Sunday, July 13, 2008

Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism by Bryan S. Turner

Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism by Bryan S. Turner

Summary of my notes on 4 diff chapters

Ch. 1—first part is a review of the criticisms of Said’s “orientalism,” which included the big prob that it “merely identified the probs of representation w/out offering many sols” (6).

Second part talks about authors who have discussed Islam’s recent emergence in the mod (secular) world.

Ch. 2:

34"The concept of 'civil society' forms the basis of W. poll ecoy fromt eh schottish enlgihtenment to the prison notebooks of gramsci; white the concept has been frequently discussed in contemp social science, the fact that it has also beena majori part of the ortlst contrast of east and west has been seriously neglected. In simple terms, the conept has been used as the basis of the notion that the Ornt, is, so to speak, all state and no society. The notion of "civil society" cannot b divorced from an equally potnet theme in w. philosophy, namely the centrality fo autonomous indvs w/in the network of social instittns. w. poll philsophy has hinged on teh importance of civil society in preserving the freedom of the indv from arbitrary control by the state. tehe doctrine of indvlsm has been regarded as constitutive, if not a w. culture as such, then at least of contemp industrial culture. it is difficult to conceive of the nexus of w. concepts of conscience, liberty, freedom or property w/out some basic principle of indivlsm and therfore indivlsm appears to lie at the foundations of w. society. the addtnl importance of indvdlsm is that it serves to distinguish occidental from oriental culture, sicne the latter is treated as devoid of indv rts and of individuality. individualism is the golden thread which weaves together the ecoc institutions of property, the relus instittn of confession of conscience and the moral notion of personal autonomy; it seves to separate "us" from "them". in ortlsm, the absence of civil society in islam entailed the absence of the autonomous indiv exercising conscience and rejecting arbitrary interventions by the state....the orntlast discourse on the absence of the civil society in islam was a reflection of basic poll anxiweties about the state of poll freedom in teh west [indv rebellion, rts based on property]. in this sense, the prob of orntlsm was not the orient but the occident. these probs and anxietites were consequently transferred onto the ornt which became, not a representation of the east, but a caricature of the West. oriental despotism was simply monarchy writ large. the crises and contradictions of contempt orntlsm r, therefore, to be seen as part of a continuing (35) crisis of w. socity transferred to a global context. the end of orntlsm requires a radical reformulation of perspectives n paradigms, but this reconst of knowledge can only take place in the context of major shifts in poll relations btwn orient and occdent, b/c the transformation of discourse also requres a transformation of power."

Ch. 7—reviews history in the west of stereotyping islam/orient as “stagnated”

95-durk said difference is inevitable in society because it’s needed to develop a moral core so Dahrendorf then says that means all societies are racist.

96—linguists theorized that all lang is self referential and therefore always includes a power relationship (hence w. discussion of the orient has that power in it)

99-weber said that rtnlsm came from “the requirements of an infantry to move in unison provided a strong pressure towards the rtl control of men” and by the reformation protestants becoming priests, they took up the “routinized daily” life of the monastic trad

100-which shows how Christianity is infused with the idea of routine work aspect of mod culture

-theories of mod culture say it began in the w. but can’t resolve evidence of oriental roots

-102-offers 4 solutions to orientalism in sociology “which might pt. to a more conclusive outcome to this debate” [talked about in ch. 1] 1. Stereotype of orient as a single thing is biased and wrong 2. Instead of emphasizing us v. them, look for continuities btwn cultures—“scular ecumenism” 3. Recognize a world system 4. Use these themes to look at western culture (103)

-he warns that recently sociologists have been too easy to regard non-w. systems as pure, untainted

Ch. 10—chapter is about trads of global outlook in sociology—goes back to kant, hegel, comte, durk, but esp. saint-simon (135).

138-talks about german history and why the idea of global outlook and sociology emerged there—it was a result of having several small states, a well-educated bureaucracy (a result of Lutheranism and rtnlism) and no collective ntl idty—it was a search to find one. And refined morality and asceticism were used to stay discipline to be able to resist totalitarianism from above and violent revolution from below (139).

-marx saw a world sociology, tho mostly in the eyes of a proletariat—so it could be questionable in places with diff economic systems (140)

141-also pts out that weber and many euro sociologists were basically civil servants promoting ntlstic values and cites studies (142)

Conclusion—197-roots of globalization were in Weber talking about the persistence of contradictiory themes in mody, esp. of charismatic revltns.

204—fundsm actually increased the “G of the relus debate about idy and commitment”

205—ppl have criticized the idea of the “free floating intellectual”—they r determined by social forces

206-if grand narratives don’t work in pomo world as legit, some say its only indv symbols and rituals which r important

-some pomo theory suggests there can still b a sublime, “unconditional love”—tho there is a debate that even this is subject to self reflexivity

-there is now a quest for the local, the pristine and authentic, stable and secure in a world full of “an incomprehensivel plethora of view pts., lifestyles, modes of discourse and opinions. In short we r confronted by the pomoztn of polytheism” [last line of book]

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