Tag: Hope

Imaginations: Fifty Years of Essex Sociology. Rave reviews.

IMAGINATIONS: FIFTY YEARS OF ESSEX SOCIOLOGY EDITED BY KEN PLUMMER was published on September 1st The photo shows the ‘sneak preview’ at the Wivenhoe Book Shop. This unique book tells the story of the Sociology Department at the University of Essex through fifty contributions from past and present. With many photographs, the students and lecturers…

I recently presented this little ditty at the start of a presentation on Cosmopolitan Sexualities in Amsterdam  (for the full summary click here)

Today, being  a difficult day, I thought I would put it on the web site.

Is That All There Is?

 Unknown

(this can be cheerily sung along with Peggy Lee to the song by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and inspired by a short story by Thomas Mann: Disillusionment).

 

When I was fifteen, I discovered homosexuality.

They said it was a crime.

And a sickness, a sin, a shame and a sadness.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

When I was twenty-five, I discovered liberation.

It was GLF; we were out and proud; we made demands.

We were modern homosexuals out to change the world.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

When I was thirty, I discovered research.

Transvestites and paedophiles and sado-masochists and more:

The conflicting meanings of the whole damn thing!

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

When I was thirty-five, I discovered AIDS and feminism.

I knew the tragedy of AIDS: twenty five millions dead and still counting

And the tragedy of feminism: its interminable divides.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

When I was forty-five, I went global and postmodern.

Queer had come around again;

And rights was on the world agenda.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

When I was sixty, I nearly died: but I didn’t.

Starry starry nights and the incorrigible plurality of snow.

The multiplicities of life, of death, of suffering.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

So life goes on as I look to seventy.

The inevitability of disappointment and the importance of hope.

And I say to myself: is that all there is? So let’s keep dancing.

 

Remembering Michael Schofield

A dear friend Michael Schofield, the researcher and campaigner, died on Thursday 27th March, aged 94.     This “Tribute to Michael” was presented at Golders Green Crematorium on Tuesday 15h April by Ken   For timeline , click here…….. For the service, Click here  The service 1 I first met Michael in 1967 as…

Someone who wrote to me recently had this quote attached from Aldous Huxley; and I rather liked it. It reminded me of one by William James. Here it is:

Unknown

It’s rather embarrassing to have given one’s entire life

to pondering the human predicament

and to find that in the end one has little more to say than,

‘Try to be a little kinder.

Aldous Huxley (1894 – 1963)

Source: Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography

images

A MANIFESTO FOR A CRITICAL HUMANISM

IN 

SOCIOLOGY

ON QUESTIONING THE HUMAN SOCIAL WORLD

 Ken Plummer

(Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, U.K.)

 This was First Presented at the VI Congreso Andaluz de Sociologiá, University of Cadiz, November 2012

In June it was  published in

Daniel Nehring: Sociology: A Text and Reader ( Pearson, 2013).


This is the first edition; it is now under revision for a 2nd version. Comments are welcome

Contact Ken Plummer at plumk@essex.ac.uk

 

_________________________________________________ 

Thou shalt not answer questionnaires
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs,

            Nor with compliance
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit

            A social science

– W.H. Auden  ‘Under Which Lyre’. 1946

 

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, 1869

These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. William James:  The Will to Believe. 1896

 

SUMMARY

  1. Prologue: A very human animal in an all too human world
  2. On the Human Search for Meaning
  3. On Sociology
  4. The Challenge of Humanism
  5. Righting the Troubles with Humanism
  6. On Critical Humanism
  7. The Human Condition: Obdurate Features of the Human World
  8. On Human Potentials, Capabilities and Rights
  9. The Challenge of Plural Worlds, Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism
  10. On Becoming Human: The Process of Humanization
  11. A Sociology of the People:  Being Practical and Pursuing the Wise Society
  12. We are the Story Telling Animals
  13. The Politics and ethics of Humanism: Living a Better Life and Making a Better World
  14. Dark Hope and Dreaming Ahead in Perpetually Troubled Timers: Key Directions For a Future Humanistic Agenda
  15. Further Reading

 Click here for the rest

One day course on illness

A one day course will be run by Ken on illness stories on Friday June 14th Stories of Health and Illness: An Introduction: (Essex Short Courses in Social Research) Professor Ken Plummer from Department of Sociology, University of Essex At 09:30 in Seminar Room 3, Constable Building, Essex University, Colchester Campus . Course overview Telling…

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Kalama Sutra

“Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

– the Buddha

 

Some Recent Presentations

Handouts for recent presentations       Today I have posted some summary handouts of recent lectures that I have given.   The first was given  at a lecture for Spanish sociologists.  I launched the manifesto for Critical Humanism at that time; and this was the handout I gave them as I lectured to powerpoints.…

Is that all there is?

 

Unknown-2

( This can be sung along with Peggy Lee to the song by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and inspired by a short story by Thomas Mann: Disillusionment. I used to play this a lot when I was young; and I even played it to my first year students for many years. I was a cheery little soul. Here I write my own little lyric for it!).

When I was fifteen, I discovered homosexuality.

They said it was a crime.

And a sickness, a sin, a shame and a sadness.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was twenty-five, I discovered liberation.

It was GLF; we were out and proud; we made demands.

We were modern homosexuals out to change the world.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was thirty, I discovered research.

Transvestites and paedophiles and sado-masochists and more:

The conflicting meanings of the whole damn thing!

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was thirty-five, I discovered AIDS and feminism.

I knew the tragedy of AIDS: twenty five millions dead and still counting

And the tragedy of feminism: its interminable divides.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was forty-five, I went global and postmodern.

Queer had come around again;

And rights was on the world agenda.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was sixty, I nearly died: but I didn’t.

Starry starry nights and the incorrigible plurality of snow.

The multiplicities of life, of death, of suffering.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

So life goes on as I look to seventy.

The inevitability of disappointment

and the importance of hope.

And I say to myself: is that all there is?

So let’s keep dancing.

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