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Richard H. Weisberg

As to the risks of what I call the ‘triangulation’ of both public power and private emotion, I extend my earlier treatment of ‘mediation’ in The Merchant of Venice to Measure for Measure, King Lear, Hamlet, and The Tempest, linking to them Shakespeare’s Sonnet 134. For Shakespeare, whether poet or playwright, a private triangulation of direct romantic obligation is as nettlesome as the public official’s similar behaviour – as when the Duke ‘outsources’ Viennese power to Angelo – and the results are quite as disastrous. The complex and highly legalistic sonnet concerns the triangulation of passion from the speaker to a friend. The beloved winds up ensnaring both through ‘the statute of [her] beauty’. The word ‘surety’ – used centrally in the poem and twice in Merchant – pinpoints, through the delegation to a third party of obligations otherwise charged directly to two committed parties, the underlying Shakespearean problematic.

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Development research

Convergent or divergent approaches and understandings of poverty? An introduction

John R. Campbell and Jeremy Holland

Is it possible or indeed desirable to combine qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methods and approaches to better understand poverty? This special section of Focaal seeks to explore a number of contentious, inter-related issues that arise from multimethod research that is driven by growing international policy concerns to reduce global poverty. We seek to initiate an interdisciplinary dialog about the limits of methodological integration by examining existing research practice to better understand the strengths and limitations of combining methods which derive from different epistemological premises. We ask how methods might be combined to better address issues of causality, and whether the concept of triangulation offers a possible way forward. In examining existing research we find little in the way of shared understanding about poverty and, due to the dominance of econometrics and its insistence on using household surveys, very little middle ground where other disciplines might collaborate to rethink key conceptual and methodological issues.

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David Davies

Murray Smith’s plea for a “cooperative naturalism” that adopts a “triangulational” approach to issues in film studies is both timely and well-defended. I raise three concerns, however: one is external, relating to this strategy’s limitations, and two are internal, relating to Smith’s application of the strategy. While triangulation seems appropriate when we ask about the nature of film experience, other philosophical questions about film have an ineliminable normative dimension that triangulation cannot address. Empirically informed philosophical reflection upon the arts must be “moderately pessimistic” in recognizing this fact. The internal concerns relate to Smith’s claims about the value and neurological basis of cinematic empathy. First, while empathy plays a central role in film experience, I argue that its neurological underpinnings fail to support the epistemic value he ascribes to it. Second, I question Smith’s reliance, in triangulating, upon the work of the Parma school on “mirror neurons.”

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The Eisenstein-Vygotsky-Luria Collaboration

Triangulation and Third Culture Debates

Julia Vassilieva

This article analyzes the unique historical collaboration between the revolutionary Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein (1898–1948), the cultural psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934), and the founder of contemporary neuropsychology, Alexander Luria (1902–1977). Vygotsky’s legacy is associated primarily with the idea that cultural mediation plays a crucial role in the emergence and development of personality and cognition. His collaborator, Luria, laid the foundations of contemporary neuropsychology and demonstrated that cultural mediation also changes the functional architecture of the brain. In my analysis, I demonstrate how the Eisenstein-Vygotsky-Luria collaboration exemplifies a strategy of productive triangulation that harnesses three disciplinary perspectives: those of cultural psychology, neuropsychology, and film theory and practice.

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Film, Art, and the Third Culture

A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film—Précis

Murray Smith

In this overview of my recent book, I outline its main themes, questions, and arguments. Part 1 explores the applicability of philosophical naturalism to aesthetics and the arts. Searching for the principles that might undergird a naturalistic or “third cultural” approach to the arts, I defend a model of “triangulation” that seeks consilience among phenomenological, psychological, and neurophysiological evidence and that relates to two further strategies: “thick explanation,” combining personal and “subpersonal” levels of analysis, and “theory construction,” conceived as an empirically oriented alternative to conceptual analysis. Part 2 examines emotion in the arts and in film as a relevant and fertile territory for a naturalized aesthetics, in relation to Charles Darwin’s account of the expression of the emotions, niche construction, and the theory of the “extended mind.”

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Community and Creativity in the Classroom

An Experiment in the Use of the Guest Interview, Focus Group Interviews and Learning Journals in the Teaching and Learning of the Anthropology of Modern Dance

Jonathan Skinner and Kirk Simpson

This article assesses the experimental teaching and learning of an anthropology module on 'modern dance'. It reviews the teaching and learning of the modern dances (lecture, observation, embodied practice, guest interview), paying attention to the triangulation of investigation methods (learning journal, examination, self-esteem survey, focus group interview). Our findings suggest that—in keeping with contemporary participatory educational approaches—students prefer guest interviews and 'performances of understanding' for teaching and learning, and that focus groups and learning journals were the preferred research methods for illuminating the students' teaching and learning experience.

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Cartographies of Communicability and the Anthropological Archive

Civil War Executions and the Harvard Irish Study

Brigittine French

This article traces ideological constructions of communication that enable powerful actors to determine what counts as silences, lies and surpluses in efficacious narratives about violence (Briggs 2007) in order to elucidate occlusions regarding legacies of the Civil War in the Irish Free State. It does so through a precise triangulation of multiple competing and overlapping narratives from unpublished fieldnotes, interviews, published ethnographies and other first-person accounts. The inquiry highlights social memories of the Irish Civil War that have been 'assumed, distorted, misunderstood, manipulated, underestimated, but most of all, ignored' (Dolan 2003: 2). The article argues that the excesses of the anthropological archive make the recuperation of a multiplicity of collective memories possible through a linguistic anthropological perspective that enumerates the kind of erasures at play in contentious memory-making moments, highlights polyvocality in metapragmatic discourse and tracks the gaps in entextualisation processes of historical narratives about political turmoil.

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Gianfranco Pasquino

This chapter analyzes the unexpected and rapid end of the second

Government led by Massimo D’Alema; the equally unexpected, but

less rapid and more complex, birth of the second Government led

by Giuliano Amato; and the selection of the Center-Left’s next

Prime Ministerial candidate. I argue that the crisis of the D’Alema

Government and the formation of the Amato Government were

complicated by the crosscutting of two divisive issues: the referendum

on the electoral system and the choice of the Center-Left’s

Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2001 election. Conversely, the

way in which the Amato Government was created reveals that, in

spite of the electoral reform known as mattarellum, the relationships

between parties and Parliament, Parliament and Government,

and the triangulation among the president, Government and

Parliament have changed little, or not at all, in the Italian Republic.

Italy’s political-institutional transition is destined to continue

until a new political and institutional configuration comes into

being. In turn, the ways in which the Olive Tree/Center-Left chose

its candidate to Palazzo Chigi show that the coalition has not yet

been able to arrive at appropriate and consensual rules.

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"The Riots Were Where the Police Were

Deconstructing the Pendelton Riot

Bob Jeffery and Waqas Tufail

This article explores the social dynamics in the city of Salford at the time of the Pendleton riot, which took place amidst the four days of national rioting that began with the killing of Mark Duggan in Tottenham by the Metropolitan Police Service. Attempting to counter what we see as a dominant narrative of the riots as 'shopping with violence', this article explores the development of the significant disorder in Salford through a triangulation of accounts, including an extensive review of journalistic accounts, alongside interviews from a dozen people who witnessed the riots as police officers, residents and spectators. Beginning with an overview of the events of August 9th 2011, we argue that the deployment of officers in riots gear in the vicinity of Salford Precinct proved provocative, and created a focal point for the widespread antagonism felt towards the police. Furthermore, we suggest that an understanding of local contextual factors is critical both in terms of answering the question ‘why Salford?’, but also in terms of explaining the ferocity of the violence targeted towards officers of Greater Manchester Police (in contrast to the focus on looting in nearby Manchester city-centre). Interpreting the riots as a response to punitive policing policies that have accompanied state-directed policies of large-scale gentrification, we highlight the degree to which the 'contestations over space' that characterized the riot pointed to an underlying politics of resistance (despite lacking 'formal' political articulation).