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'We must put ourselves in the position of the subject who tries to find his way in this world, and we must remember, first of all, that the environment by which he is influenced and to which he adapts himself is his world, not the objective world of science.'

W.I. Thomas
and
F. Znaniecki

Qualitative Sociology Review
2009
Volume V Issue 1


Author-Supplied Abstracts & Keywords


Robert Prus
     University of Waterloo, Canada

Poetic Expression and Human Enacted Realities: Plato and Aristotle Engage Pragmatist Motifs in Greek Fictional Representations

Poetic expressions may seem somewhat removed from a pragmatist social science, but the history of the development of Western civilization is such that the (knowingly) fictionalized renderings of human life-worlds that were developed in the classical Greek era (c700-300BCE) appear to have contributed consequentially to a scholarly emphasis on the ways in which people engage the world.
Clearly, poetic writings constitute but one aspect of early Greek thought and are best appreciated within the context of other developments in that era, most notably those taking shape in the realms of philosophy, religion, rhetoric, politics, history, and education.
These poetic materials (a) attest to views of the human condition that are central to a pragmatist philosophy (and social science) and (b) represent the foundational basis for subsequent developments in literary criticism (including theory and methods pertaining to the representation of human enacted realities in dramaturgical presentations).
Thus, while not reducing social theory to poetic representation, this statement considers the relevance of early Greek poetics for the development of social theory pertaining to humanly enacted realities.

Keywords:
Poetics; Fiction; Classical Greek; Plato; Aristotle; Pragmatism; Symbolic Interaction; Representation; Reality; Literary Criticism
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Enrico Mora Malo
     Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

Perform Strikes. A Case Study

In this paper we show the results of an analysis of the production of individual class subjectivities in the context of strikes among both those in favour and those against. Among the several processes going on in the production of subjectivities of class, we consider strikes because we want to emphasise the active role that the subjects keep up within the class relationships of domination and exploitation. We start from a conception of the subjectivity understood as fragmentary and contingent that we apply to our analysis of class, but in this paper we limit production of individual subjectivities to context of strikes. Our analysis focuses on a case study from the beginning of the 1970s to the end of the 1990s, which was led by the workers of a company in the motor industry, situated in Catalonia. The main devices used to work on the empirical material are biographical interviews and informative interviews. We start the analysis by showing the various directions taken by that the subjectivities of workers and of the company in strike interactions, in individual terms. Then we look into the role of gender in the provisional configuration of these subjectivities in the context of a strike when these subjectivities became collective subjectivities. In this respect, we focus on the company’s workers.

Keywords:
Social classes; Gender; Subjectivity; Conflict
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Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
     University of Exeter, UK

Intimate Intrusions Revisited: A Case of Intimate Partner Abuse and Violations of the Territories of the Self

Intimate partner abuse is a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon, highly situated and “locally-produced” by intimate partners in the domestic interactional milieu. Adopting a symbolic interactionist approach, this article uses a limited topical life-history case study to investigate the interactional experiences of a male victim of female-perpetrated intimate partner abuse. The theoretical analysis utilises Goffman’s conceptualisation of the “territories of the self” and their subjection to various forms of contamination or “modalities of violation”, applied in this case to the contested domestic interactional milieu. The paper seeks to add to a developing qualitative literature on male victims’ experiences of intimate abuse and violence, and to extend Goffman’s conceptual insights into a new domain.

Keywords:
Intimate partner abuse; abused men; Erving Goffman; Territories of the self; Topical life history
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Erin E. Robinson
    Canisius College, USA

Mobilizing Voices: A Discussion of Leadership in an Environmentally Contaminated Community

Leadership is a key factor in successful social movement mobilization. Without a grasp of leadership dynamics in a community, it is difficult to explain how individuals come to occupy leadership roles and what impact this has on the overall success of a movement effort. In this study, I use the qualitative approach to investigate how leadership is framed in a community facing the existence of environmental contamination. I follow the development of leadership among actors and particularly the relationships that they create and maintain with expert environmental activists. Using interview data from 35 community residents and activists, I establish how leadership frames were presented to the community and how these frames impacted mobilization efforts and outcomes.

Keywords:
Social movement; Leadership; Environmental activists; Qualitative research design; Framing
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Henrik Loodin
     Lund University, Sweden

The Absurdalities of Mental Illness – A Narrative Inquiry Into Psychiatric Diagnosis

This text examines three life stories about becoming mentally ill and Albert Camus’ fictive narrative “The Stranger”. The main concern is how the social and psychiatry intervenes in the narrative that the interviewees give. Drawing from a reasoning in Michel Foucaults monograph Madness and Civilization and Dorothy Smiths work on relations of ruling the argument in this article is that when becoming mentally ill one is involved in a process of loosing agency in ones own life story. Illustratively with Camus novel the analysis unravel that the interviewees become strangers in their own life story.

Keywords:
Narrative; Estrangement; Psychiatry; Life Stories
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Chaim Noy
     Sapir College, Israel

Authenticating Tourists: The Politics of Authenticity in a National Heritage Site in Israel

This paper offers a multifaceted appreciation of the political roles played by authenticity in modern tourism. The study, located at a national heritage and commemoration site in Jerusalem, Israel, traces authentic occurrences—manifestations and representations—that culminate in an ideological ecology of authenticity. Through this depiction, the active and often veiled role authenticity, understood as a social structure, plays is foregrounded. A special place within this ecology is reserved for the role performed by the site’s visitor book. The paper conceptualizes the commemorative visitor book as an ideological and institutional interface, which serves as an authenticating device. This device allows a transformation of visitors unto ideological social agents who partake in the structure of national commemoration in Israel.

Keywords:
Authenticity; Discourse; Nationalism; Heritage tourism; Commemoration; Israeli society
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Karla B. Hackstaff
     Northern Arizona University, USA

"Turning Points" for Aging Genealogists: Claiming Identities And Histories in Time

Based on qualitative in-depth interviews, I examine the use of genealogy with regard to the current historical moment for identities rooted in kin, race, class, gender, nation—and age. Drawing on the concept of “turning points” coined by Anselm Strauss, I explore moments that motivate the doing of family genealogy. First, I suggest that Strauss’s turning points may occur simultaneously and converge like vectors across time. Second, I argue that late middle-age lends itself to “identity extensions”, which I define as a reevaluation of self that acknowledges one or more of the following: the significance of extended kin to one’s identity; reverence for ancestors; a social responsibility to the future. Finally, I analyze how the current era informs a particular generation’s genealogical endeavors. I conceive of U.S. baby boomers’ genealogical projects as an expression of longing for connections in family lives and for a place in social history across the generations.

Keywords:
Genealogy; Family history; Identity; Turning point; Aging; Generation; Race/class/gender; Baby boomers
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Rajib Lochan Dhar
     Symbiosis International University, India

Cynicism in the Indian I.T. Organizations: An Exploration of the Employees' Perspectives

Cynicism is described as a mind-set characterized by hopelessness, disappointment, and disillusionment, and is also associated with scorn, disgust, and suspicion. This strong negative attitude has infiltrated Indian I.T organizations, and is believed to be responsible for unfavorable organizational consequences, even though, hardly any studies have explored the causes and concerns of employee cynicism about their organizations in the Indian context. The present research centers around two qualitative case studies through in-depth interviews with seventy two participants undertaken in western India to investigate the causes and concerns of employee cynicism towards employer organization. Findings of the study indicate that workplace perceptions significantly influence organizational cynicism, which is largely influenced by poor leadership, organizational politics, decisive culture, accessibility of benefits and un-met expectations. As these findings have important organizational implications, I recommend for further studies on cynicism in the future.

Keywords:
Cynicism; Employee; Organization; Information technology; Culture
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