NAVIGATING THE CONTRADICTIONS OF OBJECTIVITY AND IDEOLOGY
Members of this blog may have noticed that I’ve been absent a little longer than usual. My apologies, and no, I have not given up on the blog. It is still my main vehicle for expressing myself. I have, however, had to put blogging on hold for the time being in order to focus on other projects. Namely, I’ve been trying to prepare for our local primaries through an informative website designed for local teachers. That’s taken most of my time, but I think it is time well spent.
I have, however, managed to put out one essay that was published in the alternative media and arts site, Scum Gentry. I was honored to be asked to contribute and took this as an opportunity to do something that I think is a bit outside of my Mad Sociologist medium. Namely, I took the opportunity to explore some of the complexities, conflicts, and struggles with my own political ideologies. If you are a regular at the MSB, you may have noticed that I’ve never really defined my political ideology. Yes, it’s clear that I fall on the left hand of the political spectrum, but I’ve never taken on the mantle of a “Socialist” or “Democrat” or “Democratic Socialist” etc. I don’t intend to start now for a variety of reasons.
So when Scum Gentry invited me to contribute, really almost a year ago, I hemmed and hawed. My immediate gut response was to turn to a work that I was contemplating, but never brought myself to produce, an introspective work on my own political morality, or ideology. Most of my work, my personal research, and the blog is an exercise in balancing my politics with objectivity, analysis, and honest evaluation. I try to hold myself to some pretty strict standards of empiricism. I admit that I don’t always live up to those standards, but I really do try.
With Scum Gentry, however, I had an opportunity, based on the website’s innovative format, to exercise some introspection freed from the sociological lens. Unfortunately, I could never get the essay to coalesce. I knew where I wanted to go but had no idea how to get there. This one essay turned and churned in my mind for months before I could even start to organize these frenetic thoughts. I finally managed to push something out. I think it may be the prelude to a larger project. I just don’t know. Regardless, I’m grateful to Scum Gentry for giving me the opportunity to explore this side of my mind and their patience in waiting an unreasonably long time for such a work. I hope you enjoy it. The opening paragraph and a link to the Scum Gentry page are below.
I have to admit to a certain squeamishness when asked about my political affiliations. Part of this is due to the fact that my political beliefs are, at least as far as I am concerned, complicated. Another variable is that I’ve never been a joiner. Group dynamics have always made me uncomfortable because, very often, the consciousness that develops within the group conflicts with my individual consciousness to which I always defer. I also don’t like to be pigeonholed. I don’t want assumptions to be made about what I believe and what I support by virtue of my group assignation. I like to make up my own mind based on the available evidence.
“So, you ARE an anarchist!” one of my students exclaimed.
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