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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural deficit in new clothes

Posted By: Allen Lambert on August 21, 2009
Ms. Dixson demonstrates her "objective," "neutral," and "scholarly" habits by engaging in name calling ("racist" and "neo-conservative", etc.) and stereotyping all who use language different from hers as such. And avoids dealing with expls because they are supposedly "extreme"? Yet, finding counterfactuals and "hostile" evidence is what good science and scholarship include.

Are all social analysts who find that cultural deficit theory contributes some to understanding of a larger complex phenomenon to be dismissed as merely "racist" and "problematic"? Or is such ad hominem an expl of one-size-fits-all ideology?

She makes assertions -- both about persons she does not know and about social science in general -- without backing them up.
I'm not sure how that encourages confidence in her claims.

Many social scientists make qualitative judgments, and do so frequently, especially action oriented types, claiming that their social analysis supports particular social policies and political formations, etc.
Just consider much of the recent talk about "public sociology" and "public anthropology", etc.

"Subculture" remains a useful, and widely used, concept. It gets applied to several kinds of variations on main themes. Thus, we have regional variations in American "culture" which we often and usefully designate as subcultures rather than independent and wholly different cultures.

And by whatever label, it is certainly the case that we have useful measures of effectiveness of certain patterns of belief and conduct when it comes "success" within a dominant cultural configuration. I provided several but she ignored them.
One reason we have a public school system is to prepare children for life in a particular socio-cultural system. That means attitudes and values as well as knowledge and skill.
Valuing education is part of a culture necessary for "success" therein. And so on.

Do some people get marginalized? Yes. But they do so (in part) by the dominant culture. (And in part by own choices and conduct. Humans are, after all, not just puppets; they participate in and contribute to interactions, social constructions, etc.) Adopting that culture reduces marginalization and increases chances of employment success. One who does not show habits of work, reliability, punctuality, and so on, will have a tough time keeping a job. Are punctuality and reliability "better" than randomness? In this culture, yes. And social science can and does measure such characteristics and find correlations.
Are all "marginalized" folks lazy or unreliable or whatever? No. While relevant to some things, such misses the point in other things.

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 Cultural deficit in new clothes by Adrienne Dixson on May 25, 2009
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