Friday, July 25, 2003

there's no stopping me!!!

post to AHS and SAS:

I mentioned that I contribute to other lists -- namely, AHS-Talk
(Association for Humanistic Sociology) and the SAS list (Society for
Applied Sociology). Two, action-oriented sociological lists and subsequent
associations. I also contribute to TEACHSOC. To contribute to the discussion you have now started, here is a post I
sent to the SAS list this morning in response to a question about the
"politics of sociology" "I agree with most of the thoughts on this issue -- I definitely think
that sociology is inherently political as is eating, breathing, and
sleeping. Saying that it is not (or they are not), IMO, is an untenable position.
Again, I refer back to my comments about IRB's, human subjects'
protection, etc. These require an inherently humanistic science. This means that we
value human life, alleviation of human suffering, etc. These are
inherently political positions and they really have NOTHING to do with some kind
of mythical (and decidedly political itself) thing called, "objectivity."
The fact that one would argue for objectivity is a value-laden and
political position. It is a recursive argument that most who argue for it are
unaware of (apparently some other person cleared their argument before they
made it, thus relieving the person making the argument from any responsibility
for any part of the argument that s/he actually utters. Note, that in
another context this is known as ventriloquism and the object whose lips are
moving is called a DUMMY...but, I digress.) f one has any doubts about whether or not sociology and other social
sciences are inherently humanistic, political, etc., just ask yourself
this question: Does one have to get approval from an IRB before declaring
war? Lastly, there is no way to divorce oneself from oneself -- I can't be a
sociologist when I am at work and then be a public citizen at home -- I
have tried mental illness and it is not fun (although the medications can be
entertaining until the side effects set in). It is the same body that
performs both roles. The mere fact that I take up space, have values,
and am recognized as a gendered person, results in me being a political

What I eat results in another having less to eat and yet we both suffer
from hunger. So, who gets what? The fact that we even have institutions
called IRB's so we can do something called research reflects our undeniably
privileged (Read, political) status. Hunger, though, and deciding who gets what is politics at its most
basic. And don't we eat at others' expense everyday? If you think not, then
you need to bond up on the data on how much of the world's resources the US

Preaching concluded here."

No comments: