Thursday, 23 November 2006

Language of Exclusion

A story I have been thinking about lately. A friend of mine did her Phd in sociology and gave it to me to have a gander at. Her area of study was all around the use of language in our society to create exclusion. Now the ironic part is that I could barely get through the first ten pages. Why? Because I did not have my degree in Sociology. So I had to have a dictionary next to me and look up every second word to try and decipher exactly what it was she was trying to say in sociology language.

These languages of exclusion are created all the time. In my work for oponia, I feel I constantly have to learn new vocabularies. That of lawyers as an example or investors. The funny part is that it isn't really all that complicated when you get right down to it. It just takes a while to cut through all the BS.

I already fired one law firm for this very reason. They simply could not answer any of my questions in a meaningful way that I understood. There were always these long complicated emails that went around in circles with terminology whose only role was to make me feel stupid and them smart. Then they would charge me for their brilliance.

Yeah, I don't think so.

Common languages are what bring us together. It's why I love the Web. New types of universal conversations that are being created on an on-going basis. And those conversations are not usually expressed only in traditional text. They are dimensionally linked, visual enhanced and experiential. And most of us get it regardless of traditional barriers that would create exclusion such as formal education, economic background, and country borders.

Now, if only the technology patent lawyers could get on board with that... ;-)


Mark said...

And while I'm suggesting authors, this post absolutely screams Foucault, and his ideas relating to discursive environments, and dispositifs (essentially the cognitive, social and cultural environments that define eras in society/ies which define what ideas/speech/people can be included, and what are excluded, and hence don't exist.

The languages created by any discipline create discipline (yeah, I intended the pun), and thereby help to define relationships of power, and the subjects of those relationships.

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