Exam 1- Intellectuals and my Uncle the Ringmaster


, , , , , , , ,


October 18, 2012

Dear Diary,

Uncle Jim and Aunt Tina arrive today from the grand circus tour they were hosting across the states. They had been touring with the Ringling Brothers and decided to stop for a visit; joy. As always talking to them is so frustrating they never see my point of view. They just want me to join the circus and be a lion tamer. Maybe when I was five year old I would’ve thought; gee that sounds like a dream come true! But, not anymore, I want to be an intellectual! Mom spoke to Uncle Jim last week and told him I finally decided what I wanted to do with my life and that I would tell him my answer when they stopped by.

Everyone was sitting in the living room and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give the family my answer. My palms were sweaty and I didn’t know how to start so I simply chimed into their conversation with an “Uncle Jim and Aunt Tina I am going to be an intellectual.” They just stared at me and all I heard was silence in the room. Then, like a bomb explosion there was laughter everywhere. The audacity to laugh in my face! My aunt is a clown and my uncle a ringmaster and they are laughing at me??? OH the irony in that! I’m sure they don’t even know who the great masters like Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari are. Out of frustration I shouted “Uncle Jim do you even know what an intellectual is?” With his know it all attitude he responded, “of course I do, an intellectual is someone who spoke the truth for those that couldn’t.” When I heard my Uncle’s definition I knew I was about to give a discourse and of course had to counter his definition. My Uncle’s definition might have been correct in the time of the Command or after 1940 like Foucault had said. But the intellectual was persecuted and rejected when what he/she was saying became undeniable. Therefore I had to explain what the intellectual was now so I said, “on the contrary Uncle Jim, the intellectual now knows that the masses hold more knowledge than the intellectual himself and they can speak out for themselves. Therefore the role of the intellectual now is to fight and struggle the power that delegates him the role as the one that gives “knowledge”, “truth” and “discourse” as Foucault has said. I looked at my Uncle and noticed something was starting to click in his head.

I thought it was essential to mention that theory and practice is a form of struggle against and for power as Foucault has mentioned. Deleuze believes that theories should be used and if they are not then new ones should be created not reformed. Pointing fingers and speaking out is a start in the reversal of power and an initiation in addressing other struggles. Sadly power cannot be possessed but it is often held by certain people. “I want to struggle against the power hahahhaha” I shouted. At this point my Aunt and Uncle just stared at me but with eyes of happiness. My aunt and uncle hugged me and apologized for laughing in my face. My uncle said he saw that I was dedicated about being an intellectual and even asked me to possibly explain a concept that an intellectual produces. My mind instantly went to the “Body without Organs” that I had recently learned about in my sociology class.

I began explaining this new concept and said that the body of organs is the pre-individual. To clarify my statement I said that as an individual one has attributes, characteristics, etc. But the pre-individual has none of this. The body without organs (BWO) is what remains when you take away the “phantasy, subjectificiation and significances” as a whole. The BWO is a concept created in opposition of the organism and the specific functionality of the organs. Deleuze and Guattari claim that BWO is a set of practices and they advocate the careful dismantling of the organism. They also believe that BWO is a desire we are forever trying to reach, but it is a limit. The BWO are removed from all attributed, all attributes which is a pool of intensities or flows. The BWO acts as an abstract machine which differentiated the “substance” (as Spinoza puts it) because of the desire which is measured through the plane of consistency. I just kept rambling on, but didn’t care because my I wanted my uncle and aunt to know how knowledgeable I was about the subject. So I continued by saying that the totality of all BWO’s can be obtained in the plane of consistency by means of the abstract machine. In the field of immanence or “substance” things gets determined by desires which then are the plane of consistency. My Uncle shouted “I think it’s time to stop, we can’t have you giving away all you know just yet Kim.” I smiled and knew he was accepting of my chosen career.

Before I knew it my Uncle and I were online researching about many different theorists and he actually seemed interested. For once in my life I felt that bond I had never felt with my Uncle. Who would have thought that the body without organs would bring us so close together? So I guess Diary that after all my ringmaster Uncle and my clown Aunt are not so frustrating after all. I can finally scream out with confidence, “I am going to be an intellectual!!!!” Anyways, time to go sleep with a smile on my face. I’ll write tomorrow, it was such an amazing day!

Word Press Question????

6241So ladies does anyone know if there is a specific place where I can see comments Ive made to other group blogs???? I checked in the section on wordpress that titles “comments Ive made” but not all the comments Ive made on other blogs show up. So its a hassle going from blog to blog trying remembering where I commented… blah anyways have a great weekend ladies :]

A philosophical frame of mind


, , ,

A philosophical frame of mind. Generally we strive to acquire one emotional stance, one viewpoint for all life situations and events: we usually call that being of a philosophical frame of mind. But rather than making oneself uniform, we may find greater value for the enrichment of knowledge by listening to the soft voice of different life situations; each brings its own views with it. Thus we acknowledge and share the life and nature of many by not treating ourselves like rigid, invariable, single individuals.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Human, All Too Human: Section Nine: Man Alone with Himself – Aphorism #618

Jasbir Puar Reaction – “Poststructuralist Fatigue”


, , , , , ,

Puar critiques intersectionality as the “primary rubric for theorizing difference” (p1 in pdf).  Intersectionality defines an individual by the intersections of its differences based on gender, race, class, etc.  What is problematic is that intersectionality continues to create and define differences, which remains in the discourse of subject and other-ing.

Then there are theorists who ask “how the body is materialized, rather than what the body signifies” (6).  This is in the ontological framework of how we “be” (as Christina puts it).  Representation is problematic. Instead, “bodies are unstable assemblages that cannot be seamlessly disaggregated into identity formations” (5).  For assemblage, human and subject is not primary.  Signification is not the only thing that defines something.  It is the “variation to variation” of interactions; “matter is not a ‘thing’ but a doing” (7).  Assemblage is not about the subject, it is about the “connections” (6).

In intersectionality, the action of intersecting has to occur between differences to create a subject.  This action/motion/event of intersection is what links the theories of intersectionality and assemblages.  However, this action creates only potential, not subject.  We can’t keep creating subjects, so we’re trying to figure out the “pre-individual” or how matter/energies (ultimately) form a subject.  I had to read this section a bunch of times: “the relationship of positionality to affect, feelings, and sensations is arbitrary” (10).   It is arbitrary that I am “female”, there is no such thing as a “female” energy/feeling, but as events unfold, I become female.

Puar believes it is not either/or, either intersectionality OR assemblages, but that it is part of a process in understanding the relations between discipline and control.  She is concerned about the “disciplinary subject and its identitarian interpellation” (10).

The full paragraph on page 11, to me, is a definition for socialization.

“Therefore, to dismiss assemblage in favor of retaining intersectional identitarian frameworks is to miss the ways in which societies of control apprehend and produce bodies as information…”

Whether it’s through signification, or affect, or a combination of both, our behaviors have been shaped by this way.  We can call this practice a form of discipline, or it can be seen as a way of control.  Who knows? Either way, it moves beyond the binary of intersectionality and assemblage.

“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess” Intersectionality, Assemblages, and Affective politics


, , ,

I am going to attempt to summarize What I gathered from Puar’s text although i definitely read it over a few times my understanding is still a little fuzzy. Here goes…

Puar thinks that the way Feminist use intersectionality in their work is problematic. Intersectionality is the way in which various social factors interact to produce an identity that is unstable or oppressed. The method of intersectionality has turned into a method  used to  discuss women of color or WOC. Puar argues that the production of the WOC always creates an other and as a result it recreates the same sexual difference that feminist are suppose to fight against. In this respect discussing feminist politics through the frame work of intersectionality alone is not helpful.  She asserts that feminist should also look at assemblages and what they do.  By focusing on the body itself in relation to all other things that it comes into contact with. She claims that the relation to the body and matter can produce an event, that along with the way we are already expected to act (intersectional)makes that event more likely to happen. The example that she gave in her essay was the way a man beat his wife while he was watching football. The husband did slap his wife but there were other “actors” involved in that incident such as the T.V. the game and the fact that the man was statistically more likely to hit his wife.  Puar thinks that looking at feminist issues under this light offers a different way of thinking about why they occur and how they can be prevented.

Ladies, please feel free to add anything or clarify any specific points especially that of assemblages because i found it difficult to clarify.

ENG251 x SOC223


Just an interesting crisscross that I came across while writing my English paper, one of my sources Hearing the Better Story: Learning and the Aesthetics of Loss and Explusion by Dina Georgis mentioned Spivak and Can the Subaltern Speak? in her article in relation to Life of Pi (which I’m writing my paper on!)

Not quite sure where this is going to end up because I’m still preoccupied with writing this 10 page paper but kinda interested to see where it ends up!

Jacques Lacan – first draft



Jacques-Marie-Emile Lacan was born on April 13, 1901, and was raised in a Catholic family.  After his studies, in 1927, he began his clinical training in the women’s section of the Clinic for Mental and Encephalic Diseases at Sainte-Anne’s hospital.  He becomes fully integrated in the fields of neurology and psychiatry.  In 1932, he publishes his translation of Freud’s On Some Neurotic Mechanisms in Jealousy, Paranoia and Homosexuality.  The same year he was awarded a doctorate for his thesis: On Paranoiac Psychosis in its Relations to the Personality, and becomes a specialist in paranoia.  In 1934, Lacan becomes a member of La Société Psychoanalytique de Paris (SPP), an organization where he lectured and, for a brief period, becomes president in 1953.  That same year, he leaves SPP to join Société Française de Pschanalyse (SFP) and also begins seminars at Sainte-Anne’s Hospital where he remains until 1963.

Lacan’s seminars were re-interpretations of Freud, and were short compared to the usual one-hour sessions.  His audience grew as the seminars allowed flexibility for the analysts-in-training.  Many of his seminars are published.

In 1960, his Ethics becomes the background of his work; it attributes desire as the root of ethics.  In 1962 he is banned from the International Psychoanalytic Association for his unconventional views of psychoanalysis. He then founded L’Ecole Freudienne de Paris (EFP) in 1963, which practiced psychoanalysis by the Lacanian method.  EFP was dissolved in 1980 by Lacan, and “La Cause Freudienne” was founded.  “It is up to you to be Lacanians if you wish; I am Freudian.”   Lacan died on September 9, 1981, in Paris.


Lacan’s work has its largest influence in post-structuralism.  From 1953, much of his work was driven by a “return to the meaning of Freud.”  He integrated Freud’s theoretical writings with his own knowledge of structuralist linguistics, structural anthropology, topology, and game theory.  His work extended the field of psychoanalysis into the fields of philosophy, human sciences, and linguistics.

During his clinical practice, Lacan published works on his “Mirror Stage,” a developed reconstitution of Freud’s Ego and Id.  The “Mirror Stage” is his theory that as an infant, when it sees itself in the mirror, the infant’s understanding of “I” is not the same as what it sees.  An infant comes to understand that what it sees is itself, and the child understand language with regards to the reflection of itself.  The ego is formed from understanding that the reflection, what the infant sees, is the “I.”

Lacan uses structural linguistics to critique Freud’s role of the symbolic by claiming that the unconscious is not ruled by instinctual desires, rather it is “structured like a language.”  Language is symbolic in that it is an expression of something that is not in front of you.  Language is used in a way that separates subject from signifier.

Lacan has been criticized by his structuralist approach, and by many feminists on the grounds that his work is a continuation of the sexism that was prevalent in the psychoanalysis of Freud. Although many of the feminists that take issue with Lacan’s Psychoanalysis denounce his sexist stance, many still contend that he is none the less valuable in the psychoanalytic field. In The Lacanian Delusion, author Francois Roustang described Lacan’s writing as “an incoherent system of pseudo-scientific gibberish”. Others authors have also claimed that he misuses scientific concepts. His concepts are too difficult to understand and they are therefore useless since the oppressed cannot decipher them. Defenders of Lacan use this same reasoning to defend him. They believe that he has faced such harsh criticism because his concepts have not been understood therefore they cannot be invalidated.

Work Cited

“Criticisms of Jaques Lacan.” Web.26 Nov.2012. < http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/criticisms-of-jacques-lacan/&gt;.

“Chronology”. JL. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://www.lacan.com/rolleyes.htm&gt;.

“Jacques Marie Emile Lacan – Biography”. The European Graduate School. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. < http://www.egs.edu/library/jacques-lacan/biography/&gt;.

Sharpe, Matthew.  “Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 27 June 2005.  Web. 21 Nov. 2012. < http://www.iep.utm.edu/lacweb/&gt;.

Arlie Hochschild – Complete 1st Draft




Born: January 15, 1940

Parents: Diplomat Francis Henry and Ruth Russell

Education: B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1962, M.A. in 1965 from University of California and Ph. D. in 1969 from the University of California

Influenced by: Erving Goffman, David Riesman, C. Wright Mills.

Arlie Hochschild grew up in a very gendered home, with her father being the breadwinner and her mother the caretaker. Hochschild drew on her experiences as a child and her family dynamic when completing her own research and writing. The main topics amongst most of Hochschild’s works are family, market culture, global patterns of care work, and social psychology; particularly the relationship between culture and emotion. A clear example as to how Hochschild used her personal experience in her writing is seen in her book, The Commercialization of Intimate Life, where she writes about her mother who was an individual which devoted her life to caring for the family, yet never seemed happy to be doing so.

Hochschild considers Goffman, Riesman, and Mills to be the most influential theorists, when guiding her down the path of sociology. Just as Goffman explores the outward manifestations of emotions such as shame and embarrassment, Hochschild interprets the self’s inner emotional life. She considers Simone de Beauvoir’s and Betty Friedan’s texts “The Second Sex” and “The Feminist Mystique” as essential factors in influencing her feminist mode of thinking. When Hochschild attended Berkeley there weren’t many studies focused on women, she was driven to reshape sociology so that it would not be entirely based on the lifestyles of men. She has opened the door for the studying of economic advantages and disadvantages of women in the workplace.

Hochschild is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Sociologists for Women inSociety, the American Gerontological Society, the American Federation of Teachers, Sociological Research Association, and the International Association for Research on Emotion. Hochschild is currently both a writer and a teacher. Her most recent work is The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times and is currently a sociology professor in Berkeley University. She is also a strong activist for a mother’s to be able to equally balance her job in the workplace as well as her job as a caring mother and homemaker.


■2012 : The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Time

■2003 : The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes From Home And Work.

■2002 : Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy

■1997 : The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work

■1989 : Second  Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home

■1983 : The Managed Heart: The Commercialization of Human Feeling

■1973  : The Unexpected Community

■Along with many other articles

Major Concepts

The Second Shift: refers to the “double work” that women often take on in addition to their day jobs (which can be largely professional). The second shift includes housework, childcare, domestic responsibilities and more. Hochschild says that even though women are now working and often have the same jobs as men, their domestic role at home hasn’t changed much, and this is what she refers to as the stalled gender revolution. When Hochschild was conducting her research for “The Second Shift” book she found that women who have demanding careers come home and continue doing “work”. Women do about seventy five percent of the housework in their households and eight percent of the child care tasks within their families.

Time Bind: is a concept introduced through Hochschild’s publication of The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work (1997). Throughout Hochschild’s research she noticed  that although a majority of working parents claimed that their family was their primary focus, very few of them considered adjusting their long hours, even when their workplaces offered  paternity leave, flextime, telework, along with other policies. This was most noticeable amongst women who often rather work long hours than go home early to tend to their family; the workplace has become a refuge from a demanding family life. In conclusion Hochschild’s research has shown that the roles of the household and workplace had reversed. The “home” has become a place of stress, with a lack of recognition and full of emotional stresses. On the contrary work now offers parents a sense of belonging.

Normative Theory about Emotion: predicts that the differences amongst male and female with pertinence to feelings and expressive behavior are consistent with gender specific emotion beliefs. Hochschild argues that cultural beliefs about emotion are direct influences upon individual’s expressions and feelings. She also argues the opposite, where expression and feelings norms specify the particular emotions individuals should show in set situations. According to Hochschild expression and feeling rules, set standards for individuals to judge their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Our emotion culture has specific feelings and expressions which are particularly assigned to women and not men. Women report that they experience emotions more often than not. Hochschild states that there are norms that discourage women from expressing and feeling anger. As well as men who are discouraged from expressing and feeling sadness. As a result women experience sadness more often and men experience anger more often.

Criticism of Normative Theory of Emotion

In contrast to Hochschild’s normative theory of emotion, Kemper holds a structural theory of emotion. Contrary to Hochschild’s viewpoint Kemper believes there is a pattern of subjective feelings for men and women that depart from cultural beliefs about emotion and gender. An individual’s emotional response to social situations is due to structural factors as opposed to cultural derived emotion norms. An example of these structural factors is an individual’s social position. Kemper argues that power and status are essential characteristics of social relationships which provoke specific emotions when power and status are changed or maintained. Kemper claims that when people hold greater amounts of power and status they experience positive emotions like happiness. On the contrary when people hold less amounts of power and a lower status they experience negative emotions like anger and sadness. In essence he believes that since women often have a lower status and less power than men they experience negative emotions more often than men do.

Works Cited

“Arlie R. Hochschild” Sociology, University of Berkeley, n.p., Web. 21 Nov., 2012. http://sociology.berkeley.edu/professor-emeritus/arlie-r-hochschild

Brines, Julie. “The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild; Anne Machung Review” Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 52, No. 1. National Council on Family Relation, Feb., 1990. pp. 278-279. Web. 21 Nov., 2012http://www.jstor.org.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/stable/352858

Ehrlich, Robert. “The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling by Arlie Hochschild Review” Theory and Society, Vol. 13, No. 5. Springer, Sep. 1984. pp. 731-736. Web 21 Nov., 2012.  http://www.jstor.org.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu/stable/657250

Manning, C. “WMST 227: Arlie Hochschild” 16 April, 2007. Web 25, Nov. 2012


McDermott, Monica. “The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work by Arlie Russell Hochschild Review” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 113, No. 1.The Academy of Political Science, 1998. pp. 169-170. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657684

Nath, Leda E. and Simon, Robin “Gender and Emotion in the United States: Do Men and Women Differ in Self Reports of Feelings and Expressive Behavior?” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 109, No. 5. The University of Chicago, March 2004. pp. 1137- 76. Web. 23 Nov., 2012.

Judith Butler- Gender Roles Ch 1


, , , , , ,


My understanding of Judith Butler’s first chapter in Gender Roles is as follows. Butler analyses the idea of women as the subject of feminism. Feminism creates this idea that there is an identity and subject that requires representation. Butler problematizes “woman” as a stable identification and discusses how this category has been used to reify systems of power. False ideas about the static nature of identity also occur. The concept of “woman” is a category complicated by ethnicity and sexuality. Feminism complicates the idea of “woman” and the basic ideas that exist in pertinence to gender are problematic. “Woman” is the subject on which political representation is pursued. But woman as a subject; a political representation, implies a separation from power subjects which affect women. Butler claims that if we critique feminism from within feminism and if women are oppressed yet we continue to talk about women as being an oppressed subject, we are simply constructing them as an oppressed group, reifying the oppressed subject. Butler also states that the splitting between sex and gender is problematic because in reality they are both culturally constructed categories, there is no distinction between the two. Our ideas of sex are always already gendered and our whole conception of biology is already gendered as well , “Gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being.” (second to last paragraph, my page 33) Butler comes to this conclusion through an analysis of the construction of gender as a binary category yet concludes that that culture and nature are not separate subjects, they are not binary.

So this is what I managed to understand ladies, please comment with anything else I might have missed or clarify anything I might have understood wrong 🙂

Exam 3 | Spivak, Foucault, Deleuze, Fanon and Spivak


, , , , ,

Foucault, Deleuze, Fanon and Spivak are four average high school students having a conversation about their English teacher while walking home from school.

FOU – Ms Smith shouldn’t be giving me this C. I don’t think I deserve the C. It’s just because she doesn’t agree with my analysis and only thinks hers is right.

DEL – She’s not a good teacher, the rest of the class hates her, I asked everybody.

SPI – You can’t speak for the whole class. I dont hate her and I’m pretty sure not everyone hates her.

FOU – Ms Smith just thinks that her answer is always right! And she gives students bad grades if we don’t think the same.

DEL – We should all go to the principal and say something!

FOU – Yeah!

SPI – You guys don’t even come to class half the time, you’re not even a part of the class, all you guys do is hang out and cut class with the popular kids! You don’t know what everyone else in the class is thinking.

DEL – Just because the cool kids like us –

FOU – …doesn’t mean you have to get pissed about it.

FAN – Cut it out guys. But you’re both right. Ms Smith shouldn’t be forcing her knowledge and her opinions on everyone.

FOU – See? See, Spivak?! He agrees with us!

FAN – But…on the other hand, I think Ms Smith is trying to have intellectually and academically correct answers. She cares so much about how she speaks and how she’s coming across as an individual, as a teacher, as someone’s who’s educated. She’s just a single, black woman just trying to work hard and live a decent life.

DEL – I guess so..but Ms Smith should probably ease up on us. She needs to hear us out. She needs to at least attempt to understand us as students.

FOU – Yeah, our opinions matter too.

SPI – Your opinions probably don’t matter as much as the entire class because they actually come to class! You both don’t know how the class is feeling about Ms Smith and you’re not listening to me!

DEL – I still think we should talk to the principal, rally up some kids and complain about her.

FAN – I don’t think that’s necessary. Maybe you should talk to her about yourself and ask about extra credit.

SPI – The class asked for it already when you all weren’t in class. When our class spoke up about her Scarlett Letter test and how hard it was, they were all really trying to make a point. But she really didn’t want to listen to us and didn’t give us any opportunity for extra credit.

FOU – See? We told you she was horrible!

DEL – Who is that waving at us?

Ms Smith is walking towards them, apparently heading home as well and waving. 

Foucault, Deleuze, Fanon and Spivak look at each other, embarrassed and run away.