martes, 24 de mayo de 2011

About social ties in city, between the flesh and stone.

The last book I read was Flesh and Stone: The Body And The City In Western Civilization. It was written by Richard Sennett, an eminent American sociologist and professor at London School of Economics. It`s an essay about the history of body conceptions in the Western civilization. The core is the way in that the body conceptions are linked with city conceptions. In this sense, Sennett points out that the form of the city is crossed by different meanings that articulate senses of human relations. To justify the plot the author exhibits the presence of the body conceptions, its character and the inherent relations with the physical and symbolical form that the city acquires in different places in the history of Western civilization. The sociologist began analizing the situation in the Athens of Pericles, the Imperial Rome and the medieval Venice to end with an analysis of modern cities. The chapter that I consider most interesting is that that analyses the implications of the transition from pagans beliefs to Christianity in the meanings associated to the body and the city in the Imperial Rome. According to Sennett it was a transition from an exalting of “flesh and stone“ to an annullment of the body, that is expressed in a “ pilmigraje in time” of Christianity.  Moreover, the text evidences the differences between the ancient and the modern Christianity, as well as the inconsistency between Christian dogmas and their social practices. Definitely, it’s an excellent essay in sociological terms. Its arguments are clear, fairly convincing and innovative. In addition, the author is one of the voices more important in the field of urban sociology. There's no doubt this is a book that social sciences students and people interested in the sociocultural processes linked to the development of the cities should read.
Title page of the essay.

martes, 10 de mayo de 2011

The best day of my life?

I don`t have a best day in my life, but i have a lot of good times. I don´t believe in the possibility of define my life by a special moment. Perhaps not even through many good times. Not even all of them would suffice.  Although it might be able to say much about it. In this sense there are moments in our lives that can be significant for all. At least that's what they tell us.  Could this mean that our lives are more alike than we think? In some ways it may be so. But I think it's more a matter of uniform narrative strategies. Society tells us what we must relieve. Society makes us believe that we have a better day in our lives. Anyway, now I must talk about the best day of my life and I am in a small mess. Try to make it as simple as possible.
1. The best day of my life was when I was born.
2. I don´t remember that important day.
3. But I suppose it must have not been a nice day, at least in my opinion: I was born in mid-July, in mid of a typical rainstorm in southern Chile.
4. Why is it important? It is important for example for purposes of fulfilling my “English” work. Of course, apart from other considerations.
5. What is special about it? I suppose my mother was present. She wore hospital clothes and I was naked. There was a bald men dressed in white and a few little women who went from one place to another. They looked at me weird and I am not understand what was happening. In fact, I not understand yet what happens. Think of it, I do not know what is special about this. But it is special.
6. It was great. I hope born again.

The average family.

martes, 3 de mayo de 2011

My darling notebook. My favourite piece of technology

I got my notebook four years ago when I join into university.  I bought it because my desktop computer was heavy and I can`t carry it from Puerto Montt to Santiago. A notebook is a light device and in this sense is easily transportable. Moreover, the hardware performance is similar to desktop computer; you can play movies or play videogames if you want. Furthermore, notebooks are easily of use: it physical use is easily comprehensible and operative systems generally are very intuitive. As if this were not enough reasons, you can use it in any place and when you want if supply battery is appropriately charged.
I bought my notebook particularly because in a social sciences discipline students must write essays frequently, and read books of a lot of pages that are un-printables –by a saving an a ecological issues. Moreover, when I join into university I discover an additional need: connectivity. We need connect with classmates and teachers to send them digital documents, to solve doubts or to draw up a plan for study. By it I use my notebook all day of weeks, at least thirty minutes by day. Sometimes I must use my notebook the whole day.
Notebook is a very useful piece of technology, especially for universitary students. Without it diary activities could be most difficult. I love it.

My darling notebook.