[Air-l] community-company, and all that

Nils Zurawski zurawsk at uni-muenster.de
Tue Dec 25 11:43:23 PST 2001


HI all,

it is christmas and I had the chance to read through all post on this 
interesting  thread... I hope I get it all in the mail, which was 
going through my mind while reading the posts.......

1. On commuity and commerce..... while most posts treated the two as 
separate issues, that overlap sometimes, few if any saw them as 
integral parts of each other.... and I thought more of economics than 
of commerce anyway.... so while reading the french anthrpologist 
Louis Dumont came to my mind.... he wrote a lot about communalism, 
esp. in India, comparing the individual ideology of the West with the 
communal of the east, ie. India... the castes etc..... and he talked 
about embedded and diesembedded economies..... where the economy and 
also commerce are part of a community/society......... where I run 
into the problem of defining a community......Gemeinschaft and 
Gesellschaft .....

2. I found myself agreeing with Jonathan.... on why research what is 
a community at all, why bother..... well... bein g in Northern 
Ireland for the past year I came to the point where I was sick of the 
work community... it is everywhere and everything..... but never 
really defined.... having different references and sizes.... the c. 
of NI, the catholic c. and soforth..... but it is sometimes important 
to say this is a community according to this or that theory and set 
of rules or it isn't .... for example..... acknowledging a certain 
status to a given group (identified by language, ethnicity, (sub-) 
cultural feature, you name it...) is important... which group is 
acknowledged which one isn't.. you gets the money, state, territory, 
representational space (esp. in Cyberspace, David Silver's article in 
Race in Cyberspace edited by Nakamura et al.... made this pretty 
clear and is a good example)... so definition and ackknwoledgment are 
forms of distributing power......., that is why it sometimes is 
important to see if some entity is a community in the abstract sense 
of us researchers......

3. Communalism, communitarianism, community has been mentioned.... 
they have to do with belonging, boundaries... but also with control, 
control of you is in them and how thy behave, what they do and are 
made to do..... social control, and we should not forget this 
part.... offline or online.....it is about the control of discourses, 
behavior, power and also money... and in comes the ecomomy or 
commerce....

This would be my take on community for now.... we certainly could 
evoke the discussion we had on the air-meet list about ethnicity or 
race here... which would establish a community and why under which 
circumstances... but I want you to enjoy christmas and not read posts 
that are too long anyway......

Best to all of you enjoy the rest of the remaining year and talk to 
you next year. I will go sort of offline until then.....

nilz




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