Working Paper: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/cct_sicw/11
Abstract: A compilation of 39 notes provides the basis for two shifts: from shaping a better social theory to allowing for social theorizing; and from representing social dynamics to enacting the social theorizing so as to repeatedly define and pursue engagements in the heterogeneous dynamics that intersect in all kinds of society-making. A key move is to bring the multiple strandedness of changing social life into the center by combining, on one hand, the analysis of intersecting processes, which link across scales in the production of any outcome and in their own on-going transformation, and, on the other hand, a participatory group process, the historical scan, to generate a repeatable group-specific praxis.
Although stable systems may be extremely rare as a fraction of the complex ecological systems being sampled (as shown in the 1970s theoretical work of Robert May), they can be readily constructed over time by the addition of populations from a pool of populations or by elimination of populations from systems not at a steady state. The implications of such a constructionist perspective could challenge not only ecologists, but also theorists in all fields that make use of models without a process of construction over time of the complexity of the situation studied.
A paper to appear in the journal Ecological Complexity centers not so much on advancing this perspective, but on two consequent puzzles:
Location: Old Fire Station, Woods Hole MA, USA
New Dates May 2017, 8am Sat 27 – 2.30pm TUES 30
In this FOUR-day workshop participants will create spaces, interactions, and support in formulating plans to extend our own projects of inquiry and engagement around “intersecting processes.” More info
My four steps to interpret and move beyond nature-nurture for the current draft of a 1500-word entry for a handbook on environmental studies: Continue reading
I am chewing on an issue about scale, more specifically how we manage to avoid thinking about the crosscutting scales in our lives. All of us are embedded in and engage with intersecting processes of varying scale, in time and space, and extent. But we manage to take much for granted; if we think about it, we do not have a good way to take more responsibility. Let me give you some examples. Continue reading
During the 1990s political ecology became an active field of inquiry into environmental degradation and, sometimes, environmental restoration. Political ecology also had the potential to contribute to the process of social theorizing, which stemmed from the implications of what this paper calls “intersecting processes.” This term signifies that political ecological analyses attempt to make sense of dynamics produced by intersecting economic, social and ecological processes operating at different scales.
Talk, 21 minutes Continue reading
Location: Old Fire Station, Woods Hole MA, USA
New Dates May 2017, 8am Sat May 27 – 2.30pm Weds May 31
In this five-day workshop participants will create spaces, interactions, and support in formulating plans to extend our own projects of inquiry and engagement around “intersecting processes.”
These excerpts from a Damage, a book review by George Scialabba affirm my sense that discussions of Big Ideas, such as the “free market” are a diversion from examining the intersecting processes in political economy. Continue reading
Diagramming Intersecting Processes
Preamble on my motivation: I want more people to think in terms of “intersecting processes” (Taylor 2001), which means being able to read the diagrams I present, appreciate the theoretical implications of the concept, start to make their own accounts and diagrammatic depictions, and teach others to do the same.
Goals for students: 1. to understand the development of biomedical and social phenomena in terms of linkages among processes of different kinds and scales that build up over time—genetics, treatment, family and immediate social context, social welfare systems and economics, wider cultural shifts, ….
2. to use graphic organizers to help them visualize such “intersecting processes” and to identify places where detail is missing and where further inquiry is needed. Continue reading
The following is an example of processes that span scales. Unlike the cases of “intersecting processes” that I have discussed, in which I point to linking multiple points of engagement across the scales, there is no point of engagement that alters the end-of-Permian extinction!
From New Scientist, 14 December 2013
In the early 1980s, health authorities in China became aware that cases of lung cancer not associated with smoking were 20 times higher in parts of Yunnan province, in the south of the country, than elsewhere. A likely source of the problem was quickly identified, says David Large, a geologist at the University of Nottingham, UK: the combustion of coal in cast-iron stoves kept inside without adequate ventilation… His team has found tiny, sharp grains of silica, recently identified as a possible carcinogen, in the fuel… The coal dates to the very latest stages of the Permian, and would still have been peat during the end-Permian mass extinction. During the formation of the vast Siberian volcanic region around this time, gases released into the atmosphere made rainwater more acidic, dissolving surface rocks and leaving the groundwater unusually rich in silica – silica that eventually made its way into the coal (Environmental Science and Technology, vol 43, p 9016).