Thursday, November 16, 2006

the way i see it

Starbucks has gone with their red cups for the holidays, meaning that they are no longer using their "The Way I See It" cups.* Which is too bad, because I just used the form on the Starbucks site earlier today to submit a "Way I See It" idea for their consideration:

the way i see it

I wonder if they would have used it. BTW, no offense intended if you happen to be the "first kind" of sociologist, although you do suck.

Anyway, a friend reminded** me today of this quote about the sociological eclecticist:
"An eclectic is always losing arguments. One lacks the close-mindedness necessary to treat others' positions with the contempt they so easily display for one's own. Of course in interaction I fake this contempt as well as the next academic. But I usually rush to bone up on what I have just been denying. And I have never managed that happy disregard of whole areas of intellectual life--mathematics, say, or history--that so simplifies the lives of some of my colleagues." -- Andrew Abbott, Chaos of Disciplines, p. x.
* Note: I go to Starbucks. I am not anti-Starbucks. I am anti-anti-Starbucks, in fact, and can be quite irascible about it if you get me going. I am, however, anti-coffee, and what I get from Starbucks is hot chocolate.

** That is to say, she sent it to me, and I looked in my own copy of Chaos of Disciplines, and it turned out I had underlined it, although I still have no recollection of having read the sentence or underlined it. So is characterizing it as reminding correct?

7 comments:

islander said...

have you ever tried a gingerbread steamer? i get them with either skim or soy milk. delicious!

A+ said...

I'd like to state for the record that while I do apparently suck, it's only because certain people in positions of power over my life and work chase after me, reminding me that I am not, nor will I ever be, "sociological enough." If I could figure out what that even meant, I'd fix it just to get them off my back.

andrea said...

I love that Abbott quote. But, I'd argue that the eclectic is the one doing the work that is more "sociological." They can still be concerned with sociology, they just don't ignore other fields/approaches. So worrying about your work being sociological doesn't need to be in the narrow way you suggest (the anti-eclectic). (though I'd agree with you in terms of reading work that is "sociological")

And, you're wrong about coffee, at least if you try to take it beyond your own personal taste.

Tom Volscho said...

Andrea is right. Think about it, if you are unable to grapple with or consider insights from other disciplines your work may be inaccurate or conversely your insights may not be used to correct the inaccurate insights of people in other disciplines. We should not be lazy or arrogrant, Sociology with a capital S!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when people compain that someone's work isn't sociological enough, they mean it's not sociology--like you all, I don't much care for that mentality. But sometimes they seem to mean that the work is not theoretical. I supposed it would be better if they said what they mean, but I do have a little more sympathy for that point of view.

I loved the Abbott quote. In my relatively short career, I have been called eclectic, a dilettante, a dabbler, unfocused,
a "non-specialist reader," a generalist, an amateur [fill-in-the-blank], wide-ranging, an un-informed interloper, and an example of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!" It's great that academia is so open to sharing and hearing other ideas!

Anonymous said...

Knowing what Jeremy's working on, it seems to me that he may be thinking about the relationship between biology and sociology (or am I wrong, Jeremy?). You all must admit that sociology as a discipline (for the most part) has a strong anti-biology bias (in many cases for understandable reasons). No?

A+ said...

Okay/ But what I don't get is why you're "Anti-anti-Starbucks." Why can't people dislike Starbucks? What did I miss?