Showing posts from September, 2021

My “here” is their “there”: The social context of social re-contextualization

Note: This was written originally as an assignment for a PhD course I took in the Winter of 2020. I've been revisiting some of my notes in preparation for an upcoming "comprehensive" exam, and this is one of the very rare examples of my past writings that I do not instinctively hate. In their seminal work on the sociology of knowledge,   The Social Construction of Reality   (1966), sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann engage in an extended discussion of the formation, coexistence, and persistence of social institutions. Descended as they are from the Marxian paradigm that man’s consciousness is determined by his social being, Berger and Luckmann are fundamentally interested in the interplay between socially distributed “objective” reality, and internalized and interpreted individual “subjective” reality, and their treatment of social institutions reflects this interest. It is somewhat fitting, then, that their conception of institutions underwent this same proces

Engaging with Online Discourse

Over this summer, I've had the opportunity to experiment with the Twitter API's Academic Track product. I'm going to write about that today. I've been taking a break from this blog this summer to focus on my comprehensive exams (next month!) but I've been noodling around with some thoughts on online discourse and I feel its time to put something down in words. Plus its like a palette cleanser from the endless volumes of papers I have been reading, a chance to produce, instead of consuming.  First, some context: I love discourse. Words produced by people, intended often for other people to read. I like to look at it, understand the the motivations and intent behind words, to identify structures therein. And when I say structures, I mean the socially produced (often through repeated action) rules about what constitutes acceptable conduct given a particular social context, given the constraints and affordances of the technologies surrounding that social context. A  Gid