Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Dear Me, I'm Flustered...

I had all kinds of strong reactions to the Dear & Fluster piece this week, and not all of them good. I'll start with some of their terms, all on p. 2, and perhaps continue the critique in discussion tomorrow (sorry I'm posting late, but I've finally got IE back online in my PC -- Firefox wouldn't allow me to post).

First, where they say "Human landscapes are created by knowledgeable actors operating within a specific social context (or structure)", immediately calls to mind the many ways actors act on human landscapes quite unconsciously.

Second, where they attempt to add the term "space" to "structure" and "agency," my response was: isn't space a form of structure? How is it different?

Third, just a bit down the page where the authors break down their three "levels of analysis" as "structures, institutions, and agents" my hackles went up. Institutions certainly act as agents. And to this list shouldn't they add "catalysts" or some similar concept to describe such factors as technological changes, such as broadband Internet, or psychological, such as media-induced fear in the wake of 9/11. Finally, where does the media fit in all this? I'm not comfortable simply labeling it an "institution."

Ok... I'll end my rant here... see youse tomorrow...


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