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The importance of the library

From Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People pg 33-34: Libraries are not the kinds of institutions that most social scientists, policy makers, and community leaders usually bring up when they discuss social capital and how to build it. Since Tocqueville, most leading thinkers about social and civic life have extolled […]

RIP Jim Steinman

And some nights I lose the feelingAnd some nights I lose controlSome nights I just lose it all when I watch you dance and the thunder rolls And maybe I’m lonelyThat’s all I’m qualified to beThere’s just one and onlyThe one and only promise I can keep As long as […]

Why do platforms matter for public sociology?

It can seem obvious that there’s some relationship between social media and public sociology. These are platforms which offer free, instantaneous and immediate access to seemingly vast audiences around the world. They hold out the promise of engaging immediately, outside of traditional structures and without relying on the intermediaries who have tended to be involved when academics interact with the non-academic world.

Recovering the Homeric gods

I understand the point to be that existence is higher or fuller when things are acting through us rather than action arising from us, reflecting an involvement in our situation rather than a detachment from it. To reclaim the Homeric gods doesn’t necessitate polytheism but it does mean cultivating a sensitivity to the range of potentials inherent in each situation, overcoming what has gradually lost in modernity.

An Archerian reading of John Dewey and its relevance for platform socialisation

What I find particularly valuable in Dewey is his sense of how as an individual “passes from one situation to another, his world, his environment, expands or contracts” with the “knowledge and skill in one situation becomes an instrument of understanding and dealing effectively with the situations which follow” (pg 44). The nature of this experience constitutes the conditions which facilitate or frustrate the individual’s flourishing.

The role of involvement in learning how to learn

I found this reprint from Hubert Dreyfus quite inspiring to engage with again, over a decade since I read the original book. It feels more relevant than ever when considering the constraints of education during the pandemic, with the core challenge posed by Dreyfus of how much involvement can be established remotely being one which anyone teaching via Zoom will have felt over the last year.