The emergence of queer theory represents a huge leap in our understanding of lesbian and gay peoples. It embodies a context for treating these people as worthy of consideration in their own rights and not as an appendage to general cultural theory. Max Kirsch argues that the current development of this area is in danger of repeating past mistakes in the construction of analyses, and ultimately, social movements. In this way, the book presents an alternative to the current fascination (...) with the abstract categories of identity, culture and difference, and emphasizes the need for a discussion of the importance of communities and role of globalization on queer movements. (shrink)
Collectively, Atkins examines their pursuit of sexual justice, the ideologies of manhood they challenged, the different types of gay spaces they created (geographic, architectural, online), and political obstacles they have encountered.
Religions, ideologies try to give a complete vision of the world a vision containing both its origin, explanation and a “normative kit”: a collection of precepts and rules, which should regulate human activities and behavior. Their synergetic meaning is clear: if embraced by all they allow for development of strong synergetic effects on the social macro scales . These in turn may lead to creation of order and beauty, of intellectual, spiritual and moral development within men and in society. (...) In this consist the elements of their natural—i.e. not explicitly reasoned out—wisdom. However, as they contain also some elements of harmful consequences—at least if they are literally accepted and in a fundamentalist manner practiced—they cannot be universally accepted. But—rejecting them we lose also the important sourcesof natural—or should we say instinctive—wisdom.Could the solution of this contradiction, of this one of the basic human sources of suffering be looked for in the modern science of complexity?Synergetics and the sciences of complex systems in general offer a solid scientific base for a meta-philosophical, universalist intellectual framework. Its offspring the social synergetics offers concrete propositions of optimized social structures. Optimized in the sense of espousing the main synergetic effects with being at the same time free of the negative “side effects” happening when religions or ideologies are the source of synergism.Finally a connection is discussed between the presented ideas and the concept of “love of wisdom”. The term “love of wisdom” may be understood as striving not only to possess a “sound and serene judgment regarding the conduct of life” but also a practical ability to act according to that judgment.This ability may be also expressed using the information-thermodynamic concepts of synergetics. Indeed without the ever continuing negentropy transformation neither survival of a complex system like man or society nor its continuing development—uncovering of all his “hidden potentials” is possible.To assure maximization of this transformation process creation of strong synergetic effects—of reinforcement, of positive feedback—between all human beings—i.e. not excluding any nations, any social groups, and any individuals—are necessary. Acting towards local and global realization of such a structure everywhere on our planet constitutes the essence of social wisdom.Removing all obstacles towards this goal—obstacles existing on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual level—should be one of the most important tasks of various institutions, of state structures, of purified from mythical elements ideologies, of man oriented sciences and above all of the modern universalism.Thus striving towards its realization is an expression of the love of wisdom. Of wisdom once based on the elements of mythos and now regained in the full light of Logos. (shrink)
Many areas of genetic research, genetic forensics and genetic essentialism are treated in public sphere debate as suspicious and problematic or are subject to waves of moral panic. In cultural theory, likewise, strong critiques of the genetic essentialism emerge as part of a broader critical assessment of the discourses of the biological sciences and the assertion of a connection between genes and human behavior. However, the scientific and popular claim to the existence of a “gay gene” is not treated in (...) the same way, and has been widely celebrated both within lesbian/gay culture and more broadly in liberal-humanist speech. This essay suggests that it is not enough to presume that this is a result of the extension of essentialism into new popular understandings of human biology. Rather, this essay examines five reasons which have made the popular acceptance of a “gay gene” tenable: the dominance of “gay personage” arguments, the continued influence of early sexology, the suspicion of psychological and constructionist approaches to lesbian/gay sexualities, the effectiveness of genetic essentialism in“ethnic rights” political approaches and the continued centrality of “fixed subjecthood” in contemporary western culture. (shrink)
This paper explores conservative Christian demands that religious-based objections to providing services to lesbians and gay men should be accommodated by employers and public bodies. Focusing on a series of court judgments, alongside commentators’ critical accounts, the paper explores the dominant interpretation of the conflict as one involving two groups with deeply held, competing interests, and suggests this interpretation can be understood through a social property framework. The paper explores how religious beliefs and sexual orientation are attachments whose power (...) has been unsettled by equality law. But entangled with this property is another—that held in workers’ labour and public bodies’ resources. Arguing against the drive to balance competing interests, the paper uses social property to illuminate the agonistic character of the stakes. At the same time, it questions property as a normative framework for sexual orientation and religious beliefs. (shrink)
The Unfinished Revolution compares the post-Second World War histories of the American and British gay and lesbian movements with an eye toward understanding how distinct political institutional environments affect the development, strategies, goals, and outcomes of a social movement. Stephen M. Engel utilizes an electic mix of source materials ranging from the theories of Mancur Olson and Michel Foucault to Supreme Court rulings and film and television dialogue. The two case study chapters function as brief historical sketches to elucidate (...) further the conclusions on theory and whilst being politically-oriented, they also examine gay influence and expansion into mainstream popular culture. The book also includes an appendix that surveys and assesses the analytical potential of five critical understandings of social movements: the classical approach, rational choice, resource mobilization, new social movement theories, and political opportunity structures. It will be of value to academics and students of sociology, political science, and history. (shrink)
The article explores epistemic and socialconditions of the trustworthiness of scientific expertise. I claim that there are three kinds of conditions for the trustworthiness of scientific expertise. The first condition is epistemic and means that scientific knowledge enjoys high credibility. The second condition concerns the significance of scientific knowledge. It means that scientific generalizations are relevant for elucidating the particular cases that constitute the challenges for expert judgment. The third condition concerns the social processes involved (...) in producing science-based recommendations. In this context trust is created by social robustness, expert legitimacy, and social participation. (shrink)
It is rare to find honest accounts of the difficulties and dilemmas encountered when conducting sensitive research with vulnerable research populations. This account explores some of the ethical issues raised by a qualitative interview study with lesbians and gay men about their experiences of nursing care. There is tension between the moral duty to conduct research with vulnerable and stigmatized groups in order to improve care, and the inevitable lack of resources that go with such a venture. This increases the (...) risk of harm during the process of research. The risk of harm to both the researchers and the researched is explored and the need for a support structure for both groups is raised. There is a pressing need to develop further understanding about the ways in which the dissemination of research can potentially harm already vulnerable research populations. (shrink)
Several hypotheses on the form and function of sex differences in social behaviors were tested. The results suggest that friendship preferences in both sexes can be understood in terms of perceived reciprocity potential—capacity and willingness to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. Divergent social styles may in turn reflect trade-offs between behaviors selected to maintain large, functional coalitions in men and intimate, secure relationships in women. The findings are interpreted from a broad socio-relational framework of the types of (...) behaviors that facilitate selective advertisement and investment of reciprocity potential across individuals and within groups of men and women. (shrink)
General health conditions are related to a great number of factors, including the socio-historical ones. As human beings are part of the social field, personality is also affected by them. Due to this, the main Ethics Codes of psychology, all around the world, remark in their preambles the importance of social responsibility in the practice and training in psychology. Argentina is confronted with several social problems that have severely influenced people’s mental health. In countries like Argentina, (...) the ethical practice of psychology should respect what is explicitly stated in ethic codes about psychologists’ social responsibility, and psychologists should get more involved in promoting this issue in educational training and in national health policies. (shrink)
Here we attempt to define a specifically human ecology within which male reproductive strategies are formulated. By treating the domestic and public spheres of social life as "ecological niches" that men have been forced to compete within or to avoid as best they can, we generate a typology of four "social modes" of human male behavior. We then attempt to explain the broad distribution of social modes within and between human groups based on the relative intensity of (...) scramble and contest competition. (shrink)
Mechanisms in a theory are defined here as bits of theory about entities at a different level (e.g., individuals) than the main entities being theorized about (e.g., groups), which serve to make the higher-level theory more supple, more accurate, or more general. The criterion for whether it is worthwhile to theorize at lower levels is whether it makes the theory at the higher levels better, not whether lower-level theorizing is philosophically necessary. The higher-level theory can be made better by mechanisms (...) known to be inadequate in the discipline dealing with the lower level. Conditions for the usefulness of lower-level theorizing are proposed, with many examples from various social and physical sciences. (shrink)
The ‘death of evidence’ issue in Canada raises the spectre of politicized science, and thus the question of what role social values may have in science and how this meshes with objectivity and evidence. I first criticize philosophical accounts that have to separate different steps of research to restrict the influence of social and other non-epistemic values. A prominent account that social values may play a role even in the context of theory acceptance is the argument from (...) inductive risk. It maintains that the more severe the social consequences of erroneously accepting a theory would be, the more evidence is needed before the theory may be accepted. However, an implication of this position is that increasing evidence makes the impact of social values converge to zero; and I argue for a stronger role for social values. On this position, social values may determine a theory’s conditions of adequacy, which among other things can include co.. (shrink)
It is argued that we cannot understand the notion of proper functions of artefacts independently of social notions. Functions of artefacts are related to social facts via the use of artefacts. The arguments in this article can be used to improve existing function theories that look to the causal history of artefacts to determine the function. A view that takes the intentions of designers into account to determine the proper function is both natural and often correct, but it (...) is shown that there are exceptions to this. Taking a social constitutive element into account may amend these backwards looking theories. An improved theory may either have a disjunctive form—either the history or collective intentions determine the proper function—or, as is suggested in the article, be in the form of an encompassing account that views the designers’ intentions as social, in so far as they are accepted by the users. Designers have authority, which is a social fact. The views argued for here are applied to two existing theories of artefact functions, a causal historic approach and an action theoretic approach.Keywords: Function; Artefact; Evaluative judgement; Action; Collective intentionality. (shrink)
(1995). Prediction in chaotic social, economic, and political conditions: The conflict between traditional chaos theory and the psychology of prediction, and some implications for general evolution theory. World Futures: Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 15-31.
Pragmatist reinterpretations of both deliberative-communicative theory and legal positivism point out the mentalist fallacy entailed by these prevalent models. I argue that pragmatist approaches imply analogous erroneous beliefs since they presuppose as given the shared perception of social contexts. Therefore they take for granted the shared interpretation of social problems and shared selection of common goals. Hence I advance the necessity of inquiring into the possibility conditions for a shared perception of social contexts. This would entail (...) the organization of institutional incentives meant to extend the scope and inclusiveness of the immediate perception of social context expressed by different agents. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that the ratio of the lengths of the second and fourth fingers (2D:4D) may reflect degree of prenatal androgen exposure in humans. In the present study, we tested the hypotheses that 2D:4D would be associated with ratings of men’s attractiveness and with levels of behavioral displays during social interactions with potential mates. Our results confirm that male 2D:4D was significantly negatively correlated with women’s ratings of men’s physical attractiveness and levels of courtship-like behavior during a brief (...) conversation. These findings provide novel evidence for the organizational effects of hormones on human male attractiveness and social behavior. (shrink)
There are various reasons why efforts to promote “support for self-management” have rarely delivered the kinds of sustainable improvements in healthcare experiences, health and wellbeing that policy leaders internationally have hoped for. This paper explains how the basis of failure is in some respects built into the ideas that underpin many of these efforts. When support for self-management is narrowly oriented towards educating and motivating patients to adopt the behaviours recommended for disease control, it implicitly reflects and perpetuates limited and (...) somewhat instrumental views of patients. It tends to: restrict the pursuit of respectful and enabling ‘partnership working’; run the risk of undermining patients’ self-evaluative attitudes ; limit recognition of the supportive value of clinician-patient relationships; and obscure the practical and ethical tensions that clinicians face in the delivery of support for self-management. We suggest that a focus on enabling people to live well with their long-term conditions is a promising starting point for a more adequate conception of support for self-management. We then outline the theoretical advantages that a capabilities approach to thinking about living well can bring to the development of an account of support for self-management, explaining, for example, how it can accommodate the range of what matters to people for living well, help keep the importance of disease control in perspective, recognize social influences on people’s values, behaviours and wellbeing, and illuminate more of the rich potential and practical and ethical challenges of supporting self-management in practice. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore Cassirer’s view of social contract theory. We maintain that Cassirer has established a linguistic turn of social contract theory, by exploring the conditions for the possibility of a promise. For that purpose Cassirer’s theory of the linguistic sign, as inspired by the linguistic theory of Wilhelm von Humboldt, becomes decisive, because of its specific nature and direction into the future. First, in Section 1, we explore previous social contract theorists, from Nicholas (...) von Cusa to Immanuel Kant. In Section 1, as a result, we establish the concept of the promise as the core concept of social contract theory, and as the fundamental philosophical problem conveyed by the natural lawyers. Moreover, in Section 2, we investigate the conditions for the possibility of a promise, and relate it to the symbolic nature of the human being. The promise, hence the capacity to enter into a contract, becomes a characteristically human activity, hence an expression of human dignity. (shrink)
This paper's purpose is to set forth the conditions of explanation in the domain of formal modelling of social action. Explanation is defined as an adequate account of the underlying factors bringing about a phenomenon. The modelling of a social phenomenon can claim explanatory value in this sense if the following two conditions are fulfilled. (1) The generative mechanisms involved translate the effects of real factors abstracted from their phenomenal context, not those of purely ideal ones. (...) (2) The explanatory hypotheses, which account for the effects of explanatory factors, and the purely descriptive hypotheses, which introduce conceptual simplifications and summarise complex secondary mechanisms, are relatively independent from each other with regard to the phenomenon represented. This condition subjects the model to testing by alternatives through the development of purely descriptive hypotheses in the sense of explanatory or analytical realism. (shrink)
This paper investigates the impact of personal attributes and organizational conditions on attitudes toward corporate misdeeds. On the basis of social cognitive theory, we develop hypotheses that are tested against data collected from 215 German employees using an online survey. Our findings suggest that personal attributes have a much greater impact on ethical attitudes than organizational conditions. Further, a moderating effect of control-oriented culture on the relationship between personality traits and attitudes toward corporate misdeeds is found. We (...) derive implications for human resource management and further theory development. (shrink)
Radical innovations and practices frequentlyfind themselves in an inhospitable environment,struggling against the gravitational force ofdominant norms, practices and relations. Thispaper explores the problems radical changeconfronts in its attempts to become sustainable.Against the postmodern valorisation of thetransient and ephemeral, the paper argues forthe importance of routinisation and repetitionin the process of creating and sustainingchange. A metaphor of social pathways isdeveloped to explore how new routines arecreated through de jure (governance) andde facto (usage) means. The paper arguesthat, in contrast to governance, (...) the emergentdurability generated by usage enables routinesto outlive their conditions of existence.At the same time, routines at odds with theirsocial and institutional environment tend overtime to disappear. The second half of the paperdraws on four British attempts to introduce newpathways: lesbian and gay local governmentinitiatives, Conservative education reforms,Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and LocalExchange Trading Systems (LETS). Through theseexamples, the paper reflects on attempts tocreate more conducive environments, and some ofthe difficulties this generates. (shrink)
Wulf Gaertner provides a comprehensive account of an important and complex issue within social choice theory: how to establish a social welfare function while restricting the spectrum of individual preferences in a sensible way. Gaertner's starting point is K. J. Arrow's famous 'Impossibility Theorem', which showed that no welfare function could exist if an unrestricted domain of preferences is to be satisfied together with some other appealing conditions. A number of leading economists have tried to provide avenues (...) out of this 'impossibility' by restricting the variety of preferences: here, Gaertner provides a clear and detailed account, using standardized mathematical notation, of well over forty theorems associated with domain conditions. Domain Conditions in Social Choice Theory will be an essential addition to the library of social choice theory for scholars and their advanced graduate students. (shrink)
In this paper we analyse how risk factors in highly industrialised agriculture are connected to animal neglect. With Danish agriculture as a case study, we use two types of data. First, we use register data from Statistics Denmark to map how risk factors such as farmers’ financial and social troubles are connected to convictions of neglect. Second, we analyse narratives where interviewed farmers, involved in cases of neglect, describe how they themselves experienced the incidents. We find that while livestock (...) farmers in general have a low risk of animal neglect problems, a small percentage of them face severe financial difficulties, divorce and psychiatric problems, which are connected to an increased risk of being convicted for the neglect of farm animals. The narratives bring forward themes of pressure related to financial trouble, technological break down, family problems, stress and a growing concern among the farmers towards the governmental control in farm animal production. We discuss how these factors can be used to identify and help farmers with a high risk of being convicted of livestock neglect. (shrink)
Judith Butler's Kritik der ethischen Gewalt represents a significant refinement of her position on the relationship between the construction of the subject and her social subjection. While Butler's earlier texts reflect a somewhat restricted notion of agency, her Adorno Lectures formulate a notion of agency that extends beyond mere resistance. This essay traces the development of Butler's account of agency and evaluates it in light of feminist projects of social transformation.
This paper briefly summarizes Durkheim’s theory of the dual nature of man suggested earlier in his Elementary Forms of Religious Life. It is characteristic of human beings that two opposite principles confront each other within them: soul and body, concept and sensation, moral activity and sensory appetites. Although this inherent inconsistency of man has been long recognized by philosophical thought, no doctrine explanation to it has been provided to date. While empiricist monism has proved to be unable to explain how (...) concepts emerge from sensations and disinterestedness develops from self-interest, absolute idealism, on the contrary, cannot deduce sensations from concepts. Although theories suggested by Plato and Kant do not bypass the problem of dualism, they only rephrase it and make no progress in solving it. According to Durkheim, dualism of human nature stems from the fact that all religions are founded on dividing all things into the sacred and the profane. This division, in turn, is explained by coexistence of collective and individual origins in the human being. Sacred things arise out of the collective origin that enables individual consciousnesses to fuse into communion. Collective origin does not act with constant strength, but intensifies during the periods of effervescence, when it subdues the individual origin. Since the importance of the social aspect of man increases over time, there is no reason to believe that complete consent between individual and society is possible that would endow man with internal harmony. (shrink)
: Judith Butler's Kritik der ethischen Gewalt represents a significant refinement of her position on the relationship between the construction of the subject and her social subjection. While Butler's earlier texts reflect a somewhat restricted notion of agency, her Adorno Lectures formulate a notion of agency that extends beyond mere resistance. This essay traces the development of Butler's account of agency and evaluates it in light of feminist projects of social transformation.
This article integrates theory and concepts from the business and society, business ethics, and labor relations literatures to offer a conceptualization of labor union social responsibility that includes activities geared toward three primary objectives: economic equity, workplace democracy, and social justice. Economic, workplace, and social labor union stakeholders are identified, likely issues are highlighted, and the implications of labor union social responsibility for labor union strategy are discussed. It is noted that, given the breadth of labor (...) unions in a global work environment, labor union social responsibility also has implications for NGOs, corporations, and how corporate social responsibility is viewed going forward. This article concludes by noting that the nexus of labor relations and corporate social responsibility warrants more attention in management and labor relations literatures. (shrink)
This paper is designed to examine a practitioner oriented model for addressing ideas of corporate social responsibility and integrating those ideas into corporate strategy. Industry will be discussed as the appropriate level of analysis to assist managers in understanding their firm’s external environment and their approach to the more specific social environment. The industry-organization model is used to develop boundaries of competition and social responses. The five forces model will be extended to apply to the social (...) environment and will include industry dimensions, stakeholders, social issues, managerial attention and social impacts. (shrink)
Here we consider two ways that nanomedicine might be disruptive. First, low-end disruptions that are intrinsically unpredictable but limited in scope, and second, high end disruptions that involve broader societal issues but can be anticipated, allowing opportunity for ethical reflection.