Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

SUCKER!

October 25th, 2004

Benjamin sucked me right into that trick question at his presentation today! Of course I *assumed* that if he was showing us a certain example it had to mean something. 🙂
A couple of the new cohorters got right in there – but what was up with all y’all marching in late and disrupting the whole show, eh?! And did anyone besides me notice the faculty member dozing off and on throughout?


Overall, though, it was cool. I like having monolingual thinking pointed out to me – that we have these base assumptions that people “ought” to speak “one” language and not codeswitch. That its often the observer who “makes” meaning out of it when bilinguals are just using a tool at their disposal to do the same kinds of things monolinguals do with the tools at their disposal. Nifty!
That bit about identities being “dimensions of ongoing processes of differentiation” really caught my attention. Sounds like interpellation to me! And I didn’t quite catch the whole statement, but Benjamin also said something about the meaning of language use (such as codeswitching) between individuals being “a phenomenological question that is ideologically mediated.” While “meanings are tethered to structures”, histories, specific social scenes and situations….the person who says something (the author) may arguable be the author of the text but quite possibly – and most likely! – not the author of the meaning. Benjamin shared that last idea with us from an obituary for Derrida.

2 Comments

Categories: group dynamics, Interpreting, phenomenology
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2 Responses to “SUCKER!”

  1. camille says:

    I really wanted to go to this but it was at a bad time for me. Steph, can you elaborate on what a “phenomenological questions that is ideologically mediated” means?

  2. steph says:

    Camille, I can give you what I think it means – Benjamin gave a very, very brief “explanation.” What I took from it was the notion that each person subjectively has their own sense of who they are, their identity is a phenomenological experience of their own consciousness generated by their sensory and cognitive experience(s) of the world around them. The ideological mediation is, I gather, the ways that we are all molded by the discourses around us that teach us (directly or otherwise) to perceive some things and not others, and to make sense of the things we perceive in certain ways. I guess the phrase caught my attention because it was a concise way of saying what it just took me 100 words to *try* to explain! 🙂 I’ll have to follow up with Benjamin now and see if he agrees with my attempt or not. Does it make sense to you?

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