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14 AUGUST 2013

In Spring One Plants Alone: intimate portrait of a mother and her son

"This is the story of Puhi, an aged Maori woman and Niki, her fully grown but wholly dependent son. The world they occupy is not a world of large events but the rituals of everyday life, traditions and interdependence. 'In Spring One Plants Alone' documents the minutiae of their very enclosed existence. Filmed over a period of one and a half years, it emerges as a rare, haunting and powerful portrayal of their life together. This is the story of their rituals and of their survival. The small and disconnected instances that we encounter form a lone vision of the rifts and the bond between an old woman and her disturbed son."

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TAGS

16mm1980 • Alun Bollinger • Aotearoa New Zealand • Chris Lancaster • cultural traditionscultural valuesdirect cinemadisableddocumentary filmdocumentary truth • enclosed existence • everyday lifefeature-length documentaryFirst Nations • In Spring One Plants Alone (1980) • Indigenousinterdependenceintimate lives • intimate perspectives • intimate portrait • isolated communities • isolationiwiJack BodyLeon NarbeyMaoriMaori eldersMaori people • Maori woman • minutiae • New Zealand cinema • Niki • personal rituals • personal storyportrait of everyday life • Puhi • Queen Elizabeth II Arts Councilremote communitiessocial realismsocial reality • Stephen Upston • student filmstraditionsVincent Ward

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 OCTOBER 2012

Erving Goffman: backstage and frontstage behaviour

"Throughout our society there tends to be one informal or backstage language of behaviour, and another language of behaviour for occasions when a performance is being presented. The backstage language consists of reciprocal first–naming, co–operative decision–making, profanity, open sexual remarks, elaborate griping, smoking, rough informal dress, ' sloppy' sitting and standing posture, use of dialect or sub–standard speech, mumbling and shouting, playful aggressivity and 'kidding,' inconsiderateness for the other in minor but potentially symbolic acts, minor physical self–involvements such as humming, whistling, chewing, nibbling, belching, and flatulence. The frontstage behaviour language can be taken as the absence (and in some sense the opposite) of this. In general, then, backstage conduct is one which allows minor acts which might easily be taken as symbolic of intimacy and disrespect for others present and for the region, while front region conduct is one which disallows such potentially offensive behaviour." [1]

(Erving Goffman, 1959, p.78)

[1] It may be noted that backstage behaviour has what psychologists might call a 'regressive' character. The question, of course, is whether a backstage gives individuals an opportunity to regress or whether regression, in the clinical sense, is backstage conduct invoked on inappropriate occasions for motives that are not socially approved.

Goffman, E. (1959). "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life", University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre.

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1959 • appropriated metaphor • backstage • backstage behaviour • backstage conduct • backstage language • belching • chewing • co-operative decision-making • cooperative decision-making • cultural beliefs • cultural normscultural valuesdecision makingdialectdisrespectdisrespect for others • dramatism • dramaturgical analysis • dramaturgical sociology • dramaturgy • dramaturgy (sociology) • elaborate griping • Erving Goffmaneveryday lifeflatulence • front region conduct • frontstage behaviour language • human interactionshummingidentity performance • inconsiderateness • informal behaviour • informal language • Kenneth Burke • kidding • language of behaviour • microsociological accounts • minor acts • minor physical self-involvements • mumbling • nibbling • offensive behaviour • open sexual remarks • playful aggressivity • profanity • reciprocal first-naming • regression • regressive character • rough informal dress • shouting • sloppiness • sloppy sitting • smokingsocial behavioursocial interaction • social occasion • sociological perspective • standing posture • study of social interaction • sub-standard speech • symbolic acts • symbolic behavioursymbolic interactionism • symbolic of intimacy • theatrical metaphor • theatrical performance • whistling

CONTRIBUTOR

Barbara Adkins
12 MARCH 2011

Scientists revise their criteria of rationality as they enter new domains

"The conventional model of science, technology and society locates sources of violence in politics and ethics, that is, in the application of science and technology, not in scientific knowledge itself.

The fact–value dichotomy is a creation of modern, reductionist science which, while being an epistemic response to a particular set of values, claims to be independent of values. According to the received view, modern science is the discovery of the properties of nature in accordance with a 'scientific method' which generates 'objective', 'neutral', 'universal' knowledge. This view of modern science as a description of reality as it is, unprejudiced by value, can be rejected on at least four grounds.

All knowledge, including modern scientific knowledge, is built through the use of a plurality of methodologies. As Feyerabend observes:

There is no 'scientific method'; there is no single procedure, or set of rules that underlines every piece of research and guarantees that it is 'scientific' and, therefore, trustworthy. The idea of a universal and stable method that is an unchanging measure of adequacy and even the idea of a universal and stable rationality is as unrealistic as the idea of a universal and stable measuring instrument that measures any magnitude, no matter what the circumstances. Scientists revise their standards, their procedures, their criteria of rationality as they move along and perhaps entirely replace their theories and their instruments as they move along and enter new domains of research (Feyerband, 1978, p. 98).

The view that science is just a discovery of facts about nature does not get support from philosophy either. If scientific knowledge is assumed to give true, factual knowledge of 'reality as it is', then we would have to 'conclude that Newtonian theory was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while relativity and quantum theories became the truth' (Bohm, 1981, p. 4)."

(Vandana Shiva, 1990)

1). Shiva, V. (1990). 'Reductionist science as epistemological violence'. 'Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity'. A. Nandy, Oxford University Press: 314.

Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society (London: New Left Books, 1978).

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981).

TAGS

analytical thinkingCartesiancultural valuesdescription of realitydiscoursediscoverydiscursive fieldepistemologyethicsfactual knowledgehierarchy of legitimacyIsaac Newtonknowledge • logical-analytical • logical-analytical paradigmmeasuring instrument • model of science • Modernmodern science • modern scientific knowledge • myth of neutralityobjectiveobjective reality • Paul Feyerband • plurality of methodologies • positivismproperties of naturerationalityreductionism • reductionist science • researchresearch methodsciencescientific knowledgescientific method • scientific options • sociology • stable knowledge • stable rationality • theorytraditiontrust • trustworthy • truthuniversal • universal knowledge • universal methoduniversal rationalityVandana Shiva

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 JANUARY 2011

The liberal and servile arts: internal justification versus external purpose

"'Liberal arts,' therefore, are ways of human action which have their justification in themselves; 'servile arts' are ways of human action that have a purpose outside of themselves, a purpose, to be more exact, which consists in a useful effect that can be realized through praxis. The 'liberality' or 'freedom' of the liberal arts consists in their not being disposable for purposes, that they do not need to be legitimated by a social function, by being 'work.'"

(Josef Pieper, 1998, p.41)

Pieper, J. (1998). 'Leisure, the Basis of Culture'. South Bend, Indiana, St. Augustine's Press.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2010

Save the Arts: a campaign to support the arts in the UK

"The Save the Arts campaign is organised by the London branch of the Turning Point Network, a national consortium of over 2,000 arts organisations and artists dedicated to working together and finding new ways to support the arts in the UK. ...

The first stage of the campaign presents a new video animation by artist David Shrigley highlighting the effect of the funding cuts and a new work by Jeremy Deller with Scott King and William Morris. Each week, the work of a different artist will be released. Mark Wallinger will present the next project.

The costs of David Shrigley's animation have been covered with a grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. All artists engaged in this project have generously donated their time, talent and art."

(Turning Point Network, UK)

Fig.1 David Shrigley (2010), 'An important message about the arts'.

Fig.2 Mark Wallinger (2010), 'Reckless'.

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2010ad campaignanimation • Anish Kapoor • Anthony Caro • Antony Gormleyartistsartsarts fundingarts organisationsBridget RileyBritainBritish artistcampaigncultural expressioncultural valuescultureDamien HirstDavid HockneyDavid Shrigleyfunding • funding cuts • Howard Hodgkin • inspirationJeremy DellerJeremy Hunt • Mark Wallinger • museums • Paul Hamlyn Foundation • Richard Hamilton • Save the Arts • Scott King • Tracey Emin • Turning Point Network • UKuseful effectWilliam Morris

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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