1. The function of Sociology as a science is to bring about that which is hidden. Pierre Bourdieu

Missouri Sociological Association

  1. Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology - 2013 Archive



 

ISSUE 10

 


Classlessness as Doxa:

Class Awareness, Crises, and the Icelandic Political Field

 

Guðmundur Oddsson

University of Missouri

 

Abstract: Despite growing class inequality, scholars claim class awareness is waning due to the social changes of rapid globalization and late modernity. However, historical research is lacking in recent studies of class subjectivities. This article uses the economic boom and subsequent collapse of the Icelandic economy in 2008 to study how structural and cultural changes impact class dicourse in the political field and how it relates to broader class awareness. The study is a historically contextualized ethnograpic content analysis of Iceland’s leading newspaper (N=500) and parliamentary debates (N=135) from 1986-2012. Drawing on Bourdieu’s field theory, the study finds that the current economic crisis, and especially the crisis of prosperity foreshadowing it, undermined the unquestioned assumption (doxa) that Iceland is a relatively classless society. The analysis reveals discursive struggles between the dominant and dominated in the political field over the previously unquestioned classlessness as doxa, which, in turn, heightened class awareness. The findings contradict the argument that class awareness is declining across the board in “advanced” societies and suggest we must study class subjectivities in traditionally egalitarian and homogeneous societies.






A Pumpkin at Midnight:

Intersectionality of Race, Class, Orientation and Gender in “Paris is Burning

 

Christina LaFon

St. Louis University

 

Abstract: This essay explores the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation in Jennie Livingston’s film, “Paris Is Burning”. It critically examines the methods of presentation and documentation by Livingston and questions the presentation to and reaction from American audiences to the film. Ultimately, it is concluded that the gender and class performances as depicted in the film are not subversive as originally believed, and instead paint a soothing narrative for the heavy conscience of the privileged viewer.







Their Pain, Their Choice, Their Time to Go

 

Christina Merrick-Gharib

University of Central Missouri

 

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present information supporting the issue of physician-assisted suicide, via the examination of the impact of assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia, and as some call it, self-deliverance upon society, i.e. the patient, doctor, and family. Additionally, it is the hope that by delving into clearly defining what is and what is not a qualifying self-deliverance situation, and providing both sides of the issue with their legitimate points and counterpoints, an open and honest dialog surrounding self-deliverance will begin to ensue. Such discussion is currently highly lacking. At this time, only three states allow for physician-assisted suicide, with several other states considering the matter. Nevertheless, this is a discussion, which needs to reach beyond lawmakers opinions and necessitates taking into account those who are oftentimes forgotten or left-behind, the patient. A review of prior literature surrounding self-deliverance has found both pros and cons presented. This paper will present a snapshot of both sides through a discussion of several legitimate points and counterpoints found in the literature reviewed. Additionally, a semi-structured interview is included, supporting the act of self-deliverance. With an increase in chronic debilitating diseases and incurable cancers, in addition to an aging society, this is an issue that many people whether they wish to or not and whether directly or not, may have to face in some way, shape, or form in the near future. Becoming knowledgeable of that, which is unfamiliar, generally helps to ease the anxiety of such uncomfortable issues, enabling a pathway for clear thinking and rational decisions. Physician-assisted suicide, performed under strict measures should be a lawful option given to all humans who meet a certain criteria. As a modern society, many cannot fathom the thought of watching an animal suffer in pain and oftentimes will recommend euthanasia, without hesitation, to end its agony. Yet in the same breath, these very individuals will inflict incredible guilt, shame, accusations of selfishness and negativity on a human being who is suffering and considering the act of self-deliverance. This must change and my hope is that this paper will act as a stepping-stone toward that change, in addition to contributing to the relevant sociological literature and overall understanding of human social life.







Their Pain, Their Choice, Their Time to Go

 

Christina Merrick-Gharib

University of Central Missouri

 

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present information supporting the issue of physician-assisted suicide, via the examination of the impact of assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia, and as some call it, self-deliverance upon society, i.e. the patient, doctor, and family. Additionally, it is the hope that by delving into clearly defining what is and what is not a qualifying self-deliverance situation, and providing both sides of the issue with their legitimate points and counterpoints, an open and honest dialog surrounding self-deliverance will begin to ensue. Such discussion is currently highly lacking. At this time, only three states allow for physician-assisted suicide, with several other states considering the matter. Nevertheless, this is a discussion, which needs to reach beyond lawmakers opinions and necessitates taking into account those who are oftentimes forgotten or left-behind, the patient. A review of prior literature surrounding self-deliverance has found both pros and cons presented. This paper will present a snapshot of both sides through a discussion of several legitimate points and counterpoints found in the literature reviewed. Additionally, a semi-structured interview is included, supporting the act of self-deliverance. With an increase in chronic debilitating diseases and incurable cancers, in addition to an aging society, this is an issue that many people whether they wish to or not and whether directly or not, may have to face in some way, shape, or form in the near future. Becoming knowledgeable of that, which is unfamiliar, generally helps to ease the anxiety of such uncomfortable issues, enabling a pathway for clear thinking and rational decisions. Physician-assisted suicide, performed under strict measures should be a lawful option given to all humans who meet a certain criteria. As a modern society, many cannot fathom the thought of watching an animal suffer in pain and oftentimes will recommend euthanasia, without hesitation, to end its agony. Yet in the same breath, these very individuals will inflict incredible guilt, shame, accusations of selfishness and negativity on a human being who is suffering and considering the act of self-deliverance. This must change and my hope is that this paper will act as a stepping-stone toward that change, in addition to contributing to the relevant sociological literature and overall understanding of human social life.








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