September 20th, Thursday, 2007, Ip nº 208

The manipulation of culture by other means Versión en Español
By Carlos Lavagnino


Illustration by Carlos Almirón      

The world is complex and it changes, such an obvious thing. Luckily, for the restless ones and for those who seek to understand and live what it happens in all honesty.

However, a real misfortune for the institutions stalked by the bell-ringing of its decline, which are squeezed in less respectful exits.

Now, it is time to exemplify with a trio of a dreadful rising relation: the French State, one of its official stronghold of social “scientists”, the INSEE (Institute National de la Statistique et des Études Economiques), and a series of mass means of communication.

From the very beginning and in its deep demographic-welfare crisis, France has for a long time been forcing its citizens to join the traditional family model, which has certainly become more and more difficult.

Therefore, one should not be surprised when one employee of the state INSEE publishes an essay called “Couples live more”. In said piece of writing there are two kinds of treacherous manipulations of reality.

First of all, the compared information comes from the population census carried out in that country between 1999 and 2004, and in this case, it refers to the period of 40 to 90 years and it typecasts the relationships of people into four excluding categories with an ostensible limitation on its descriptive ability (those who never lived as a couple, widowers, mates or the separated ones). From here on, the article deals with surprising generalizations, and it even postulates that having two children increases people´ s possibilities of outlife.

But the greater distortion consists of nullifying completely the analysis of the cultural context, not taking into account the exceptions that correspond to:

a) Social pressure in order to follow certain model.

b) Discrimination according to the status wanted by the individuals, not only the resulting one.
c) Changes of time.

The verification of these noticeable omissions seems to refer to the failure of social institutionalized disciplines to include aspects of analysis, such as the cultural one, reluctant to be understood from the corporative prudishness.

What is left, an analytic hangover of fallacious quantifications is then recycled by the mass media, which reproduce the conclusions of the “research”, without even making an effort to downplay the results or to scarcely put them into context.

And the vicious circle is closed there, making possible that a corrupt arbitrariness turns into a quasi-truth which contaminates the space of culture perception with an extreme low sort resource: taking the original scientific abusive language, out of place from the beginning, and adding an additional reduction level (the newspaper “Clarín” front page directly said the following “It is proved that living together extends life”).

Nevertheless, the deliberate deformation and the reactionary corporativism have a clear limit in the individuals´ will to make use of an independent strategy when it comes to build tools in order to observe and project something.

There is also a whimsical and subtle trigger which is naturally underlying a difference: the positioning as regards the arising complexity of the scenarios. For the states, the academy and the media, a bad piece of news. But the man, hand in hand with the possibilities, is discovering that he and this complexity may become friends.

A happy break-up starts here.


  September 19th, 2007. Independent Perspective, Riorevuelto.org.


Inconsistency and lack of criticism, by Mercedes Rojas Machado.

This year, Rachid Bouhia, Head of the Research Division and Demographic Studies of the Insee (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of France) has undertaken a piece of research on the relation between the mortality risk and the marital situation, based on the French census carried out in 1999 and 2004... More


Comments

Me recuerda al capítulo de Sex & The City donde a Samantha le detectan cáncer de mama:

Samantha: I don't understand...how this happened to me?
Dr: Could be geneteics, but since there's no breast cancer in your family it could be a variety of factors: diet, lifestyle choices...
Samantha: Lifestyle choices?!
Dr:...Some studies have shown women who haven't had children have an increase chance of getting it.
Samantha: I see...so I brought this on myself
(...)
Samantha: ... like it's my fault! I shouldn't be punished for not having kids, I should be rewarded! since when did kids become the get-out-of-cancer free card!? He's basically saying that I'm a whore who deserves quimo! 
ana, 20/09/2007 16:27


You must be registered to be able to post a comment. Register here.

If you're already registered, you can login here:
E-mail:
Password: