An exercise of 'genealogy' - reactivating minor knowledge

Author:Ungurean, S.
Position:Department of Sociology and Philosophy, Transilvania University of Brasov
Pages:27-36
SUMMARY

In fact, we do not endeavor to disqualify any form of knowledge. We do not desire to repeat the discourse of self-sufficiency - critical with others - claiming that only this type of thinking knowledge is valid. Our intention consists in attracting attention onto the singular fact, onto the radical contingency we constantly meet in our daily lives. Consequently, we suggest the sociologist's... (see full summary)

 
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Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov Vol. 4 (53) No. 1 - 2011
Series VII: Social Sciences • Law
AN EXERCISE OF 'GENEALOGY'
REACTIVATING MINOR KNOWLEDGE
Ştefan UNGUREAN1
Abstract: In fact, we do not endeavor to disqualify any form of knowledge.
We do not desire to repeat the discourse of self-sufficiency critical with
others claiming that only this type of thinking knowledge is valid. Our
intention consists in attracting attention onto the singular fact, onto the
radical contingency we constantly meet in our daily lives. Consequently, we
suggest the sociologist's training be oriented towards the capacity to identify
a problem starting from a single fact, in other words, we request heeding
minor knowledge. The large majority of graduates in sociology work with
this kind of reality. Within minor knowledge the possibility of hiding the fact
that power endeavors to produce both the individual and the truth it needs,
does not exist. In the case we are presenting, this minor knowledge found in
travel diaries has generated some of the social representations on to which
major political and historical decisions were founded.
Key words: great narrative, minor knowledge, genealogy.
1 Department of Sociology and Philosophy, Transilvania University of Braşov.
1. The Problem Definition
We aim to analyze an event as related in
a travel journal, using as source a book of
Larry Wolff. [17]
2. The Purpose of Our Analysis:
Clarifying the meaning of and the role
played by the notions of explanation and
comprehension within sociological
knowledge and the implications related to
practicing sociology as a profession.
3. Describing the Fact
A French diplomat by the side of the
High Porte sets out on a journey to Russia
passing through Moldavia, being
accompanied by a Turkish officer, ranking
as an agha. The year is 1784 and the
diplomat will describe the event in his
travel journal, which will later be
published in France. The traveling
expenses are supported by the sultan. The
account starts with the dispute between the
French diplomat and the Turk regarding
the way to acquire food, the French
wanting to obtain what they needed by
paying, the Turk contradicting him: “You
won't even get bread, I'm telling you; I
know the Moldavians, they want to be
beaten”
The author is trying to portray himself as
a moral person, not desiring to make the
Moldavians suffer. On the other hand he
simultaneously intends to justify the Turk's
position, given the fact that the money
supporting their journey belongs to the
sultan – he therefore chooses to also write
down the Turk's point of view: “do
remember that it is not just for me to sleep
without having eaten before; and when

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