So, i just checked email today (oh dear me). There were so many fun notes from friends and from folks that i don’t yet know – silly congrats, intriguing questions, business proposals, etc. It’ll take me forever to sort out my email, but it was still such a nice little moment to be thankful for. Of course, i can’t help but emotionally react to the one cruel email:
Dear ‘Ms.’ Boyd,
I would certainly agree that you are a geek among sociologists, so-called, or maybe just simply a geek. And a Yupster of course. Have you ever read any real sociologists, of which Max Weber is arguably the paradigm? Ever study Nietzsche, where all serious modern discourse begins, if not ends? (There is Heidegger, of course.)
A rebel from Lancaster PA might explain a lot. You and the people you allegedly study should “get a life,” it would seem.
(Try some Joan Osborne rather than Ani Defranco — all of you spaceshots spell your names wrong, it would seem, or have ones that should be dumped at least: Shulamith Firestone?)
Ed W. – PhD., Chicago; Dok. Rer. Nat., Freiburg im Breisgau [that’s in Bavaria, btw]
First, there’s no doubt that i raise my eyebrows about being called a sociologist. Sure, many of the tools that i currently use for studying Friendster come from sociology (and i’ve even drawn from all 3 aforementioned philosophers in various arguments i’ve made). Still, i think that my advantage in the academic sphere is that i draw from such a variety of methods and theories and come up with new ways to bridge them all together. That said, i never take issue with people labeling me as a sociologist (or an anthropologist or even a computer scientist) even though that doesn’t quite describe what i do. Still, people need a category.
But aside from that point, i just don’t understand what motivates someone to read a profile and write a scathing note to the person profiled in an attempt to discredit her. What satisfaction does this man derive from the knowledge that this note got through? What is so offensive about such a profile? Is it not valid enough because it is not written in discourse speak or littered with references to academics that most of the audience would not recognize? In my many conversations wtih Michael, i constantly referenced different academics, explaining what their foundational contributions were, but i totally understood that he had no reason to publish them. But it’s clear that this man took the time to reference what i present digitally in order to write this note.
It reminds me of what a friend of mine once told me… he said that you finish your PhD when you hate your advisor, you hate your topic, you hate your life, you hate everything. Apparently, this man never stopped hating. So weird.