Subjective v structural

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wojtek
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Nov 1 2015 17:35
Subjective v structural

I was wondering how you identify to what extent if any your sexual preferences/gender identity,etc./economic situation (eg. unemployment, occupation) is structurally/socially determined or freely chosen. I hope this makes sense...

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boozemonarchy
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Nov 2 2015 13:00

I think that economic situation is very strongly structural.

Things like gender identity / sexual preference are much more interesting. I personally have a hard time imagining that gender identities and sexual preferences have a measurable existence outside of the cultural context that gives them meaning. What would my queerness mean in a society that didn't actively police gender and sexual preference? Not a whole fucking lot.

I think most arguments that suppose sexual preference exists outside of cultural contexts lean on naturalistic arguments that I'm not comfortable with and don't really hold water anyway.

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jonglier
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Nov 1 2015 20:19

I was wondering how you identify to what extent if any your sexual preferences/gender identity,etc./economic situation (eg. unemployment, occupation) is structurally/socially determined or freely chosen.

I'm always curious when this question is posed what exactly you mean by "freely chosen"? Do you mean the the idea that people can freely create who they are from scratch without any influence from the outside world? As in the idea that we are all autonomous beings suffering no influence at all from society, just simply chosing what to believe in? In which case anarchism would be a pointless theory. Of course all of us are products our our social environments, none of us are unique snowflakes no matter how good our critique of the tories is. We are just as much the product of our social environment as David Cameron is, and the sooner the anarchist movement gets over the idea that it is in some way morally better than Cameron, the better.

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boozemonarchy
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Nov 1 2015 20:47

Jonglier, don't be a dick by making every thread about your anarchist pet peeve goddammit.

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Khawaga
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Nov 1 2015 21:18
Quote:
the sooner the anarchist movement gets over the idea that it is in some way morally better than Cameron, the better.

Where do you get these ideas from? Anarchists don't moralize at all, and don't blame individuals. That's pretty basic.

wojtek
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Nov 1 2015 21:44

With gender/masculinity and 'passing', if what you think you want coincides with social norm how do you know thats what you really want?

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plasmatelly
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Nov 1 2015 21:49

My economic situation is most definitely not free chosen. Not sure if that helps.. smile
Gender and sexuality - personally I feel that forums, meetings and discussion groups run by anarchist types are thee very last place to glean any accurate sense of the subject matter on a wider level beyond those participating.

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boozemonarchy
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Nov 2 2015 13:14
wojtek wrote:
With gender/masculinity and 'passing', if what you think you want coincides with social norm how do you know thats what you really want?

wojtek,

The heart of the issue right there!;

Is my gender identity a fundamental truth that exists inside me with or without the social construction that gives it meaning?

I think peoples own personal experience with gender will really weight the subsequent response to this question. My own experience with sexual preference is fluid and as such, I'm skeptical of any such fundamental, non-socially influenced bit of truth inside me that produced that.

I accept that other folks experiences would likely produce a different estimation of how much or little their sexual preference / gender identity existed inside them as some sort of biological truth.

petey
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Nov 2 2015 13:25
Khawaga wrote:
Anarchists don't moralize at all

really?

factvalue
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Nov 3 2015 22:37

I think any personality includes the organism and its conscious states, and that people are the products of both their physical natures and their social environments. It doesn't contradict humanity's concept of free will to observe that our conscious behaviour conforms to observable regular patterns. There seems to be widespread confusion over what a 'naturalistic' explanation would entail in connection with the notion of free will, in part due to the positive associations around the word 'freedom', and partly because some of the most deterministic religions (including secular religions) have not hesitated to persecute people using gender, and this confusion of naturalism with fatalism is part of the confusion over freedom of the will.

Even if you find fatalism morally repugnant, it has nothing to do with physiological determinism, since the idea that nothing you can do makes any difference is itself a very complete form of indeterminism. Is the environmental side of the coin the deterministic side, since after all the idea that if the environment had been different the consequences would have been different is a deterministic idea? But then again that would leave both nature and nurture deterministic, since if our physical natures were otherwise we would also act differently.

Only if our psychological make-up and inner life are subject to laws can we claim to have a sense in which we might have made different decisions or had different preferences if other societal/cultural values had been on offer. There is no empirical evidence possible for the contention that even if all external circumstances had been the same I might have had different sexual preferences because even if I feel that I might have, or if I don't understand why I prefer as I do (which seems unlikely in the case of such a significant trait) I can't be sure that something in my past didn't influence my preference. Experience being what it is, at a certain point we may become aware that what we see and do relies very heavily on what we've seen and done. So the notion of self-determination is in this sense also closely related to determinism.

And none of this means that very new behaviour, preferences and emotions may not arise at any given time, just as every passing second is new.

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Khawaga
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Nov 2 2015 23:44
Petey wrote:
Khawaga wrote:
Anarchists don't moralize at all
really?

Let me rephrase that; our politics is not based on moralizing. And I'd say if anything, anarchism is/has an ethics rather morals. But of course, plenty of anarchists do moralize.