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Showing posts from 2013

‘Haruki Murakami: In Search of this Elusive Writer’.

A couple of weeks ago I read Murakami's 'Norwegian wood'  which centers around a young student Toru Watanabe dealing with social isolation in Tokyo, the loss of a close fiend and his connections with two young women.  It's a very beautiful novel. I especially enjoyed all the little humorous, emotional or salacious side stories told by Midori and Reiko that pepper the novel alongside the main plot line. It's easy to see how this novel, which is supposedly unlike his others, captured the imagination of Japanese youth in the 'lost decade'.  Anyways, I found this BBC documentary about the author and I thought I would share it here.

Corrective Rape of black lesbian women in Post-Apartheid South Africa.

The following article is a guest post by Fadi Baghdadi (contactable: here) , a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney’s Department of Sociology and Social Policy.Baghdadi’s honours thesis explored the meanings Muslims women attribute to Islamic dress and Islamic gender relations in an Australian context. His current research is concerned with exploring how Lebanese Migrants have been effected by and negotiate space-time in regional Australia.  The article bellow is an analysis of the social imaginaries that collide in the practice of  'corrective' rape in South Africa and related issues of symbolic power and violence.
Symbolic violence and power coincide within the evolving structures of social imaginaries. This paper will explore various incidences of ‘corrective’ rape in post-apartheid South Africa. The manifestation of violence that is enacted will be shown to embody symbolic power in a homophobic form. The misappropriation of symbolic power will be investigated in orde…

'The Medium is the Message'

Marshall Mcluhan on an Australian television program discussing the affect of different forms of communication (television, radio and print) on the structure of human awareness.

Discerning Knowers On The Eternal Cloud.

I’ve previously mentioned the existence of my honours thesis (here, here and here) and the possibility that I might place it in the eternal cloud known as the internet. Well I've finally gotten around to doing just that and you can find Discerning Knowers: An Exploratory Study of University Students’ Perceptions of Knowledge Claims:here.  To get an idea of what it's all about, the abstract is as follows: The thesis is centred on how University students perceive the legitimacy of knowledge claims.  Contemporary sociological theory is often concerned with the transformations associated with the emergent “knowledge economy” and “knowledge society”. In view of this, University students’ perception of knowledge claims is of practical concern due to their future role as knowledge-workers and potential members of the power elite.  To address these issues, elements of Social Realism, Legitimation Code Theory and Systemic Functional Linguistics have been drawn on to conceptualize…

French Theory On The Brain.

The thought of all dead French theorists weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.

Focus Groups: Research Design, Limitations and Potential.

The focus group has been employed extensively in market research since the late 1940s, from the 1990s it has been increasingly readopted in social science research as an important qualitative research method (Wilkinson, 1998).Hyden and Bulow (2003, p. 306), in a database search of ‘Psychinfo’,found nine hundred articles using the keyword ‘focus group’ and almost a third of the articles were published after 1998 indicating a rapid growth of research utilizing the method.The increased use of focus groups has been accompanied by the elaboration of methodological concerns unique to focus groups and the proliferation of focus group designs based on the research objective of a specific project.Focus groups are a qualitative research method, and therefore subject to methodological issues that affect qualitative methodologies in general, however focus groups entail further issues of project level design, group level design and unit of analysis not encountered by other research methods (Morga…

Mere Atheism; Or, You Can’t Justify Your Teapot.

There is a scene in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 where the Chaplin is being interrogated about the theft of Major Major’s correspondence and is asked by a C.I.D. officer about his religious persuasion.The Chaplin declares himself an Anabaptist, which the officer finds a little suspicious: “Chaplin, I once studied Latin.I think it’s only fair to warn you of that before I ask my next question. Doesn’t the word Anabaptist simply mean that you’re not a Baptist?”
The Chaplin protests, but the officer pushes the point “are you a Baptist?”, “no sir”, “than you are not a Baptist, aren’t you?” Defined by an absence of belief, the C.I.D. officer credits the Chaplin with certain malicious actions against the war effort.Atheists often find themselves in a similar situation to the Chaplin, defined by an absence of belief. Theists and religious apologists infer ex nihlo that atheists hold a series of positive beliefs that have no necessary connection to the position of atheism, often the notion that “so…

Karen Armstrong on Women and Islam.

The Night of the World.

The other day I watched Sophie Fiennes and Slavoj Žižek's The Pervert's Guide to Cinema and one moment that caught my attention was when Žižekdiscussed the Hegelian notion of "the nigh of the world".   I had never heard of this before so I when online and tracked it down, here is the crucial passage:
"The human being is this Night, this empty nothing which contains everything in its simplicity – a wealth of infinitely many representations, images, none of which occur to it directly, and none of which are not present. This [is] the Night, the interior of [human] nature, existing here – pure Self – [and] in phantasmagoric representations it is night everywhere: here a bloody head suddenly shoots up and there another white shape, only to disappear as suddenly. We see this Night when we look a human being in the eye, looking into a Night which turns terrifying. [For from his eyes] the night of the world hangs out toward us". -  Hegel, The Philosophy o…

Thesis Acknowledgement.

I printed off a copy of my honours thesis, Discerning Knowers: An Exploratory Study of University Students' Perceptions of Knowledge Claims,  today with a view to reread it and give it a final edit before I let people read it (and to see if I can get a research paper or two out of it). I thought I'd take a picture of the acknowledgement page and post it up here in appreciation of those who, though named and nameless, know who they are.  For those who can't make the snapshot out (click on it to expand it), it reads:

Further Observations on Human Rights as 'Western Values'.