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[cp] Re:Activist community, shadow organisations

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  • smithjd2teleport
    ... Perhaps we could talk about co-optation. It might be a good term to define in our glossary. I respond to the term co-opt very negatively. To me the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 11, 2002
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      --- In com-prac@y..., Fred Nichols "fwnickols" <nickols@a...> wrote:
      >
      > I never said it wasn't. But,
      > being blissfully ignorant of the
      > situation involving the nuclear
      > physicists, I'll wager that the
      > formal organization will take
      > steps to make that informal
      > organization a part of the formal
      > organization and that, after all,
      > is the essence of co-optation.

      Perhaps we could talk about co-optation. It might be a good term to
      define in our glossary. I respond to the term "co-opt" very
      negatively. To me the statement that the fomral organization co-opts
      a community implies that the formal organization will somehow absorb
      a community in a way that reduces its legitimacy and potency. Am I
      understanding the term differently from everyone else?

      The point of the Schlumberger story was that the "formal
      organization" seemed to listen to the nuclear physics community and
      asked all the other communities to similarly write white papers. As
      I understood the story, the request implied some kind of contract
      with the community: "you think and write; we will listen." If I am
      really listening to you, can I still be "co-opting" you? Do we as
      interveners (coaches of communities and their leaders) or as members
      of a community have to assess whether we're being listened to?
      That's an important but very subtle assessment, and we may never be
      priviledge to completely know the truth about the matter.

      Perhaps my somewhat carelessly worded posting yesterday morning was
      trying to get at the idea that we need a refined vocabulary to talk
      about the way in which a community participates in the life of a
      larger organization (and visa versa).

      John
      --*
      --* John D. Smith, 2025 SE Elliott Ave, Portland OR 97214
      --* http://home.teleport.com/~smithjd V: 503.963.8229
      --* Winter '02 Online CoP Workshop starts Jan 28: www.ewenger.com/edu
      --* "As iron sharpens iron, so one human sharpens another" -- Hebrew
      proverb
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