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October 4, 2006

oral defense (comps)

We were supposed to include Robin by videoconference but the universe has decreed speaker phone. How old-fashioned! :-(

Question 1 (on theory) related Poststructuralism, Language and Power: "How and to what extent are power and language related in poststructuralist thinking? How does the concept of 'dialectics' figure in this relation beween power and language? Feel free to address the questions from any angle you choose. Be specific and precise in your discussions."

I will (so I say!! Did I really do this?!!)draw from a select corpus of continental philosophy to respond to this question: Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, Bakhtin’s Discourse and the Novel, Althusser’s essay, “Three Notes on Discourse,” and Zizek’s Sublime Object of Ideology.

Question 2 (on a speciality area) regards Critical Organization Communication: "While there is increasing emphasis among critical organizational communication scholars on intercultural communication in the workplace, there is little to no attention paid to the uses (or heteroglossic forces) of language in multilingual spaces. In this question I want you to: a) discuss the epistemological assumptions about language (its function, usage, etc.) in critical organizational communication scholarship; b) note the impact of these assumptions on our understanding of the dynamics of intercultural/multilingual workplaces, and c) explicate the possibilities for utilizing problematic moments as an alternative epistemological stance from which a theory and methodology of language use in multilingual organizational contexts might be derived."

I began, "Addressing the question of language use in multilingual work spaces remains a challenge."

Question 3 (on a research method) concerns Participatory Action Research: "For the following question you will assume that you are applying to a major foundation for a research grant. Although the foundation has previously funded proposals for qualitative research, the funded projects have been fairly conservative in their approach (i.e., providing hypotheses or research questions, criteria for validity and reliability, and a more deductive than inductive approach to the study). Your project centers around the use of participatory action research to study the interpreting process of the EU Parliament. In addition to clearly defining the participants and constituency for your research, (i.e., who is involved in the process and who will benefit from the research), you will need to present coherent specific arguments for the criteria mentioned above as well as specific need for the research and sustainability of the project."

What do I know? "Concerns with qualititative research have primarily to do with scientific rigour, particularly in the realms of reliability and validity."

Question 5 (a research tool) on applied interpretation theory: "Taking “Encounters with Reality” as illustrative of a variety of indigenous concerns related to the act of interpreting between hearing and non-hearing cultures. Recalling your responses to the questions about Critical Discourse Analysis, briefly describe what the status of such a book would have as data in your project. (specific scenarios inserted later)"

"This text is an example of what Ebru Diriker (2005) calls a de-contextualized meta-discourse."

Question 4 (my dissertation area) on Critical Discourse Analysis. "In the time allotted, please consider the relationship between Critical Discourse Analysis and what you imagine to be its utility as a tool for your project.

Part 1: Theory: What is it about discourse analysis that is particularly illuminating of the moment in which the EU finds itself? Using the discussion presented by your choice of two different theorists, address what critical discourse analysis offers to your project that a purely textual reading of what people say through translators does not (i.e., what does HOW people say things reveal that WHAT they say does not)? How do the former and the latter complement each other and what ontological status does each have as data?

Part 2: Application: Turning more specifically to your project, how do you seek to collect the two types of data and what do you think they will reveal about your concerns around power and democracy?"

Ha ha! I actually answered this! :-) "The two theorists I’ve selected for this response are Jan Blommaert and Mikhael Bakhtin."

Question 6 (a speciality area) on Democracy. "Ziarek notes that

“The ethos of becoming poses and redefines the question of agency and freedom of historically constituted subjects: no longer seen as an attribute or a possession of the subject, freedom is conceptualized as an engagement in praxis.”

Using this quote as a jumping off point, provide some reasoning first for the use of dissensus in radical democracy, potential critiques of this approach and an example, via the EU Parliament, of how agency and freedom might be enacted."

Uh oh. Longest run-on sentence in the world? "Dissensus, a term chosen by Ziarek (An Ethics of Dissensus) because of its “carnal implications” and implication of both “meaning and sensibility,” enables the inclusion of both primary forms of human living (being) in the political, decision-making realm: that of co-constructed social meanings (the relational) and that of intrasubjective phenomenology (the experiences and perceptions of/by “self” ~ however conceived). Her direct argument involves the necessity of embodiment and its valorization as a source of knowledge."

Posted by Steph at October 4, 2006 8:24 AM


ok. so I don't dare believe I know you at all. Previously, it was just guesses, or gut. (my initial response is 'WHO ARE YOU??!!') In the real sense, working with you... "feeding" one another, does not imply we speak the same dialect, nor language. I read the questions posed to you, and feel small, the outsider to a world unaccessible (as yet) to me. I completely defer to you. My 'dialect' has been 'feeding' children, creating community, survival and growth around that. I am struck by my non-participation/exemption/exception from the world that fills your brain. Yet somehow, our understanding of message (one or many)is transmitted, and we share the mission of equality and access. Hmph. Guess that's what it's about?? Yeah for you (!!) for surviving this day. Congratulations! I am in awe.

Posted by: dd at October 4, 2006 6:12 PM

dd - I survived but I didn't pass, not yet. :-/ Don't let the big words get in the way, it's a jargon I've learned from immersion in the context. We do share a mission, but it's less an end goal than a process - your interest in the on-going-ness of 'the work' (during each job, over a career) is what connects us most. :-)

Posted by: Steph [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2006 10:00 PM

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