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This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his…
This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his students and Second Life, a three dimensional virtual world that invites particular forms of sociation. Despite differences in orientation and purpose, as well as biases in communication, we propose that the methodological and conceptual emphasis underlying the research generated from New Iowa School experimental studies can provide a useful framework for research into the virtual worlds created in Second Life. In the course of citing similarities and differences between the New Iowa School and Second Life, we also note that contrived worlds in laboratories and virtual worlds in user domains not only have relevant analogical processes to outside, in situ social worlds, but consist of social stages for performances that have application to the various social stages constructed by actors in the real world. In conclusion, we suggest that the New Iowa School and Second Life represent different but compatible realities in their own right, that the conceptual depth associated with the New Iowa School can inform research into Second Life interactions, and that each offer insights into the external worlds inhabited by real actors who navigate across time and space in their everyday lives.
This article combines Mead's notion of sociality with his implicit theory of morality. Specifically, it uses Mead's emphasis on temporality to analyze decisions made by…
This article combines Mead's notion of sociality with his implicit theory of morality. Specifically, it uses Mead's emphasis on temporality to analyze decisions made by key characters in the cinematic adaptation (Amazon TV) of Philip Dick's novel, The Man in the High Castle. Using a selective and subversive method to read into this adaptation, I regard Mead's view of morality as complex and as distinguishing between a morality in the specious present and a morality grounded in sociality. The paper links Mead and Mead's pragmatic emphasis to varieties of characters representing immoral foils (e.g., Nazis) and everyday lives to show how morality can emerge from a variety of standpoints, locating Mead's position as distinct from moral absolutism and moral relativity.
In this chapter I attempt to merge Athens’ conception of domination as a complex interactionist concept with Goffman’s notion of demeanor and deference as lynchpins of…
In this chapter I attempt to merge Athens’ conception of domination as a complex interactionist concept with Goffman’s notion of demeanor and deference as lynchpins of dramaturgical analysis. I ground the merger in an analysis of metaphorical duel between a superordinate and subordinate in the TV show Mad Men. The examination of this metaphorical dual also implies a connection between a radical interactionism as defined by Athens and a radical dramaturgy informed by Athens’ conception of domination. In particular, I propose an examination of civil domination within institutionalized settings in which use of shared pasts and concomitant acts of demeanor and deference enhance the construction of domination between superordinates and subordinates. The fictional representation of a metaphorical duel in the television show Mad Men depicts a struggle for control in which the superordinate demands that a willful subordinate sign a contract which will bind the subordinate to a particular place for an extended period of time. The examination of events leading to signing reveals a complex weave of social acts that combines the force of domination with the artistry of demeanor and deference.
This chapter examines four episodes of The Simpsons, paying particular interest to one, The Days of Wine and D’oh’ses to connect the notion of pastiche with a symbolic…
This chapter examines four episodes of The Simpsons, paying particular interest to one, The Days of Wine and D’oh’ses to connect the notion of pastiche with a symbolic interactionist view of media representation. We use The Simpsons and episodes pertinent to alcoholism and alcoholic imbibing to show that pastiche, which does not deny the resolute qualities of a serious social issue, nevertheless provides ironic and fantastic imagery to merge the serious and even tragic with the comedic. We use the four episodes to depict alcoholism as a disease but also as focal point for humor, making the contrast between The Days of Wine and D’oh’ses and its classic alcoholism-film counterpart, The Days of Wine and Roses, central to the tragic-comedic connection. We further draw upon Denzin’s notions of the comedic drunk and the alcoholism alibi to discuss how pastiche both inspires attention to alcoholism as a serious medical disease and disease of the self and to alcoholism as pivotal to comedic character development and the emergence of pragmatic and creative selves.
Million Dollar Baby displays a contrived, provocative, and dramatic sequence of events that culminates in the death of a paralyzed woman, Maggie (played by Hilary Swank), a…
Million Dollar Baby displays a contrived, provocative, and dramatic sequence of events that culminates in the death of a paralyzed woman, Maggie (played by Hilary Swank), a boxer by trade, who became a quadriplegic after her opponent “cold-cocked” her during a championship fight. The cheap shot caused her to fall on her wooden stool and break her neck. She calls upon her trainer, Frankie (played by Clint Eastwood), to kill her through an injection of adrenaline. Maggie claims that she has already died in that she can never be a boxer, which represents the only self she knows and loves. Ignoring Frankie's efforts to dissuade her, Maggie evokes a story from their shared past. The story, first told in a diner in which Maggie and Frankie had stopped to eat, described her own father's decision to kill the family dog. She iterates the story from her hospital bed and begs Frankie to do what her dad (to whom Maggie refers as “daddy”) did to the dog. In effect, she asks Frankie to assist her suicide, as she defines herself as useless beyond any reason to live.
This paper describes the home run as a dramatic offensive accomplishment in baseball linked to the five dramaturgical dimensions (act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose…
This paper describes the home run as a dramatic offensive accomplishment in baseball linked to the five dramaturgical dimensions (act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose) defined by Burke. Such an accomplishment also pertains to two types of social pasts – categorical and crystallized – that can serve as correlates to the five dramaturgical dimensions. Owing to its dramaturgical and temporal significance, the home run symbolizes a celebrated sign of prowess that contributes to a home run hitter's or slugger's rarified status. Further, as a dramaturgical moment, the home run calls forth specified responses (especially on the part of announcers) that contribute to its distinctive meaning in the game.
This chapter compares and contrasts the British invasion and punk rock as mystified, post-performance products. Expanding on Goffman's notion of mystification to discuss…
This chapter compares and contrasts the British invasion and punk rock as mystified, post-performance products. Expanding on Goffman's notion of mystification to discuss texts that emerged from performances and drawing on Mannheim's distinction between ideological and utopian perspectives, we discuss the British invasion as bound to elite interpretations of mystified products and punk rock as bound to more provincial and anti-elitist interpretations. We note that despite differences, both genres involve, to varying degrees, mystifying differences, mystifying legendary status, and mystifying popularity itself. The discussion of both musical genres compliments and affirms previous analyses, especially the analysis of punk rock as a dramaturgical and utopian version of play.
This paper develops the concept of a futureless past, drawing upon G. H. Mead's theory of the past. The futureless past is distinct from several other familiar conceptualizations, including symbolic reconstruction, anomie, and nostalgia. Specifically, the futureless past represents acknowledgment of prior significance and the co-acknowledgment that whatever has occurred cannot possibly occur again. Drawing upon films such as The Days of Wine and Roses and No Country for Old Men, the paper explores the notion of moving forward in time with recollections of things that have passed, using such passage as boundaries between what should and must occur and what can never occur in order to project or deny a shared future.