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the rules of The method: The postulate of the sense of the actors

Perhaps it would be good to continue with this type the basic things that my good (or bad) understanding to make a good explanation from a sociological standpoint.

We had said (in may) that a good tenet was the equality of actors. Now the idea is to develop another, which is well related:

An explanation of the social action that is based on the idea that actors are idiots is not of much use. And we have many variations of the idea: That the actors are naive who don’t realize -can’t realize – the bright visions of the analyst; they are easily manipulated by external forces (*); taking actions that do not make much sense -even to them.

Let’s look at some cases. About the alleged naivety of the actors, the better summons Hirschmann: “input readers are cautioned that they have very little chance of understanding how society works, because we are dealing with ‘complex systems and highly interacting’, with social provisions that ‘belong to the class of so-called systems multiloop nonlinear feedback, and other arcane systems dynamic like that ‘the people human is not adapted to interpret’. Only the especialisa in computing deeply trained can unravel these mysteries. And, what revelations we get Forrester? At times programs cause exactly the opposite of the desired results’ “ (Hirschman, Albert, the Rhetoric of Intransigence, pp 43-43). Hirschman points out that many times, those alleged consequences that go beyond the understanding of the actor are effectively taken into account (obviously not always, but it is not the case that actors necessarily and systematically not aware of the ground beneath their feet).

Or let us think of Bourdieu, one of the authors who most emphasizes the need to overcome the doxa of the social fields in order to achieve the knowledge, and thus overcome the visions naïve enrolled in the system, and which reproduce a common sense necessarily inferior to the insights of the analyst -who always speaks from a position by definition more correct. But, let us think of their works to the empirical, what is the dynamics that mentions Bourdieu on taste effectively go beyond the understanding of the actors? What no one has given account of the social effects of marking of the taste? what that had to wait to Bourdieu for people to be aware of the meanings of his plays in the world of taste? What the middle class has never been given account that is in the ‘good will cultural? The actors, I think, are not naive in the games they are involved in, can have full awareness of the nature of the game. But, contrary to the authors, do not always have the ability not to play the game. The middle class people thought they may well realize the nature of the game of the good will of the cultural, and its failure necessary, and not stop playing it; they can realize the nature of your taste, without for this reason to stop liking the things they like. Ultimately, such is the power of the habitus that exceeds without problems all the alleged develaciones.

Or who do things that have no idea manipulated by external forces and end up doing the dumbest actions: the idea of consumerism. That the poor, are always the poor, to receive the bids from all parties, are simple reactors you end up buying more of what they can and in a life full of debts. What is the problem with the idea? Not that the people have high levels of debt, but the idea that the people doing those actions without realizing what it does: the consumption is something that is done without thinking. Who is indebted in large amounts is not not know what what you are doing, and the risks that it takes.

What there is to see is what gives meaning to games risky? Difficult situations.

The consumer is not a minor issue in low-income groups. Let us think of the classic example of consumerism, of buying pointless product only of advertising: the tv of many inches in a house few metres. Isn’t that the most evident of consumerism? And no. On the one hand, in low-income sectors your only way of free time is the tv (the rest of the options requires more money at the end of the day). In circumstances of complex life, and atosigantes, the need to be able to enjoy something becomes more cruciante. In other words, at least be able to enjoy the tv (not that without the tv these people would become rich and their lives will be of great tranquility). There is also the fact, that Carlos Catalan likes to emphasize, that the tv is a form of security: returns to the home more enjoyable, therefore its value increases with respect to the street -which is one of the fears central in these groups (the street is the place of the crime, the drug addiction, finally, of vagrancy, of all the things that conspire against the central project that is the better future of the children).

Debt may well be an option thankless (the economic culture popular has always had the dream of ‘not encalillarse’), but given the situation, it seems that it is better than various other alternatives. In order to understand consumption, we need to understand the consumer in that it gives, that make it socially and culturally to the goods that are bought (because they always do something in the social lives of the actors, the goods are not purchased and soon disappear when they enter the home).

In other words, have an explanation that implies that actors are idiots is a failure of explanation, because it simply means that our analyst never gave the work to understand the subject with which it deals. It is not that the actions are ‘rational’, or always represent the ‘best option’, but if it turns out that assumption sensible to think that some sense have.