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Daniel Holm Inlägg

Nature-Culture Sociology; Constructivism, Realism and Molecular Biology.

MacNaghten & Urry states that they are “concerned” with the relation of sociology and nature/environment – how the latter has been focused on and “conceptualised” (MacNaghten & Urry, 1995, p. 203). MacNaghten & Urry find that “nature Is elaborately entangled and funda­mentally bound up with the social and the cultural.” (Ibid.), and describes sociology as a autonomous discipline that can be applied on other areas, such as biology or environmental studies – but that the social side of it for a very long time has been distinct. What they seem to mean is that there was a though of nature ans culture as being separated, as in the environmental realism way, and has over time moved over to a more environmental constructivistic idea, where they stay and which Lidskog talks about and I will come back to. But later the social scientist has to address for “the social impacts and implications of environmental problems”, which was initiated by natural scientists (A.a., p. 204). MacNaghten & Urry therefore talks about the social scientist’s failure of breaking the ice with the study of environmental change.

Woodgate & Redclift (1998) tries to offer a way between constructivism and realism in their article. They, to begin with, thinks that the “agenda of constructivist sociology” is too ’restrictive’, and that it needs a more ’balanced’ view of the “relationship between society and its underlying material or natural conditions” (Woodgate & Redclift, 1998, p. 7). They also state that we need to accept nature as both material and as a set of culturally generated symbols – one side “implies the other” – as without the physical environment we would have nothing to construct socially, and the constructions are the element of the social construction (ibid.). Although being more set in realism. By citing Hannigan, they state that environmental problems are materialized, not by themselves, but by constructing them, defining them, just as other social problems such as domestic violence (Woodgate & Redclift, 1998, p. 4). They then go on asking “to what extent is this a problem of their own making?” (referring also to MacNaghten & Urry), meaning that these issues are constructed socially and then not really a problem to everyone. – not necessary over time and across societies. What they mean is cited back from Lutzenhiser saying that natural science tend to ’exclude’ human behaviour, as do sociologists tend to exclude “the physical and environment” (A.a., p. 5). The environment cannot only be “represented trough social construction” but also “the creation of human activity”, which in turn affects the environment. This, according to Woodgate & Redclift, leads us to “consider not only the claims that are made against nature, but also the material transformation of nature” (A.a., p. 6).

Woodgate & Redclift does, however, also cite Dunlap & Catton stating that “deconstruction does not render the environment any less real” (A.a., p. 7; emphasizes added). That everything is actually socially constructed and that there is nothing before the social moment, but moving onto even discusses that an constructivistic approach also is critical of the realists. This, by referring to Buttel, is presented as the knowledge of the environment is not a ’mirror’ of the natural world, but a social observation. (A.a., p. 9). What they are concerned with is the material part of the nature or environment, meaning that a stone is a stone in the realism way, but that we still do a sociological observation of this material and define it as being a stone. (A.a., p. 8, Realism). Or, like they talk about later, the “difference between natural ecosystems and those that have been modified for the production of food” in agriculture by human society (A.a., p. 9).1 By linking “ecological understanding with mainstream sociological though”, Woodgate & Redclift, shows that society and human conditions ’bears’ the structure and provide context to the relation between society and nature (A.a., p. 18). That there is like self-evolving circle between society and nature.

Lidskog, on the other hand, tries to ’alleviate’ the dichotomy between (environmental) realism an constructivism. Environmental realism is the attempt to bring ecology into sociology. However, nature do have an impact on us as a society as well, and nature has a social space of interpretation (Lidskog, 2001, p. 129). Lidskog also states the the lack of progress in the overall, global, transformation against a more environmental friendly development, the idea of a sustainable development with less environmental problems is “deeply embedded” in our modern society’s fabric. If no changes in our social fundamental and structures are made, the problems will instead increase (A.a., p. 113). The problem is, therefore, the neglected “social dimension when discussing environmental problems.” (A.a., p. 114). Referring to a number of authors, Lidskog brings up ’re-naturalization’, but then states that, that would be “anything but unproblematic” (A.a., p. 115). Nature has been increasingly contested and has created these to “main parties” that are realism and constructivism, where Lidskog adds that there is a need, and by using his article, to critically discuss the need of ecological aspects “in the sociological analysis of environment” (Ibid.) – also by pretty much as MacNaghten & Urry does, by using them as juxtapositions.2 Lidskog states that the issue with environmental constructivism is that the focus in sociology “should be on the social processes”, meaning “ecological awareness does not have any necessary reference to conditions in the natural environment” (A.a., p. 119). Environmental problems are constructed by “individuals and organisations” that define them. Environmental issues doesn’t ’derive’ from a simple an neutral view of reality, but by adding the risk as it what it means for us as a society – the focus of what social process that makes us think, or ’perceive’ nature as “ecologically damaged” (Ibid.). The realism part, according to Lidskog is the argue of a ’re-naturalaziation’ of society – this because that “society’s ecological basis needs to be taken into consideration by sociology” (A.a., p. 117).

Lidskog sees environmental realism as a interdisciplinary of human ecology, while environmental constructivistic science is within the area of sociology (A.a., p. 120). This, practically, means the “saving of the Earth” in realism, and finding a solution as a culture and society in constructivism. About environmental realism Lidskog says:

“Environmental realism offers an ecological framework for examining societal-environmental interactions which implies that social phenomena have to be examined in conjunction with phenomena on other levels” (A.a., p. 121).

MacNaghten & Urry talks about “modernity” and “human exceptionalism”, and their constituted relationship of humans and nature. It is especially presented by the use of the word ’juxtaposition’ – I would say, since it creates a contrast point of nature and society, while the constructivism standpoint is funded on them being intertwined. Although talking about these two ’transformations’ from the materialization of nature, to the construction of it (MacNaghten & Urry, 1995, p. 205). MacNaghten & Urry describes how sociology may help to ’illuminate’ social differences in views of the environment, and how it can be ’evaluated’; how, and what, the issues has been seen as over time and in different societies, for example (A.a., p. 210). They mean that sociology has a lot to offer the studies of the environment, that not necessary may be explained or, rather, analysed and approached – this by relating environmental issues to the culture and policies of a given society, or period of time. This is, as they put it, a contrast to the naïve realism that puts most value on being subjected to the mote scientific view – that the issue get clearer because our scientific knowledge develops it, pushes it forward – being cumulative. Their last element of their discussion is the role of the environment as being the “structural formation and cultural transformation” of our societies (A.a., p. 214). In their conclusion, MacNaghten & Urry talks about ’space and time’, and relate this into this juxtaposition that is nature and society by stating the nature is timeless, while society is dynamic in the sense of it changing over time:

“[S]ocial time involves change, progress and decay, while natural phenomena are either timeless or can operate with a conception of reversible time.” (A.a., p. 217).

I relate this to a part from the documentary The Unbelievers (2013), starring Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. Near the end of the documentary Krauss holds a lecture during some kind of global atheist science symposium-thing, where he speaks about science and science theory; more specifically Krauss talks about the theory of evolution, as for example, does not care for the future or the past, since that is not what a theory is – at least not for natural science. Evolution just is; it’s an explantation of our species and how we became, as animals, what we are – how life evolved. But, Krauss states, while evolution can’t see into the future of a species’ needs, our human minds can. And I think that this is rather telling for what also MacNaghten & Urry talks about; that natural science explains our world as it is, without the values and ability to seek the need – either for our past, present or future – but we, as humans in a society and with culture, are. Just like
MacNaghten & Urry states at the end: “culture has been necessary to rescue nature” (A.a., p. 218).

Maybe from ourselves.

The shift in molecular biology that Rheinberger talks about is in short the way of using medicine for understanding, which leads to medical help, has moved onto rewriting – creating: “With DNA technology, molecular biology has turned, in less than twenty years, from a mode of discovery into a praxis of invention.” (A.a., p. 256). Or that biophysicist, biochemists and alike has gone from watching molecules in test-tubes and see the reactions occurring in the organism that are analysed, to construct the objects and molecules carrying instructions.; the “organism itself is turned into a laboratory” (A.a., p. 252). To make changes in our DNA, hence construct new ways for our life’s to keep on going -. perhaps without need of medical help in the future.

“Molecular biology is joining forces with the human genetics counselling system, the medico-technical complex, the biotech industry and forensic medicine and in doing so will institute a new medical paradigm: molecular medicine.” (Rheinberger, 1995, p. 254).

The focus is healthy genes. (A.a., p. 254). “Will medicine become a practice of tailoring molecules?”, Rheinberger asks. The discourse of this ’genetic scripture’ imposes on our perception of ’the living’ (A.a., p. 255).

“it will replace the technology of big instruments in diagnostics and in therapy with the more subtle, direct, and causal technology of molecular screening, replacement, and transformation of bits of the genetic text.” (Ibid.).

The social parts of diseases, or rather diagnoses, might also change as a result of genetic manipulation. Stigmatized ’diseases’ as ADHD, Aspergers syndrome and even forms of cancer, might be decreased – both medically and socially – although if happens less, the stigma could get worse.

What comes along with these developments is also a question of “who will shoulder the responsibility”? (A.a., p. 256).

By manipulating DNA we could do a whole lot of things to us as a species – both ecologically/genetically as well as socially. What we wish for in humans and other animals, socially and culturally, is transferred and constructed in DNA (A.a., p. 257). The current discussion of genome is ’subverting’ the “perception of history” where there previously has been a clear distinction between natural history and social history (Ibid.). We have today the means and technology of changing what we perceive as less good into what we perceive as more socially accepted – “to change our natural history”; what Rheinberger means as “the natural condition of mankind itself will turn into a social construct” – resulting in making even less “good sense” (ibid.).

Rheinberger moves on discussing how “[t]here will be unintended inventions, and there will be unintended consequences from intended inventions.” (A.a., p. 258). As technology changes, and develops, so will that it means to me ’normal’ and ’not normal’.

Aggression, which is considered to be less charming in our society as many other characteristics could possible be removed from our genome. Agrees, which might have been an advantage in our past – and might be in a future we know nothing about – but isn’t really a necessity in our current society. Aggression, which I would say is linked to the social contract that Thomas Hobbes talks about; life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” – a “war of all against all” – as the natural state (Hobbes, 1651), might be obliterated with a manipulation our or genome. Maybe even making us create a new social contract – or at least using our social contract to create a ’more evolved’ human species; a homo mitiores.3 I mean that the social contract, that we now live in with our societies and states (although Hobbes not really liked the idea of the State) could instead pave the way for a new natural order based on that initial social contract that came to be from the old natural order, that was brutish and short – violent. And with less aggression, which is looked on shamefully and as something non-wished for, the natural state could get less, or not at all, brutish and violent (and short) and instead much happier – by nature. An artificial nature, but a new nature still. A social contract that construct and constitutes a nature and not the other way.

Rheinberger ends his article with stating the the new technology of genetic modification results in an even more entangled, or rather as he states it: “ nature and culture, biosciences and medical practices, genes and disease, can no longer be disentangled” (Rheinberger, 1995, p. 261; emphasize added) – they are instead indeed ’amalgamated’ as ’hybrids’ of them all. Meaning that one can no longer “distinguish between nature and culture” (Ibid.).

Early in his article Rheinberger refers to Bruno Latour stating that the microbiology is to take over the medical ’realm’ (A.a., p. 250), giving the example of “urban sanitation” with swept across Europe; a proof of where a (nature) scientific finding moves away from the laboratories and into the society (hence to be studied, as an effect, socially). Rheinberger’s talks about this ’misunderstanding’ that Louis Pasteur’s finding was meant for “applied microbiology promised prevention of illness, not cure” (A.a., p. 250; emphasis added). This misunderstanding, according to Rheinberger, might surface with the possibility of “molecular takeover” of medicine, which is about healthy genes, and not cure – also for the whole population.

About this ’whole situation’ I tend to think about what would be an effect in an contentiously develop genetic manipulation technology – would there be a new social class of people with “perfect” genes, where other social classes would fall behind due to – what it actual – natural degradation; meaning that you get older. Working class people, who might be in the need of a better fundamental for hard physical labour, might be the one’s without the concept and without the financial way of paying for such treatment, while those in a higher social class might be more able to pay for genetic treatment that maybe falls into the grouping of aesthetics. What I mean is that while people in working class might give birth to babies with more stigmatized conditions, because of worse living conditions like different more-or-less poisonous chemicals at work, they might not be able to pay for such treatment, while those who do not work in, or with, poisonous chemicals do have the financial ability to pay for such treatment. Think of “correcting” “bad” mutations, like a missing limb, while still a fetus. Without treatment – either a genetic one, or a later surgical one – there would be a cost. Of course if not an established medical care like in Sweden or Canada, but USA where such a case of medical care is, and would be, much worse.

Same goes for another example: metabolism. It is known that many over weight people are also a part of the lower socio-economic class – too much sugar and too less exercise, both witch are linked to a cultural and social habit. A genetic manipulation could possible set the path for a new kind of metabolism where sugar would no longer be transformed, and stored as fat in our bodies. Pretty much creating a genetic mutation that let’s us eat more and exercise less (but that it would still be needed,though).

Both of these examples, and many more that could be presenter, would present a sort of proof of what biomedicine and medical sociology would move over to from today’s approach of curing actual illnesses; where tomorrow they either might be treated before even being an illness at all and therefore no need for a cure, and instead pushing our species to another evolutionary – though artificial – level. Market, companies, of artificially grown hearts, lungs and other organs. Or cancer treated on a molecular level,which means no chemo, or even any type of symptoms, or other syndromes, at all.

Where we are in an period of time where we are able to change our composition, what makes us us. Is it the natural path of our evolution to change our evolution? ’Inherit genetic diseases’ might be out the door with the new technology, that gives us a tool to remove them early from life of individuals. No more would parents have to go to the doctor with their kids for other things than accidents, since everything else already has been taken care of genetically. Maybe no longer we would have to use antibiotics, and therefore we would no longer need to be afraid of the resistance against antibiotics (A.a., p. 254).

Couples could go to the doctor and try their DNA with each other – seeing if they are a match, or if something would have to be done with possible kids they have in the future. As well as genetic diseases that is common in one of their families – or both.

All this, however, would need, as I stated above, a look at whom has the responsibility, and how would we legislate this since we now, with this technology, move from understanding life to rewriting it.


Lidskog, R. (2001). The Re-Naturalization of Society? Environmental Challenges for Sociology. Current Sociology, Vol. 49(1), 113-136.

Hobbes, T. (1651). Leviathan.

MacNaghten, P. & Urry, J. (1995). Toward a Sociology of Nature. Sociology, 29(2), 203-220.

Rheinberger, H-J. (1995). Beyond Nature and Culture: A Note on Medicine in the Age of
Molecular Biology. Science in Context, Vol. 8(1), 249-263.

Woodgate, G. & Redclift, M. (1998). From a ’Sociology of Nature’ to Environmental Sociology: Beyond Social Construction. Environmental Values 7. 3-24.

1Compare MacNaghten & Urry’s part about the environmental damages is due to human activity – mainly our consumption. (MacNaghten & Urry, 1995, p. 212-214).

2Which Lidskog also uses as term later on in the article (A.a., p. 123).

3Not necessary a correct Latin translation, but a less aggressive human – a milder species.

Kommentarer är stängda

Livet – meningen.

Vi är djur. Och liksom andra djur är vår enda mening med livet att reproducera. Vi föds, vi äter, vi sover, vi gör oss starka och vackra för att finna en partner och reproducera. Det är inte mer än så. Liksom träd behöver vatten för att producera frön som ska bli nya träd. Liksom fågeln, fisken och elefanten. Det finns inget mer av livet än detta – rent naturligt.
Vi människor har ju också privilegiet, eller kanske förbannelsen, att vara oerhört intelligenta. Vi har en otrolig kognitiv förmåga, tankekapacitet och utrymme att tänka i det abstrakta. Cogito ergo sum. Jag tänker, alltså finns jag. Det jag vill säga med detta är att även om meningen med livet inte är mer än att reproducera, så har möjligheten, kapaciteten, att skapa en mening.
Det naturliga kan skrämma oss.
I det liv vi lever, sett utifrån det perspektiv där ingen av oss skiljer sig så är det ändå samma naturliga process. Vi föds, vi uppfostras och går i skolan. Väljer utbildning. Allt detta för att få ett jobb. Och varför ska vi ha ett jobb? Jo för att vi ska kunna ha möjligheten att själva reproducera. Sätta ett liv till världen så skall göra samma sak. Äts, sova. Plugga, jobba. Allt för att reproducera och säkra vår avkommas framtid att göra detsamma.
Du räds detta, inte sant? Du känner en ångest? Det är inte konstigt. Att allting är meningslöst. Du har två val: lämna världen eller gör något vackert utav den tid du har.
Jag väljer det senare. För överallt därute, i det naturliga finna skönhet. Och du har själv möjligheten att skapa din egna mening med livet. Så har det alltid varit.
Kapitalisten ser konsumtion och en växande marknad. Att produktion och konsumtion är en anledning. En process som tur oss vidare.
Den religiösa ser det som guds vilja och plan.
Konstruktioner. Liksom din egen.
Personligen anser jag hur du bör göra det bästa av livet. Vad det är, är individuellt.
Rickie Gervais sade att det är fel att ateister inte har något att leva för, vilket är fel då vi har allt att leva för men inget att dö för. Det känns relevant här i diskursen att vi verkligen har allt att leva för eftersom vi innehar den intelligens som gör detta möjligt.
Avslutar med att parafrasera Stephen Hawking som sade att vi inte är något annat än en väldigt intelligent apa. Det är dessutom evolutionens största misstag.

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Vita män är osynliga. Ingen höjer er ögonbryn eller rynkar på nästan område mäter en vit man i kostym på ett möte på ett kontor. Det är normen. Men en kvinna? En svart man? En man i kvinnokläder?
Då sker något. En synlighet.

Innan någon typ av jämlikheten existerar, eller att den snarare är ett faktum när, är när allt annat är lika osynligt Som dagens vita man.

För avvikare syns. Svarta, kvinnor, bögar, flator, osv. De som inte fyller den maktnorm som Vi lever i.

Även om det på sitt sätt är bra att kvinnor i historian lyfts upp, eller som har makt, eller som gjort något betydelsefullt så är det jävligt fult just för att de synliggörs. Och det är felet.

En kvinna vann nobelpriset, kan man läsa. Vem fan bryr sig att det är en kvinna? (många) Men vad spelar det för roll då? Ingen, såklart. Eller?

Detta är även problemet med kvotering, eller att debatten om Hillary Clinton går het då många antas rösta på henne just för att hon är kvinna. Kvotering fastställer en kvot kvinnor, i egenskap av att de är just kvinnor. Inte människor – kvinnor. De måste få hjälp; de måste synliggöras. Det är fel. De måste osynliggöras.

”Slumpmässiga” kontroller på flygplatser av araber är inte så slumpmässiga. De är synliga. Poliser som stoppar svarta på fina cyklar är inte heller de. Svarta är synliga.
Se på alla dessa polisskjutningar i USA: svarta skjuts för att de syns; det gör inte den vita mannen i samma situation.

Att kändisar ”kommer ut” som homosexuella eller queer borde inte heller vara en nyhet. Det är ju ingen nyhet att de inte är homosexuella eller ska byta kön? Nej, för att det är osynligt, och detta är synligt. Det ger fortfarande rubriker. Detta uppvisar vidare medias och egentligen hela samhällets struktur sociala kontroll över människor – varandra.

Samma sak med Pridefestivaler, att människor ”kommer ut” med att bytt kön. Det är vackert, och bra att det tas upp och därmed normaliseras, men det hade varit ännu bättre om det inte togs upp och inte behövde normaliseras eftersom det redan var fullt ”normalt”.

Målet är således att bli osynlig. Att allt lägger sig. Du ska inte behöva läsa om vem som är ju homosexuell eller inte, eller att en kvinna minsann också kan. Eller att svarta inte får diskrimineras. Allt detta är istället en automatisk motsats. Det är en särställning och en systematisk och strukturell diskriminering.

Vi är alla människor – Börja där; Sluta där.

Ingenting annat bör spela någon till. Om en individ är godhjärtad eller ett rövhål, så är inte det på grund av någon  av deras sociala stratifiering, utan för att de är så enskild individ.
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Låt oss nu göra en sak klar: Hen är här för att stanna.
Jag blir trött på människor som gör så stor grej av ett nytt ord som detta. Och det finns dessutom så många olika analyser av det så jag blir spyfärdig. Det är dessa människor som på samma gång som de problematiserar det till oändligheten, också uppvisar vikten av ett sådant pronomen.
Ordet har för avsikt att vara könsneutralt.
Låt mig ge tre exempel:
1. När något beskrivs i generella drag. Till exempel något beskrivande där det annars kanske står ”han eller hon” eller ”han/hon”. Ersätt med ”hen” och det är klart. Inga problem. Detta är för att könet inte skall spela någon roll. Till exempel ”hen hade kunnat handla annorlunda”.
2. När du själv inte vet könet. Till exempel på en hund du möter: ”Vad heter hen?”
Likaså när du pratar om någon du inte vet något om, som när någon varit hos läkaren och du frågat hur det gick, bra säger personen och du utvecklar frågan med:” ja, men vad sa hen då? ”
Eller någon säger att hen har en sambo:” vad heter hen då? ”, frågar du
3. I synnerhet för de människor som inte känner att de kan identifiera sig med de två genus som finns. De som inte känner sig som varken en man eller en kvinna. En han eller hon. Därför använda hen.
Hen är inte här för att ersätta de existerande genus eller pronomen, så sluta gnäll över att män ska vara män, och kvinnor kvinnor (även om det med är rätt ignorant), för att hen går parallellt med han och hon.

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Dröm. Om. Livet.

Jag drömmer om en gunga. Där gungar ett barn. Jag ökar farten. Höjden.
Jag drömmer om ett hus. Ett hus i en grönskande natur. Ett träd på tomten. I den hänger gungan.
Jag drömmer om den framtiden. När saker är klara. När det som är är stabilt och säkert blir labilt och osäkert. När det som är labilt och osäkert blir stabilt och säkert.
Jag drömmer om dig.

Kommentarer är stängda

Lite tankar om natur och kultur.

Ifall naturvetenskapen skapar och finner det faktiska i naturen vad avser naturens lagar, beståndsdelar och relationer så är det i det sociologiska fältet som vi gör en typ av värdering?
Naturvetenskapen beskriver växthuseffekter, men det är inte utan sociologi, eller samhällsnärmande ämnen, som vi inser dess effekter på vår planet – eftersom det är då som vi problematisera det.
Problematiserandet av detta, från naturvetenskapens röster, är inte annat än sociala konstruktioner och resultat, de heller.
Evolution kan inte se in i framtiden – men det kan människans hjärnor. Varför? Är tid en konstruktion? Nej, men för att vi konstruerar vår värdering av framtiden i set syfte som för evolutionen är oviktig – för att den är naturlig.
Om ett träd faller i skogen, hörs det då om ingen är där?
Det beror på hur vi definierar om något ”hörs”. Definierar vi det som att det ett levande ting som tar in ljudet i sin hörselgång, och att det är det som vi anger betyda att något hörs, men inget sådant levande ting finns där så; Nej, det hörs inte.
Men om vi definierar att något ”hörs” som att det skapar en våg på en särskild frekvens som passerar genom luft och dess atomer, så; Ja, det hörs. Kan vi då vara säkra på att det hörs ifall inget levande finns där för att registrera detta, men att det per definition då det skapar ljudvågor hörs? Nej, det kan vi inte, men sannolikheten är att det görs. Sen kan vi givetvis registrera det i efterhand genom att fånga ljudvågorna – som egentligen har en effekt som fortsätter i oändligheten – men det är kanske överkurs.
Kommentarer är stängda

Restriktioner på vilka som ska få skaffa barn.

Föräldraskap är inget som ensamt kan skänka någon vishet. Att öppet lägga sig i andras beteende som föräldrar är känsligt, kanske dumdristigt. Jag tänker att en del människor (nu pratar jag naturligtvis inte om dig), men en del andra, starkt borde överväga att inte sätta barn till världen.

Källa: Jag tänker att en del människor starkt borde överväga att inte sätta barn till världen
Författaren, Lars Lindström, missar målet, sin egen poäng i denna debattartikel. Snarare låter han lite bitter och sur över den yngre generationen. Längre kommer han inte riktigt till sak, men jag kan hålla med om idén att alla kanske inte borde sätta barn till världen.
Människor som tycker att deras enda anledning till liv är att sätta barn till livet – de har inte fel ut ett naturligt perspektiv då det är den enda naturliga meningen med livet, likt alla andra djur – men vi lever i ett konstruerat samhälle som kräver och förutsätter mer. Det finns mer att hämta, och att fostra barn till integrerade medborgare och arbetare, till vuxna som klarar det vuxna livet. Föräldrar som inte har det kulturella, ekonomiska eller symboliska kapital och ansvar som krävs för att uppfostra barn. Som inte ger den sociala stimulans eller stöd för studier och etablering i samhället. Eller, framför allt annat på denna jord, kärlek.
Jag tänker då på Astrid Lindgrens ord att ifall man bara ger barn tillräckligt med kärlek så kommer folkvett av sig självt.
Jag har länge funderat kring varför det är så svårt att adoptera men så lätt att via ett samlag få samma resultat.
Dock är problemet mycket svårt att lösa. Främst vem som skulle få avgöra en sådan sak. Jag verkligen inte rätt person för något sådant, och det är ingen annan heller. Ohållbart.
Skulle vi sätta upp riktlinjer så behöver se både ha karaktären av att vara hårt definierat Och av typen ram, för att det inte ska hamna folk mellan stolarna och att ”Fel” personer inte påverkas. Riktlinjer skulle dock relativt enkelt kunna härledas ur konstellationer och bakgrunder av familjer som har haft problem. Till exempel vad avser bakgrund inom brottslighet, alkoholism, arbetslöshet, osv. Det går att hämta ur statistik.
Och hur skulle en sådan lag ge resultat? De som skaffar barn utan tillstånd, vilka sanktioner får de? Böter? Fängelse? Jag är rädd att något sådant bara skulle sätta en person i ytterligare misär där en särskilt social klass skulle vara de som lättast får barn utan eventuellt tillstånd och därefter få lida av det. Om och om igen. Ohållbart.
Och barnet då? Ska staten då ta det ifrån föräldrarna? Vart ska de ts vägen då? Det kanske skulle bli en hård press på staten för att det skulle bli så pass många barn – utan sanktioner kanske en och annan inte bry sig om att de föder ett barn som sedan tas ifrån dem. Ohållbart.
Eller ska alla människor steriliseras från födsel och sedan när de är redo för att skaffa barn så ansöker de om att bli reverserade för att åter kunna reproducera. Det skulle givetvis vara enklast för då kan inte människor skaffa barn utan tillstånd, vilket är mer likt att adoptera. Men att sterilisera barn när de föds, det är ett hårt och kränkande slag mot varje individs rätt till integritet. Ett läskigt övertramp från en stat. Ohållbart.
Och så, som sagt, vem har rätten och kunskapen att bestämma vilka som ska få barn? Du? Eller är det ens en mänsklig rättighet? Homosexuella par har inte den rätten i många länder.
En betydligt enklare lösning, om nu detta faktiskt skall ses som ett problem (troligtvis mer i vissa länder än andra), skulle vara att helt enkelt utbilda människor mer. Och jag menar inte i att utbilda mer om sex och samlevnad – även om det säkert också skulle vara positivt – utan att få människor att ingå i den akademiska banan. Inget annat preventivmedel är så effektivkt som det att utbilda sig. Sedan kanske inte det är något som alla vill, men det är något jag tror, och vill, att vi kan ändra på. Alla skulle må bättre av att vidareutbilda sig – bara något; alternativt, eller kanske samt, att förbättre dagens skolgång för att ge denna möjlighet istället för att människor ska hamna i kläm på grund av skolans tillvägagångssätt.
Men att utbilda sig, det är något som jag är Mer okej med att staten skulle tvinga på sina medborgare än något annat.

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Economic sociology – Bourdieu, mainstream economy, exchange and habitus.

Methodological individualism is the principle, or methodological standpoint, that you can explain social phenomena by looking at the decisions of each individual. Rational (action) choice theory says that each individual will do rational choices if they have the correct – or perfect – information do do so.1 Which they of course don’t, according to Bourdieu. Bourdieu instead meant that since the economy is a social construction, you can only understand it’s nature by looking at the social individuals in it – which doesn’t at all have all the info since they don’t all share the same fundamental information. In neoclassical economics the methodological individualism mean that ones choice may be made based on price and income. This is, however, not that easy, says Bourdieu. In our modern society, where individuals are differentiated by socio-economic class people makes choices outside of their “price and income”, which Bourdieu demonstrates in his book The Social Structure of the Economy (2005), where he analyses the housing market. Bourdieu concludes that some people might go over their true income when buying/building their houses, since they are able to borrow from the bank – which pretty much always is a huge sink-hole. The market is then, according to Bourdieu, a result, a product, of its “collective history” (Bourdieu, 2005, p. 5). Therefore you can only look at economics, and the markets – or, rather, fields – as constituted, based by our own social construction and contract to it.

If one would make the only true rational choice – and only if the perfect information regarding this choice is available and shared – the market, and the choices based on the “price-income” could possibly be a correct theory; but, like Bourdieu, I don’t see why the perfect information would be available ever. Bourdieu presents dialogues between families wanting to build a house and a banker trying to help, but where is really the line of the perfect information when you depend on a third party with a personal interest – in the form of being embodied as the bank/firm? Does he or she even make a rational choice by selling what he or she is selling? Also Bourdieu terms the illusio, that is the “fundamental belief in the value of the stakes and of the game itself” (A.a., p. 9). Hence families that makes poor housing decisions believe that the information they have is the correct, almost perfect information, and make their decisions based on that.

In the previous theories what’s rational is rather defined as meaning “sensible”, “clear-headed” or “reflective” and “consistent”, but rationality may just be defined as what’s “rational” per say, by the person who makes a certain choice – what is “rational”, or the “right” choice according to their habitus – which I will come back to later. The neoclassical economist meant that it was rational to maximize ones happiness or utility – the utilitarianism; while others were saying that, that is a state which is impossible since everyone then would be better of “screwing each other over”, which then results in that it is better to not to do so, and instead stabilise and “survive”.

While this rational choice theory doesn’t describe the “choice process”, but instead is an assumption of what choice one would do, a more sociological approach would however be able to describe this process based on ones habitus. Bourdieu does also state that economic theory is not as neutral that it wishes to believe (A.a., p. 10).

You cannot understand individuals by economic – rational – theories, method and terms, but you can understand the market by sociological theories, methods and terms.

Gary Becker used rational choice theory, and its actors in his models, one which is the Human capital, which Bourdieu rejected as “flabby” (Bourdieu, 2005, p. 2). Bourdieu states that the economic models’ predictions actually differs systematically (A.a., p. 8). Choices are more based on “adequate” dispositions and beliefs; it is the dispositions acquired by learning that should be termed as “rational” and “reasonable”, and not the “ends and means” (Ibid.). When a family is looking to buy a house it is not based on the price and income, it is because there is a cultural and social heritage linked with the safety of ones family – a family needs a house to live in whether or not they have the means. Bourdieu found that “contrary to all ’economic’ reason”, when talking about a discussion with a peasant during his study in Kabyle, it is indeed also in the lenders interest to have people loaning – for example this farmer that loaned a cow, which had to be “fed in any case” and therefore the lender had some utility to get from this (A.a., p. 3). Same goes for examples like banks in Guatemala that has micro-loans to poor families so that they might start a small company or furnish/restore a home; but in the loan they also have to start saving, creating economic capital for the bank to loan to the next family in economic need. There might be a need for both parts and that is where the exchange is created, which depends on where the parts, the actors, has been and where they are going – the habitus. However Bourdieu talks about this as a trajectory where you can see the path, from both behind and from the front, which I would object; you may very well see the history, the path of where one has been, but the path, the trajectory of where it is going is not so static and certain as Bourdieu would have it; instead you may assume, or take into account the probability of the trajectory – still based on the habitus, though. So. Instead of the rational choice theory, we have Bourdieu’s theory of habitus.

Habitus, to start with, is one’s composition of lifestyle, values and as such our stored preferences and experiences; how the game is played. Bourdieu talks, in The Social Structure of the Economy (2005), about how this concept of habitus is relevant in economy – as for any other socially constructed area. Hence Bourdieu thought of habitus as “as an alternative theory for understanding economic action” (Bourdieu, 2005, p. 2) – because we often, according to Bourdieu, forget that things are socially constructed, and therefore “arbitrary and artificial” (A.a., p. 10). Instead of being “rational”, which actors are not, they instead should be seen as “reasonable” – which consists of, or contains, a more “practical sense” of what one might need, or strive for. That while the rational choice theory talked about how one could assume a choice by price and income, Bourdieu turned it around by saying:

The ultimate reason for commitment to work, a career or the pursuit of profit in fact lie beyond or outside calculation and calculating reason in the abscure depths of a historically constituted habitus which means that, in normal circumstances, one gets up every day to go to work without deliberating on the issue, as indeed one did yesterday and will do tomorrow.” (A.a., p. 10).

Based on what one history and experiences are – like education, religion, social class – people do reasonable choices. Marriage, the household, parents and kids relation, or the state, is also an “economic exchange of services of production and reproduction” (A.a., p. 209). All these things (could) differ from each person to another based on one’s habitus. Whom to marry; what my relationship, or idea, is with the state.

Since habitus is our dispositions, experiences and what makes us, us, depending on where we’ve been, so is also the fields and market in economics. The economic exchange of a marriage depends on the individuals’ habitus that are going into this relationship and exchange. Why people marry differs, changes, in history. Durkheim, and many others, would argue that marriage is a way for women to rise in the social hierarchy and status, or that is at least was a way of women to rise – to marry a husband of class, from a economically safe family; that concludes the necessity of one’s need for safety, security – both financially as well as socially and even politically. In more recent time, although not necessarily so cross the globe, the reason – the background – of marriage might be somewhat different. It most certainly has a social, economic dimension, as well as other dimensions and reasons – which is the habitus – but where the women not marries to rise in the social or political hierarchy, but instead looks for a husband that can be the modern father – i.e. a caring parent. That the marriage perhaps could be seen as a redundant safety of children’s strive to grow up in a safe environment. That the exchange of marriage is more regarding love today than it might have been previously where they where arranged and was contracted to bring families together – just watch Game of Thrones (or read the Song of Ice and Fire) where they marry to secure the family thrones as arrangements of one’s campaign of reign. You may have to, then and now, need to rise to a certain economic and social status to “woo” a person of interest, whom you would want to marry, perhaps have kids with, and secure your future – a person of equal values, interest, and such.

And, as I stated above, one’s need of help might be another one’s job. Farmers might need help to milk their cows, so they hire people for that; it’s not necessarily the means of one’s interest, but the many, since a third one wants the milk – and maybe a fourth and fifth, where one wants milk for breakfast and the other for cheese – which the original farmer wants, but doesn’t have time to make. The exchanges, for services and products that one consumes, doesn’t have to be rational since one’s need doesn’t have to be connected to the cost and income, but the actual need – the cost and income comes on later, but that still depends, everything depends on the habitus of the individual in question.

Therefore habitus, as a concept, is intertwined with economics, which is a social construction, and therefore moves, is produced, and reproduced, by it’s social consumers, who’s interest and needs change over time. We might see what, and why, certain exchanges on the market, in the fields, are made because of it’s past and where it is going. Marriage might not be needed in the present as it has been in the past since the reasons of marriage may be considered to be change nowadays – at least in the west, and most certainly in more secular countries. One’s need to loan money might come from another one’s need to save somewhere; one’s need to feed an ox might be another one’s will into doing so by also using it to grow crops.

Bourdieu, P. (2005). The Social Structures of the Economy. Polity Press: Cambridge.
Wikipedia. Retrieved 2015-09-15. Rational choice theory; Methodological individualism.

1:The rational choice theory “focuses on the determinants of the individual choices”, which is the Methodological individualism (Wikipedia).

Marriage is an exchange. Emotionally, financially both also biologically for the society, the field and socially.

You exchange vows, love, security. In exchange you also get what you give.

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Tips på funktionell PDF-läsare: Foxit.

Screenshot 2015-09-30 20:28:39Jag sålde nyligen min läsplatta då jag inte använde den lika mycket som förr, samt tyckte att jag lika gärna kunde läsa mina PDF-filer på datorn. Något jag saknade – samtidigt som jag tokigt nog aldrig letat efter en ny PDF-läsare med denna funktionalitet – var att kunna stryka över text (”highlight”), samt att kunna lägga till anteckningar.
Jag har som sagt inte hittat, eller ens sökt något särskilt, efter en PDF-läsare för GNU/Linux som har denna funktion, utan jag har nöjt mig med Ubuntus Evince. Dock har jag tänkt att jag ska söka efter det, men idag så dök det upp ett alternativ som jag istället lika gärna kunde dela med mig av: Foxit Reader.
Den finns till samtliga plattformar och är gratis – dock stängd källkod ifall du bryr dig om sådant.
Foxit Reader har – det enda jag hittills använt, iallafall – både funktioner för att enkelt kunna highlighta, samt lägga till anteckningar. Jag är nöjd.

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