Reading-Response-to-J-K-Gibson-Graham-Cultivating-Subjects-for-a-Community-Economy by ajizai

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									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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