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Munamania #7: In It for the Money

 
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Munan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Munamania #7: In It for the Money Reply with quote

In It for the Money

It is always nice to see pop stars prove academics wrong. I was, however, not so pleased when Rihanna proved French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu wrong at my cost. Or, to be fair to Rihanna, it was mainly me proving Bourdieu wrong – at my own expenses. According to Bourdieu, almost anything we do is meant to show our wealth and authority. With wealth he does not just mean financial wealth. In specific social circles, what Bourdieu calls symbolic wealth can be at least equally important as the amount of money we possess. The person wanting to join an elite dinner club has to have table manners, the indie musician needs the notion that he or she is not ‘in it for the money’, the rapper has to have ‘street credibility’. They all need to show repeatedly that they have it as well, since our symbolic wealth determines the degree of authority we have in our social circles.

I find much truth in Bourdieu’s theory. When I look at myself, I can see that when I became a university teacher at the faculty of arts, I started to gather the kind of symbolic wealth needed in academic circles. I exchanged the suit and tie that I wore as a management consultant for tweed jackets, turtleneck sweaters and corduroy trousers. I quoted Shakespeare when commenting on my students’ progress. In my summer holiday, I read James Joyce’s Ulysses – and made sure I told people that I did so.

Last week, the teaching staff was invited to be present at the instalment of the board of the Arts and Culture Student’s association, followed by a party. During that party, I stood alongside the dance floor with some of my colleagues, sipping wine, watching the young folks dancing their dances bemusedly – until the song ‘SOS’ by Rihanna blared out of the speakers. This song happens to do something to me. Apart from the fact that it effects me in a way rather similar to Viagra, it also makes me dance quite suggestively, whether I want to or not. It makes me illustrate as explicitly as possible with any available dancing partner the saying that dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal idea. And since the only dancing partners present were innocent first year female students and young gay boys, it made me loose any symbolic wealth that I might have gathered over the past four years.


Last edited by Munan on Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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cfos



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"And since the only dancing partners present were innocent first year female students and young gay boys, it made me loose any symbolic wealth that I might have gathered over the past four years."

And if your moves are like your prose, I'm sure you gained symbolic wealth in the student population as the "cool" teacher. Essentially, you are manipulating populations. Furthermore, your students may also positively evaluate you -- assuming your department does that. In addition, they may als o further promote your classes by word of mouth since you are the "cool" professor. In effect, you will likely regain, your symbolic wealth with the aristocracy, providing the above occurs. Who knows, maybe other faculty will value your judgement regarding other things since you are "in touch" with the students and they seem to like you. Time will tell.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to dance with you sometime Munan! But I find it funny that you dance like that to that song. Is there any other songs that turn you into the whore of the dancefloor? Lol. You know...I shouldn't even be talking, cause I'm most likely worst than you. Lol. But kudos to you Munan! Dance the way you want to!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I demand you come to Enschede and start teaching at Saxion...
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Alternate Spideygal



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who? Me or Munan?
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Munan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
And if your moves are like your prose, I'm sure you gained symbolic wealth in the student population as the "cool" teacher.


Why, thank you. But I'm not sure that's the symbolic wealth I'm looking for. As a young teacher, you need to make your loyalties clear. I don't really want my students to see me as 'one of them' and like to think that only because I teach philosophy of art I'm already the cool teacher (in truth, it's more the nerdy teacher, but oh well...).

Anyhow, I wouldn't have written that collumn if I hadn't found it rather entertaining as well. It combined well with Bourdieu's theory and I like to put things like that in my writings as well.

Spideygirl wrote:
Is there any other songs that turn you into the whore of the dancefloor?


There are. The song "SOS" takes its sample from, for example: "Tainted Love" by soft cell. Also, "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood. Oh, and "Relight My Fire" by Take That.

Quote:
But kudos to you Munan! Dance the way you want to!


But maybe, in this particular crowd, I should've fled to the toilets...

Aramor wrote:
I demand you come to Enschede and start teaching at Saxion...


Oh look, there's one student already who takes the "cool teacher" approach. But really, teaching at college is nothing for me. I prefer universities, but I do guest lectures in philosophy of art or art and society (e.g. Theo van Gogh, or the Danish cartoon affair),or literature. So just ask your teacher to invite me...

Lol, looks like Í'm a whore off the dancefloor as well...
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cfos



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"As a young teacher, you need to make your loyalties clear. I don't really want my students to see me as 'one of them' and like to think that only because I teach philosophy of art I'm already the cool teacher (in truth, it's more the nerdy teacher, but oh well...)."

Perhaps. Of course, it depends on the type of classes/lectures you are providing -- which i'm sure you would agree with.

"Anyhow, I wouldn't have written that collumn if I hadn't found it rather entertaining as well."

But, of course. Dull stories don't go places and self-deprication is always popular.
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Aramor



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spideygirl_Conveys wrote:
Who? Me or Munan?


You can come over and teach me something else Wink

Anyhoo, Munan... I could try someday...
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