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phalangingle in theoryishotcrew

Can I just substitute an interpretive dance in place of a list?

Although I am generally of the opinion that I would never be a member of a club that would have someone like me as a member, I decided to give this a try.

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  1. "Foucault" in "Dictionnaire des philosophes" 1984, - Maurice Florence


  1. Distinction - Bourdieu


  1. El Laberinto de la Soledad - Paz


  1. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life - Goffman


  1. Borderlands/La Frontera - Anzaldua


  1. The Interpretation of Cultures  - Geertz


  1. Aberrations in Black - Ferguson


  1. Ain't I a Woman  - bell hooks


  1. Giving an Account of Oneself - Butler


  1. Selections from the Prison Notebooks - Gramsci

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I feel like my response may be a bit left of field to your question, but still in the ball park. I say that because I think of Actor Network Theory when I read "vibrancy, agency, and vitality of objects" (mostly picking up ANT from agency of objects). I am not very familiar with ANT, although I do have frequent conversations with some folks involved in science studies who use it. Instead of going an ANT route, I will turn to the topic of embodiment because the body has recently been rethought in many disciplines in an attempt to escape the Cartesian legacy of conceptualizing the body as an object.

I think one theoretical opportunity that is often occluded by social constructionism is the sensuality, emotionality, and (to an extent) the materiality of social life. Take the topic of the body. Cartesianism conceptualizes the body as object and this characterization is often taken up to cast the body as brute matter. Social constructionism is often critiqued for figuring the body as a blank slate. For social constructionists the body is shaped by social forces and interpreted through a particular cultural framework and thus rendered a cultural construct. This perspective, while a much needed counter to biological reductionist accounts, fails to capture the lived experience of embodiment and the ways in which bodily sensations, pleasures, desires, tensions, anxiety, etc, is not only shaped by social forces and interpreted through cultural frameworks, but plays an active role in shaping social forces. For example, a man may attempt to cultivate his body to exemplify and idealized vision of masculine physique. Further, not only is the shape and appearance of the body a concern, but also the use of the body must also be considered as part of the project of achieving masculinity (a tendency towards risky behavior, displays of athletic prowess, etc). As the body ages, however, the masculine subject may falter in his project of performing an idealized masculinity because of a recalcitrant body. He may experience prolonged fatigue, a knee might go bad, or soreness may prevent extended physical activity. Rather than being a mere object, the body exerts a certain form of agency in these cases.

Now, to take a work from list. Gramsci's important contribution to Marxian theory is his reevaluation of the superstructure (the realm of politics, law, culture). Gramsci's theory of hegemony requires a rethinking of revolutionary action. Once the superstrucutre is theorized as more than just epiphenomenon to the social base (economic production) than the revolutionary proletariat can no longer be assumed to automatically arise from their persisting immiseration within capitalism. The common sense of the proletariat may be shaped through dominant institutions (staff. Everyone performs intellectual activity, and even the most mundane tasks require intellectual energy, but only some individuals within the social structure perform the specialized role of an intellectual. Organic intellectuals, who remain linked to social struggles, are important for organizing the consciousness of the proletariat and to forge new institutions.

Gramsci's theory does not grasp the sensual aspects of organizing. Participation in revolutionary movements is not just a matter of thinking with good sense (against the common sense promulgated by dominant institutions upholding the status quo). More than cognition is involved. Feeling, affect, desire, anxiety, and dimensions of sensuality and emotionality comprise the experience of movement activity. Some people may participate in a social movement in a search for camaraderie and fellowship.