VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 12/1/2011
Reading Response to J.K. Gibson Graham, Cultivating Subjects for a Community Economy John Michael Byrd It seems very naive to think that one person can have any control over another person’s thoughts. You can try to influence someone’s opinion but ultimately every person no matter how much akin to the next is approaching these ideas of community/self/religion/economy from completely different vantage points. We all can be influenced in how we function is society but I don’t actually think that our identity can be altered by someone else. Influence is not the same as metamorphosis. I do believe that to change yourself you can alter your reality but it is simplistic to assume that it changes others realities. What one may think of as reality can be vastly different that actuality. Any change happens over very long periods of time. I think simply by socializing over time (as in decades or centuries) is it possible to sculpt cultural identity in a new direction. I think in this very moment feminism is being cultivated in our collective consciousness. Those raised before or during this shift in thinking are still somehow engrained with older theology of “women’s identity”. The juxtaposition of new ideas and actions simply slowly signals to groups and individuals that change are possible but don’t actually guarantee change in an immediate way. One innate problem with these projects is that because of our inability to change people these projects need explicitly more time given to them. Decades can be spent trying to let go of the self and many can argue that this isn’t even possible. Can we escape our pasts and even more importantly can we escape our own consciousness and mindset. I find the lack of method in many of these projects problematic. Again because all the researchers can inadvertently manipulate and indoctrinate the subjects how are we to get a good sense of what the subjects really think or more importantly feel. The occurrence of divergences between community researchers and academic researchers is not surprising at all. Some subject may have more of a kinship with someone they view as more education than themselves or on the same level as them while other may feel more intimidation from those highly education researchers indoctrinating the pool of subjectivity. Intent is what we are talking about here. Where is it that we are coming from in these experiments? In the passage on page 137 I quote “though the stories were initially slow in coming, one example sparked another and soon they were tumbling out… what took us aback was the dramatic change in affect that companied their telling. Over the course of a two-hour conversation, the participant had moved from an emotionally destructive narrative to regional destruction.” By being in close proximity of anyone we as human being are influenced consciously or unconsciously that is the problem with these types of project. I don’t have any definitive opinions on most of this subject but without using any scientific method for researching and the researcher always dilutes documenting the process. In each instance preconceived notions on the part of the researchers are key factors in the way in which we read this document. The training, socialization, hiring and subsequent work done for and by these researchers can’t easily be standardized. So how are we to decipher the constructions of their projects based on flawed preconceived ideology?
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