Sunday, June 04, 2006

Why do we do what we do? Tilly sees reasoning as fundamentally social; we give reasons to justify decisions TO OTHER PEOPLE; thus, who those other people are and what our relationship is to them is the driver of the kind of reasoning we provide. In other words, what kind of explanation you'll give for your behaviour or attidue is not simply a case of 'the type of perosn you are' so much as who you are giving the explanation to and in what situation, i.e. what role you are playing (mom, boss, customer, lover, driving instructor) Reason-giving, Tilly says, reflects, establishes, repairs, and negotiates relationships.

conventions - conventionally accepted explanations. becuase i'm of a higher social status than you and i don't need to justify myself. Moms scolding kids. “Don’t be a tattletale”. i'm always messy! becuase i want to end the conversation, 'i wanna break up, it's not you, it's me.' Que sera, sera. Accidents happen. God's will.

stories - they circumscribe time and space, limit the number of actors and actions, situate all causes “in the consciousness of the actors,” and elevate the personal over the institutional. I can't quit smoking becuase my relationship with Sue is too stressful right now" (via Gladwell, Marriages thrive on stories. They die on conventions.)

codes - Then there are codes, which are high-level conventions, formulas that invoke sometimes recondite procedural rules and categories. The firm law of the Land. Only Elite members may board now. You are being turned down for the loan you applied for becuase of our strict credit checks.

technical accounts - Expert testimony. It's established that I know more than you about this subject, so i've got credability, so i'll demonstrate it with recourse to words you don't know or concepts beyond your current understanding.

Hear Gladwell talk about these in his diatribe that upholds unplanned creatity is not a poor cousin to its planned counterpart, but holds equal importance to us in both art and commerce.