Friday, October 27, 2006

Home exam. I'm disgruntled!

Bleee. Have got questions to written assignment. 6 days. 4500 to 5500 words. Have to answer one of these:

Take as your point of departure relevant parts of the reading list and discuss what is meant by the concept of a sign. Show how the concept can be applied to understand how societies are integrated.

2.Economic metaphors are used in anthropological analyses of social differentiation and stratification. Show by using examples from the reading list how such use of concepts may provide insight into social and cultural processes. Discuss the fruitfulness of such analytical approaches, and show how alternative approaches may yield other forms of insight.

3. Anthropologists often claim that a methodological approach can not be dissociated from a theoretical approach. Substantiate this claim by reference to at least three articles/books from the reading list.

(More about the course here; only Norwegian)

I'm disgruntled!!! :):) For the first time I don't feel like writing anything. I have been working with my volcano project the last weeks and suddenly I have to jump to something different. I know, it won't hurt, but I would really love to use this week to write even 10.000 words, but on something that is bound up with what my head is filled up with. It could be pure theory or something, but this is ... grrrr. I am absolutely disgruntled!!! What do you think about these questions? Frankly, there was no one who liked them today. Well, it doesn't really help.

Anyway, I think I'll try the third one. Not sure, but I don't think it makes sense to use energy on semiotic toughies when I know relatively little right now. Actually I am a little bit confused about signals, signs, symbols and so. I feel the difference, but I am not sure if I manage to write a whole essay without blanding those terms at some point. Could be risky if I don't juggle with them freely. Funny, that one of the most important terms in anthropology is so troublesome. Maybe precisely therefore...

Economic metaphors are important, but I am a little bit fed up with Bourdieu's capital, power and so (he's on the list, and we are supposed to use his works). Knowledge, for instance, as a symbolic, social and cultural capital is relevant for my project, but I am not too keen on Bourdieuin general (but he has some really good points and terms). We had quite much reading about globalization which could be used to answer this question as well, but I have so aversion to this subject (I don't know why actually) that I have to veto number 1 also. Then I think number 3 is the only option. I think I'll just choose the one that will take minimum time and effort:) I really want to go further with my thing. So the question about method/theory is very open and I just have to figure out how to plan the essay out. I'll take this up tomorrow or sunday.

It's raining hard. Autumn. Norway is getting cold. Winter. I'm disgruntled!!! :) Those who know where I am working on saturdays will understand the picture and why I am complaining about the weather. The rest has to guess:) Not difficult, isn't it? Goshhh, have to get up at 5 AM. Boring.

Take a few days off at FAFO. I have to admitt that I got used to those questionnaires and felt good about being there every day and conducting survey. Nice work. Hard also. And satisfying.

Also went to seminar/course at StatSoft to improve my zero-knowledge about making quantitative surveys, analysis and so. Funny, enlightening, sometimes boring, new, puzzling and horrifying:) Quite surprisingly that I was there, maybe - went there to get to know the practical side of making big surveys, on the web and paper - need to know something before I am starting to criticize how other work :):) hush! Anyway, I am proud of myself that I did understand almost all of what has been said! :)

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