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Extreme events are the occasion for many people’s encounters with climate change. Though causation is complex and no one event is directly attributable to climate change…
Extreme events are the occasion for many people’s encounters with climate change. Though causation is complex and no one event is directly attributable to climate change, when we consider Cassandra, we can consider what people encounter in assistance after an extreme event. This chapter takes the case of assistance to displaced people after Katrina to explore how care and surveillance were intertwined. Methods include analysis of government documents as well as interviews. When we consider assistance people receive, we often focus on the intended assistance and how it worked or did not. Evaluation is difficult, not least because criteria for determining what it means to work are uncertain. However, if we include the process of gaining assistance as part of the experience, we broaden concerns from the instrumental outcomes to the mixed messages people get in assistance. Assistance appears in a context, where the most vulnerable people have reasons to mistrust government and nonprofits, and where in the United States assistance has come intertwined with supervisory rules, a focus on getting people to work, and a need to manage criminal histories. Trust in government may be limited, emergency care can operate outside ordinary legal frameworks when providers are new, and legal accountability for assistance may be experienced as confining, despite caregivers’ intent.
The purpose of this paper is to explore what narratives of inequality tell us about societal inequality both inside and outside of workplaces. It illuminates the…
The purpose of this paper is to explore what narratives of inequality tell us about societal inequality both inside and outside of workplaces. It illuminates the intertwined fates of social agents and the productive potential of seeing organisational actors as social beings in order to advance resistance and substantive equality.
This research empirically examines narratives of inequality and substantive empowerment among a group of 25 black bankers within a major bank in Johannesburg, South Africa. Data were gathered through one-on-one interviews. The data were analysed using narrative analysis.
The findings indicate that narratives of organisational agents always contain fragments of personal and societal narratives. An intersectional lens of how people experience inequality allows us to work towards a more substantive kind of equality. Substantive equality of organisational actors is closely tied to the recognition and elimination of broader societal inequality.
The implications for teaching and research are for scholars to methodically centre the continuities between the personal, organisational and societal in ways that highlight the productive tensions and possibilities for a more radical form of equality. Moreover, teaching, research and policy interventions should always foreground how the present comes to be constituted historically.
Policy and inclusivity interventions would be better served by using substantive empowerment as a theoretical base for deeper changes beyond what we currently conceive of as empowerment. At base, this requires policy makers and diversity practitioners to see all oppression and inequality as interconnected. Individuals are simultaneously organisational beings and societal agents.
Third world approaches to diversity and inclusion need to be vigilant against globalised western notions of equity that are not contextually and historically informed. The failure of equity initiatives in SA means that alternative ideas and approaches are necessary.
The paper illustrates how individual narratives become social scripts of resistance. It develops a way for attaining substantive empowerment through the use of narrative approaches. It allows us to see that employees are also social agents.
In his later works Charles Tilly extended his analysis of contention by scrutinizing the dynamics of contentious performances and the enactment of identities through them…
In his later works Charles Tilly extended his analysis of contention by scrutinizing the dynamics of contentious performances and the enactment of identities through them. Complementing these investigations he analyzed the centrality of trust networks in sustained challenges to authority. On a somewhat detached track Tilly developed an examination of reason giving in social life and more particularly the ways in which people do critical transactional work through stories, often with the assessment of credit and blame. In this chapter, we quilt these various pieces to offer an analysis of how storytelling is vital to the construction of trust and blame in contentious performances, both in the face of threat and opportunity. We explain how these later works on storytelling, identities, and trust can be integrated fruitfully with his many writings on contention to expand the analysis of its culture dimensions. We draw on three years of field work with a chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, an organization of Catholics that formed in the wake of the priest sexual abuse crisis, to exemplify this integration of Tilly's work. Using data from field notes and interviews we demonstrate how chapter members engage in the telling standard stories of origin, legacy and transformation, and trust in their pursuit of change and in maintaining internal solidarity. We conclude that our integration of Tilly's later work can be added to other perspectives on narrative to broaden the cultural analysis of contention.
The article in this special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society emerge from work done as part of a 2002 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer seminar for College and University Teachers, held at Amherst College. In addition to the work represented in this issue, other participants in the seminar were Ava Chamberlin, John Pittman, Robert Gordon, and Alisa Rosenthal.
Since its emergence as a field of study, law and society scholarship has grown to encompass an array of disciplines, perspectives, methods, and political orientations. A consequence of this disciplinary hypostatization has been to produce a scholarly goulash which, while at times nourishing, now faces the dual dangers of institutional fracture and intellectual incoherence. The aim of this essay is to map a way to embrace the eclecticism that characterizes the field and yet avoid the dangers of dilettantism and to cultivate the interdisciplinarity its founders envisioned without sacrificing a sense of shared purpose or abandoning the possibility of collectively producing a better understanding of law.
Can the crisis of women’s victimization in prison be represented in ways that challenge this harm without its self-perpetuation? As a documentary scholar and maker, this…
Can the crisis of women’s victimization in prison be represented in ways that challenge this harm without its self-perpetuation? As a documentary scholar and maker, this was my overriding concern for an activist video project about women and prison. Certainly, documentary and prison tell us much about each other in their shared capacity to weaken some and strengthen others, by way of technologies of vision and distance, while buttressing hegemonic power. Our project was to minimize the possibility of documentary as prison by taking responsibility for the victim documentary itself as a system of power and pain, objectification and punishment.
Social problems researchers have documented the role of science in identifying, typifying and shaping policy responses with respect to a variety of new social problems…
Social problems researchers have documented the role of science in identifying, typifying and shaping policy responses with respect to a variety of new social problems. Researchers have given less attention, however, to the role of science in ongoing debates over problems that are well established and contentious. This paper examines the influence of mainstream scientific knowledge concerning the deterrent effects of the death penalty on a death penalty debate in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Mainstream scientific opposition to the deterrence hypothesis is found to influence the claims-making strategies of death-penalty proponents, leading them to draw heavily on common sense, to scale-back and qualify their claims concerning deterrence, and to reframe the debate in terms of just retribution. These effects are attributed to the cultural rules that structure debate in a legislative decision-making body.