Michael Rosen

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This is Professor Loic Wacquant, an "I am a SOCIOLOGIST" Professor at Berkeley - he's very important. A very smart and important scholar. I sent Prof Wacquant an offer of a copy of my book, to perhaps use in his classes. I apparently made the mistake of sending two email letters to him. The dear professor wrote back: "If I didn't respond, obviously is that I have no interest in the work. There are tens of narrative books of this kind. Every author (parent) thinks their book (child) is unique. I don't use narratives in any of my classes, I'm a sociologist, not a story-teller. Regards, LW"

But of course, we all use narratives, we are all storytellers, and sociologists and all other academicians are engaged in a long process of telling stories. Elevating certain stories to an anointed realm of "truth." "Truth" is a story. Isnt' it?

I wrote back to Prof Wacquant, asking about the difference between being a "sociologist" versus a "storyteller," but he told me I was just bothering him.

I wish he would engage in a dialogue. I'd love a dialogue. Students in a course have to accept a certain bullying from a pulpit - you are just story tellers, I'm a scholar; you aren't special, I am special (you think your book and your children are special, but there are tens and tens of you),

But as a person, just a person outside the institution of the Academy (think Erving Goffman) fleeing from dialogue is an invisible way of being like the bully being stood up to and fading away; "I'm melting, I'm melting."

"I am a sociologist - not a storyteller" !! ~ that seems cute, it seems precious, it seems a touch haughty and a bit supercilious. It's sad some "scholars" hide behind self-defined terms to look down on the rest of us out here.

And yes, I am absolutely and completely grateful to the teachers, academics and scholars who have been using What Else But Home in their classes.

And I love you, Loic. Really, I do. Write to me, I miss you. Hugs.

 

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