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Uncategorized

The Significance of Respect

This post provides further commentary on the work of Axel Honneth (pictured), described in a previous post as a key influence on Dirty Looks. Dirty Looks is about 4 months old now, and over the coming months I intend to provide further clarification on the central ideas behind this site. One of them is the […]

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Knowing Your Place Uncategorized

The Politics of the Playground

Like the workplace, schools provide fertile ground for Dirty Looks and its desire to explore the relational world, a world in which caring what other people think may be frustrating and often self-defeating, but ultimately unavoidable. Arguably more than teachers, the collective judgements of peers exert an intense hold over young people, to the extent […]

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Saving Face

Badges of Honour

A long-running saga in the UK, the delayed replacement of the Anti-Social Behaviour Order, or ASBO, is still being met with resistance from some quarters, including the Association of Chief Police Officers (Police chiefs worried by plans to scrap ASBOs). Among other reasons, police chiefs believe that the scrapping of the ASBO will hinder attempts […]

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The Family

Here Be Demons

The notion of demonic possession has a long history, going back at least as far as the New Testament. The gospels of Mark and Matthew for example took seriously the existence of demons that impose physical and emotional trauma on people they possess. The casting out of these demons was crucial to Christianity (and to some […]

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Keeping Score Saving Face

Spilt Milk

People are fond of saying they don’t suffer from regret – ‘no regrets’ a badge of honour to put on public display, a statement of strength in the face of crisis and failure. The public denial of regret is a performance, designed to show the world that a person’s moral and emotional fortitude can stand […]

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The Family

Women and Their Mothers

Jeanette Winterson’s upcoming biography (a great read by all accounts) is the latest in a long line of memoirs that put centre stage the relationship between author and mother. The content of Why be happy when you could be normal? occupies a similar emotional context to that portrayed in Nancy Friday’s classic My mother my […]

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Knowing Your Place

Crabs in Barrels

Recent research in the social sciences indicates the power of neighbourhoods as a key factor in the reproduction of social class differentials (poor neighborhoods key in income difference, study finds). Working in the North American context, researchers have found that “being raised in poor neighbourhoods plays a major role in explaining why African American children from middle-income […]

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Keeping Score

Martyrdom

The secularisation of martyrdom is often overlooked as a by-product of modernisation, but sufficient evidence of its existence can quite easily be found across the public and private domains of modern life. It is in the workplace though that martyrdom finds, while not exactly a natural home, a functional space within which its psychodramas can […]

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Knowing Your Place

A Sense of Belonging

For such a deeply personal concern, it’s odd how everybody yearns for a sense of belonging, a sense frustratingly just outside our grasp. The desire to belong is a defining characteristic of the nomadic individual (another nail in the philosophy of consciousness right there). Having the sense that you are not on your own, that […]