Sun, 20 Jul 2003 16:52:44 GMT
Real innovation in social theory is hard but brute-force approaches can yield results. Henry’s comments on Public Choice Theory reminded me of a simple way to innovate theory that you’re welcome to apply in various contexts as you please.
a problem is that the metonymic replacement or substitution of one cultural institution as another is always political. Even if you really believe that markets are politics, or culture, the way that you came to that belief is probably full of influences outside of your direct control, the discursive realm.
another problem is that; the social is inseparable from any social milieu, such as the market, such as politics, etc. and this is inversely similar. It is one of the great fallacies of analysis to construct categories that can encompass one another, and while this is really all we have to work with, it is also the case, that when presented with someone claiming that one is the other, or one operates like the other, we should respond “sure, except in the cases where it does not” because exceptions always exist and they don't form logical sets for simple analysis, though some people think they do….., but then some people think that the some total of a human life can be represented by their purchases too, so you know, not everything is not as people think:)
the base assumption that i like to work on is that if someone is trying to make something simple, then they are probably putting forth an ideologically bent position that serves them in some manner, even if that service is something like 'it is easier to analyze'. then we can start playing the game “Whose Hegemony, Which Ideology”, which is always fun.
In short, i think we have to be perspectivists and realize that if you are looking from a direction, you are informed by that direction and it narrows your perspective generally so it only sees some details. Perspectives only allow the 'salience' of certain details, and in that they only give us part of the picture, and certainly not everything that is important about the picture, and as such should be supplemented with a general skepticism along the lines of the 8 modes.
but hey, that's just me, I tend to look at meta levels of analysis instead of analyzing anything at all, its an STS* addiction, apparently incurable.
*Science and Technology Studies