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Anthropology "Making UP People"
“Making Up People”
In this second essay assignment, please draw Ian Hacking’s “Making Up People” Martin, and Karkazis to consider one of the following quotes:
“Social change creates new categories of people, but the counting is no mere report of developments. It elaborately, often philanthropically, creates new ways for people to be”
--Hacking (p. 161)
“At a deeper level, we began to see that for all our intention of understanding other cultural worlds, as long as our own assumptions—about gender , say – remain unanalyzed, they could creep into accounts of other places” –Martin (p. 4)
“Medical culture has a powerful system of socialization which exacts conformity as the price of participation. It is also a cultural system whose ideas and practices pervade popular culture and in which, therefore, we all participate to some degree” – Martin (p. 13)
Essays should no less than 3 pages in length, typed, double spaced, and using Times New Roman Font. Essays should include, in-text citations and references cited page. Please, no headings.
DUE – March 17th
WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO BE The paper titled Making up People was presented by Ian Hacking at Reconstructing Individualism, a diverse gathering held at Stanford in the fall of 1983. New ways of classification open up or close down possibilities of human action. Classification of people affects the people classified and they change in virtue of being classified; moreover the ways in which people change have a sort of feedback effect on the systems of classification themselves. Nomenclature of a particular conceptual structure is what Hacking calls “making up people” (Hacking, 1986, p. 161). Hacking admittedly aimed to look beyond just at what people are; reflecting very little on the ordinary dynamics of human interaction and instead look at what people might be. He calls this imaginary philosophical and abstract notion Dynamic Nominalism. According to Hacking, dynamic nominalism continues to intrigue philosophers and social scientists alike because of its primary argument that numerous kinds of human beings and human acts come hand in hand with our invention of the categories labelling them (Hacking, 1986). Inventions of traditions, people and nations are resisted because people perceive of themselves and their traditions as something that have endured through centuries and therefore do not like to hear that they are a recent social invention. Nevertheless, it is the only intelligible species of nominalism, Hacking argues, perhaps the only one that even gesture at an account of how the common names and the named could so neatly fit like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.