Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#adjunct realities: crossing domains, navigating networks

PoSR graphic ©1978-2014 Sally A Applin & Michael D Fischer 
…or why I keep having such a hard time keeping up on this blog I now have three fat posts in drafts. The quick catch-up one got fat in a hurry thanks to Vegara v. California, #WeAreNNMC,  #yesallwomen, and a fund-raising campaign for Mary-Faith Cerasoli that is suffering side effects of retaliation and bullying (yes, sometimes #adjuncts abuse other adjuncts ~ power relationships trump solidarity and humanity here too). With the bullying/retaliation and a uses of twitter post, that makes three.  Any one of the so-called quick catch-

Such is our polysocial reality, mine in particular navigating and crossing back and forth across interest domains and social media. Turns out too that PolySocial Reality (PoSR) is a cross-disciplinary sub-domain that
...describes the condition of information flowing in a system in multiple ways at multiple times and how people, software, and machines act on it (or not)....People and things act on information at the same (synchronous) or different (asynchronous) times. This creates different outcomes such as a lack of understanding, or partial understanding which can lead to more messages needing to be created or messages not being received as well as sociability though mediated devices at the expense of the local locale. These conditions can lead to a lack of cooperation....Each person in the network possesses a perspectual intersection of many potential resources for information and interaction, only some of which can be instantiated in a given instance, considering constraints of time, cognitive capacity, and mutual exclusion.
That's academia and the knowledge game for you: there is a discipline for everything. If there is also an app for everything, we could all use the app for this one. Both sets, social media activism and PoSR remind me of  Clifford Geertz ~ tech mediated: "suspended in webs of significance" we have spun with (more than) a little help from our friends, IT and social media. Such is the stuff digital identities are made of.

Sexism, Social Media, Campus Culture, and Identities the topic of an excellent blog post by Bonnie Stewart about a recent presentation. The accompanying Slide Share presentation is being cranky about embedding, but here's the link,  Social Media: Making Sense of Signals. Ana Fores' recent post, Grads Make Forceful Statement & Accuse HigherEd of Violating Title IX Gender Equity Law, shows how students in Brown's class of 2014 added action to the story. 

Bonnie's talk was 
...about how social media amplifies all aspects of who we are and what we think and believe, and reflects society’s power relations as much as it also actively tries to shape them. I talked about how the stories we tell ourselves about technologies are often deterministic, even scapegoating, focusing blame on gadgets rather than on ourselves. It was a culture talk, a structure talk, and a history talk, in addition to being a social media talk. I was proud of it.
So let's use it right, to do the right thing, and not get carried away by power relationships, control games or getting even.


  1. I love this post, and the image you use with the three-headed being (I would call it a goddess, but it's a hermaphrodite, even though the woman is primary), which so vividly captures the context of what you say.

    Not only are you trying to do all these things at once, but a primary goal (the woman in the center image?) is to have readers think about the connections between Higher Ed and life outside. And as we see, in California, in New Mexico, in New York, life has had a way of creeping up on adjuncts, taking over our lives and subjugating us to the vagaries of retaliation and bullying.

    Hopefully others will come together and see this too, rally behind all these folks at these different places -- behind these brave souls -- and fight. I know you do: thank you!

    In sol(idarity),

    Ana M. Fores Tamayo, Adjunct Justice
    Facebook Page:

  2. I couldn't resist that graphic as soon as I saw it on PolySocial Reality (PoSR) wiki ~ in turn discovered through a link in a comment on Bonnie's post. That process itself is, in my view, emblematic of the interconnected nature of networks and identities. The image fits most of us [insert appropriate verbal] on distributed networks ~ working, researching, exploring, learning, teaching, embedded in them.

    I see a major disconnect between distributed networks/SNA (social network analysis and power-oriented hierarchical top-down marketing/organizational based model that works to broadcast and control the message. I am coming think this disconnect, with both (and variants along the spectrum) operating and interacting in the same online social spaces, is a significant factor in public and private displays of online nastiness ~ or just call it exercise of power and control by the means at hand online. So how does the distributed network model neutralize hierarchical power structures?


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