Javan/Indonesian landscape.
In recent years, the notion of civil society has come back into circulation. The intention is to invoke something like the concept which developed at the turn of the nineteenth Century, which stands in contrast to 'the state'. But in fact those who introduced it were trying to articulate features of the development of Western civilization which go back much farther.
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How are we to approach the larger issues of political culture in the modern world? What are the arenas in which values are changing most rapidly? What is the role of the internationalization of communication within these arenas? These are some of the questions that the Center Forum was set up to address. The group, which has been meeting over the past two years, is especially concerned with the role of media—print, television, movies, and the like—in relationship to the circulation of discourse and the development of civil societies and public spheres not only in Europe, but as well in other parts of the world, especially India and China.
As part of its efforts, the group invited Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal to attend one of its meetings, which took place on November 11 and 12 of 1989. Benegal had recently completed a 53 part series for Indian television, dramatizing Nehru's The Discovery of India. The group was interested not only in the process of inter-media conversion (book into television series), but also in the effects of internationalization on the conversion to the television medium, in the role of television in relationship to the formation of India as an imagined community, and in how the processes occurring in India relate to those in China, the West, and elsewhere.
The following is a partial, edited transcription of that meeting, designed to give readers a sense not only of the issues, but also of the dialogical processes of discovery that are at work within the Center Forum. It is part of a broader effort to develop ways of representing what goes on at the Center, and to get away from the usual form of monological narration of dialogical processes. (—Greg Urban)
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In the present paper, I want to question how much the genuinely dramatic cultural changes which are going on around us are a real departure from previous trends, and to the extent that they are, whether this is part of a social transformation sufficiently basic to warrant an argument that modernity is dead or dying. I will argue generally against the postmodernist view. Though changes are real and major, they do not yet amount to an epochal break. Indeed, many of them reflect continuing tensions and pressures which have characterized the whole modern era. Underlying my account of the problems of the claim that postmodernity is upon us, is the counterclaim that the two basic organizing forces in modernity—capitalism and bureaucratic power—have hardly begun to dissolve. Rather than narrowing our notion of the modern in order to justify the use of the prefix "post," I will argue that we need to incorporate the insights of postmodernist thinkers into a richer sociological approach to the entire modern era.
In the first part of the paper, I will very briefly and sketchily introduce the notion of a postmodern condition. Since this is a position argued by a variety of thinkers on somewhat different grounds, and since some scholars—like Foucault—are claimed as part of the movement though they never proclaimed themselves postmodernists, my sketch will inevitably conceal a good deal of complexity....
Constrained by space not to go into all the ramifications of the postmodernist argument or its implications for sociology, in the second part of this paper I will take up one particular instance. This is the conceptualization of "new social movements." It is an advantageous one for discussion because it links nearly all the different discourses contributing to the postmodernist potpourri, and has been a topic of discussion outside of the postmodernist debate as well. As in my more general treatment of postmodernism, I want to argue here that novelty is being overstated, and the modern era itself being poorly conceptualized by a picture which flattens out its own internal diversity. The "new" social movements appear to be quite new, in other words, only because they are understood through a contrast to a one-sided, hypostatized account of the "old" labor movement.
We would like to open some questions here about the institutional and cultural conditions of anything that might be called cultural studies or multiculturalism. Because the thickets entangling "cultural studies" are so deeply rooted in our own self-constitution as Western academic intellectuals, the counter-example of cultural criticism in other contexts can be more than usually instructive.
The colloquium on "Boundaries of Power, Boundaries of Communication" held at the University of Chicago on April 28, was the third in an experimental project to broaden the discussion of nuclear policy within a university curriculum. The first two colloquia, "Nuclear Policy, Culture and History" and "Gender, Reason, and Nuclear Policy," were held on March 13 and 14, 1987, and March 4, 1989, respectively....
The agenda for each colloquium and the syllabus of readings and lectures for each workshop were usually selected by the three or four conveners of each occasion. The original source of suggestion, however, for the entire series of meetings, and for the first colloquium was Freeman Dyson's book Weapons and Hope (1984), which posed two questions of great concern to everyone—whether the discussion of nuclear policy issues could be extended beyond the realm of "experts" on weapons and nuclear physicists, to include the perspectives of history, political science, culture and ethics. A corollary question was whether the mathematical, objective language of technical calculations, "the language of the warriors," Dyson called it, could be reconciled with the subjective, emotional "language of the victims." Professor Dyson's affirmative answers to both these questions in his book and his willingness to participate in the first colloquium along with Professors S. Chandrasekhas and John Simpson, encouraged a group of social scientists and humanists to join in the 1987 colloquium.
Although the language of nuclear policy discourse received some attention in Freeman Dyson's book and in Carol Cohn's article on "sex and death in the rational world of defense intellectuals," it did not become an important issue until Russell Hardin and Greg Urban asked, toward the end of the 1989 Gender colloquium, whether adding a feminist voice to discourse about nuclear war would make any policy difference. Attempts to answer this question in the Gender colloquium were abortive and did not satisfy Hardin. Accordingly, the conveners—Hardin, Singer, Stephens, and Urban—decided to make this issue a central focus of the 1990 coloquium and workshop. It was formulated in somewhat more general form—for the workshop as "Professional Dialogue and Colloquial Discourse about International Relations," and for the colloquium, at James Fernandez's suggestion, as "Boundaries of Power, Boundaries of Communication." The present report of the 1990 colloquium documents the discussion of how discourse about nuclear policy may be related to nuclear policy decisions. A second issue that emerged in 1990 is whether the end of the cold war marks the end of "a special relationship" between the United States and the Soviet Union, and is being replaced by a new special relationship or simply by resurgent nationalisms.
When we speak about others, we are most revealing about ourselves. This paper is about the way "we" in the West speak about Third World countries seeking, like us, to possess nuclear weapons. That is to say, the paper is about the way "we" speak about "them" when they try to behave like us.
To be sure, modernization theory has clarified many aspects of nationalism. But in its effort to see the nation as a collective subject of modernity, it obscures the nature of national identity. I propose instead that we view national identity as founded upon fluid relationships; it thus both resembles and is interchangeable with other political identities. If the dynamics of national identity lie within the terrain of political identities rather than in a privileged and unique sphere, we will need to break with two assumptions of modernization theory. The first of these is that national identity is a radically novel form of consciousness. Below, we will develop a crucial distinction between the modern nation-state system and nationalism as a form of identification. Although the ideology of the former seeks to isolate and fix the latter, national identification is never fully subsumed by it and is best considered in its complex relationships to other historical identities. The second assumption is the privileging of the grand narrative of the nation as a collective historical subject. Nationalism is rarely the nationalism of the nation, but rather represents the site where very different views of the nation contest and negotiate with each other. Through these two positions, we will seek to generate a historical understanding of the nation that is neither historicist nor essentialist, and through which we might try to recover history itself from the ideology of the nation-state.
Under the rubric of multiculturalism, culture has come to be associated with local differences (the culture of blacks, gays, women, and ethnic groups) and opposed to an encompassing matrix viewed by some, at least, as non-cultural and defined in terms of the rational laws of the market place, natural rights, and universal truths. I want to argue that the latter is in fact a cultural level (which can be called, for want of a better term, omega culture). This is a hopelessly un-novel suggestion, since one principal claim made by proponents of multiculturalism is that the dominant culture of modern America is just another culture. What is novel is that claim that nation-state culture is not culture in the sense of multculturalism. It is not one of the cultures (which I propose to call alpha cultures) of multiculturalism which just happens to be dominant. It is a distinct level and perhaps kind or at least facet of culture. Curiously, within the nation-state the term culture has been appropriated to refer to that to which nation-state level culture is opposed, i.e., to alpha cultures. Consequently, the nation-state appears from this point of view to be acultural.
How is this emedding accomplished? There is a rather strange alchemistry at work here wherein culture produces its own metaculture—including the very terms culture and multiculturalism—which in turn defines part of itself as other than culture. It emphasizes certain of the general properties rather than others, separates out some aspects as acultural rather than cultural, and acknowledges relativity so as to claim universality and vice versa.
But it does not do so whimsically. There are in fact two faces of this Janus-like entity. Scholars have known about both for some time. Recently, however, one of the faces has been obscured through refinement of the other, hidden by the other's boldness and beautification. Because of the way some of us now think about culture, and because of the use to which the concept is put within the political arena, it has become difficult to see the other face for what it is. It is culture.
But it is not the culture that some proponents of multiculturalism imagine, that is to say, not in the sense of ancient traditions handed down across the generations, but rather in that of malleability, adaptation, and change; nor is it culture in the sense of homogeneously shared beliefs and practices of a people, but rather in the sense of diffusion, differentiation, and linkage; nor again is it culture understood as purely local truths, but rather culture as potentially universal ones, capable of spreading throughout humanity. It is a culture that is distinguished from the idea that "everyone's got it," aligning instead with the older sense of cultivation and learning. This view recognizes differentiations in the degree to which culture has been acquired. If we are to envision a genuine multiculturalism for modern America, we need, in our blindness, a tactile reconstruction of the other face of this complex beast.
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Teacher Bei is a buxom, depressive, sixty-three-year-old retired elementary school teacher, who lives in a prefabricated apartment in the east side of Beijing. I call her "Teacher Bei," instead of "Aunt Bei" as Chinese normally call somebody her age, because of what a friend who introduced us warned me before our visit. It was very important, he said, to make her feel she belonged to the educated class and was somebody with culture. Teacher Bei was so pleased by our visit and got to talking so much that she skipped her nap and made a big pot of tea. She gave us a delicious lunch in her spotless, drab living room, but she herself only nibbled. "I haven't had such a good time since 'Yearning,'" she admitted. She says she has always been depressed. She has a history of breakdowns—the first one when she was twenty-five and married off against her will—and maybe this is why she always finds the gloom of Beijing's harsh winters so difficult. Last year, though, she didn't mind the winter because "Yearning" was on television just about every night. Two stations were showing it on different evenings, and she watched them both. "A good show gets better the second time," she says. She would shop, clean, wash, cook and do what she could for a household of two, which was not that much at all, and get ready for the evening. She has two sons, both married, living away. They only drop by once in a while. "They are good children, as filial and respectful as anybody's, but they're always busy and have their own families to worry about now," Teacher Bei tells me stoically, not wanting to complain about what is obvious in her old age: the boredom, the emptiness, the marriage which never would have lasted except for the children. Her husband, Old Tang, is a railway engineer, half deaf from an accident, but still working part-time. They have long lived in separate rooms; nowadays they hardly talk to each other. But in the months when "Yearning" was on, their household was almost conjugal. Every evening at six-thirty, Old Tang would arrive from work and find dinner ready on a tray and his wife settled in a puffy lounge chair in front of the television, ready for "Yearning." He would join her, sitting doggedly through the show, his eyes fixed on the screen even though half of the dialogue was lost on him. "It was bliss," Teacher Bei admits, sounding wistful, "Why can't they make a show like that more often? I guess it must be hard to come up with a story so complicated and gripping."
"Yearning" is a fifty part Chinese television serial, in a genre that the Chinese television people call "in-door drama" because it is mostly shot with studio-made in-door scenes. Literally, the Chinese title for "Yearning," Kewang, means "a desire like thirst." Desire is a central theme of the show which covers the years of the Cultural Revolution and the 1980s reform in the life of two Beijing families.
"Schizophonia refers to the split between an original sound and its electroacoustical transmission or reproduction." So writes Canadian composer, acoustic designer, and soundscape researcher Murray Schafer in his important book The Tuning of the World (1977: 90). Schafer's view of the impact of technology on musical practices and sound environments, though most indebted to McLuhan, often has the familiar devolutionary ring of mass culture criticism. He traces a drop in world acoustic ecology from hi-fi to lo-fi soundscapes marked by proliferation of noise, a proliferation corresponding to the increasing split of sounds from sources since the invention of phonographic recording a little more than 100 years ago. His scheme is straightforward: sounds once were always linked indexically to their time and place, their sources, their moment of enunciation, their human and instrumental mechanisms. Early technology for acoustic capture and reproduction fueled a preexisting fascination with acoustic dislocations and re-spatialization. Territorial expansion, imperialistic ambition, and audio technology as agent and indicator increasingly came together, culminating in the invention of the loudspeaker. Then came public address systems, radio expansion, and after the second world war, the tape recorder, which made possible a new and unprecedented level of editing via splicing manipulation such that sounds could be endlessly altered or rearranged yet made to have the illusion of seamless unbroken spatial and temporal contiguity. Summarizing his concept Schafer writes: "I coined the term schizophonia in The New Soundscape [an earlier book] intending it to be a nervous word. Related to schizophrenia, I wanted it to convey the same sense of aberration and drama. Indeed, the overkill of hi-fi gadgetry not only contributes generously to the lo-fi problem, but it creates a synthetic soundscape in which natural sounds are becoming increasingly unnatural while machine-made substitutes are providing the operative signals directing modern life" (1977: 91).
No doubt that if Schafer were writing at this moment, he would see digital sampling, CD-ROM, and the new ability to fully record, edit, re-organize and own any sound from any source, as the final stage of schizophonia, namely total portability, transportability, and transmutability of any and all sonic environments. But for the moment forget the "after the deluge" rhetoric here and some of the many complexities Schafer ignores, such as how musical technology has been occasionally hijacked to empower certain traditionally very powerless people and as a result has strengthened their local musical bases. Let's just, for the moment, focus in and think about that sense of nervousness Schafer's lovely and precise schiz-word means to announce: mediated music, commodified grooves, sounds split from sources, products for consumption with fewer if any contextual linkages to processes, practices, forms of participation that endow their meanings in local communities. Here Schafer's schiz-word recalls Walter Benjamin's celebrated essay of 40 years earlier on "The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction." Although Benjamin's concern with the transformation from unique to plural existences centered upon visual-material art objects, his critical interest in "aura," what is lost from an original once it is reproduced, first raised the assumption that anchors Schafer too: "...the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility" (1968: 224).
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