[cp] Re:Activist community, shadow organisations
- --- In com-prac@y..., Fred Nichols "fwnickols" <nickols@a...> wrote:
>Perhaps we could talk about co-optation. It might be a good term to
> 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.
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 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