Live Blogging: Seminar in Sociological Theory #8 or 9?

Giorgio Agamben –

Agamben’s text State of Exception investigates how the suspension of laws within a state of emergency or crisis can become a prolonged state of being. More specifically, Agamben addresses how this prolonged state of exception operates to remove individuals of their citizenship.

When speaking about the USA Patriot Act, issued by the United States Senate on October 26, 2001, Agamben writes, “What is new about President Bush’s order is that it radically erases any legal status of the individual, thus producing a legally unnamable and unclassifiable being. Not only do the Taliban captured in Afghanistan not enjoy the status of POW’s as defined by the Geneva Convention, they do not even have the status of people charged with a crime according to American laws (Agamben, pg 3).”

Many of the individuals captured in Afghanistan were taken to be held at Guantánamo Bay without trial. These individuals were termed as “enemy combatants.” Until July 7, 2006, these individuals had been treated outside of the Geneva Conventions by the United States administration.


Hughes – variety of settings that fall under a category (sport) – what are the common features that are the same?

“cooling out the mark.”

What an interesting phrase! Google led me to this 1952 article by Erving Goffman. He starts with the perspective of professional con artists. In their jargon, “cooling the mark” out refers to techniques designed to prevent the mark, or victim, from calling the police or otherwise making his loss public. The cooler (the con man assigned to this task) can use various approaches: He can emphasize the embarrassment involved, he can emphasize the hopelessness of trying to recover the lost money, he can encourage the mark to see the con as a learning experience, and so forth.

From there, Goffman moves to a much broader view of how people deal with their losses, which Goffman sees as primarily a problem of helping people reconcile their internally held identities with facts. He sees the same basic dynamics in handling an angry customer, in rejecting a suitor, or in firing an employee.

The problem we encounter as sociologists doing ANT is not the start/stop – but how do you not stabilize? Don’t look for centres in which things eminate and work their way down (to flatten). Foucault flattens the panopticon – Governor is another point in the panopticon.

There are no findings, but the reassembling of a network. Reassembled –

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