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Sign me up! According to Franck Leibovici, the paperback version produces a different experience [from the ebook]. Like this: Like Loading Written by katherinechen November 13, at am. Posted in academia , books , culture , professions , research Tagged with books , ethnography , sociology. Della Reese could charm the birds out of the trees! Thanks for making this available. Howard Aldrich November 13, at pm. Search for:. Blog at WordPress. But the point, which I find as comforting and inspiring as the sage advice that Becker , has famously doled out in his how to books, is that we can actually accomplish quite a lot of academic thinking and writing through the activities e.

This trick is not one that the authors conscientiously articulate in their exchanges; rather, it is built into the architecture of Thinking Together. We see, for instance, Faulkner tentatively trying out whether Sewell, Jr. While Thinking Together may ostensibly be a mere prelude to Do You Know, it actually engages with a broader set of sociologically relevant questions than does the polished book.

I walked away from Do You Know feeling that I would have liked a little more guidance about how understanding the creation, enactment, reproduction, and alteration of the jazz repertoire helps us think about other kinds of culture in action Faulkner and Becker do little more than note that repertoire understood as a process gives us a flexible tool for understanding forms of collective action , p. But there are many moments in Thinking Together where the authors spell out how their notion of repertoire contributes to cultural theory.

But what determines the repertoire or tunes in the musicians toolkit in the first place? Culture doesnt do shit and it certainly doesnt automatically shape action her point but players in concerted action, solving practical and musical problems, shape or sculpt the repertoire from which to select and play tunes. There is definitely more critical deliberation to actively selecting the repertoire by agents in roles.

A. R. Rahman, "Jiya Jale" (Dil Se): Berklee Indian Ensemble (Cover)

Faulkner adds that change in tunes on the list and tunes played poses a problem for institutional theorists, most of whom view institutions as the source of stability and order. This prompts Becker to respond that one thing thats wrong with the idea of toolkit is that it doesnt really leave room for adding to, deleting, forgetting, and all the other operations that change its content. Another thing is that people who talk this way are generally talking about the toolkit as just being there for this person or that to use, and dont seem to pay much attention to the collective character of its use.

The payoff comes several pages later when Becker formalizes this conversation in a nice summary of their sociological contributionone that they worked up for their successful National Science Foundation NSF proposal but that was not spelled out in Do You Know:. Numerous studies have shown how routines and repertoires, established tunes, and various commercial and artistic factors determine the pool of available resources.

Less is known about how tunes are chosen from the available pool, prioritized if you will in terms of working strategy or placed on the list, actually arranged within the sets agenda, and then enacted or performed by the players in coordination with one another.

Edward Green: Delighting in the Duke

Moreover, studies addressing the subject of repertoire have adopted, it seems to us, a limited analytic perspective that overlooks much of the social process of repertoire in action, or, better, repertoire in interaction. Thinking Together also helpfully lays out methodological conundrums, and practical solutions, that are only hinted at in Do You Know.

USC Annenberg Press Publishes E-book:

In particular, they show the strength of pairing interviews and observations, as well as the dangers of relying solely on one or the other. On the one hand, Becker and Faulkner found that many of the musicians they interviewed could not recall the suite of songsthe working repertoirethat comprised their most recent performance, and that they were routinely unable to explain how they faked their way through playing a song that they did not know. This led the authors to conclude that it is impossible to infer repertoire from the output i. On the other hand, they found that interviews are crucial because what is spoken about repertoire is embedded in [peoples] stories, anecdotes, and past experiences of gigs, and because there are limits to inferring how musicians negotiate the working repertoire together simply by watching them do it.

This led them to develop the strategy of pausingbreaking the flow of performancesto ask participants what they just did. Becker writes of this method of combining verbal data both formal interviews and spontaneous questions with situated observations of players negotiating a performance,. There is one other key way in which Thinking Together is instructive: it gives the lie to the enduring myth that real social science research always begins with hypotheses derived from a priori theoretical concerns.

What Thinking Together offers is the rare opportunity to actually observe how this discovery process happens the closest we usually get are retrospective accounts in a methods appendix or an edited volume. I must confess to feeling that there are some ways in which I am far from the ideal revieweror audiencefor Thinking Together. Because I know little about jazz and do not play any instruments, a large portion of the conversations struck me as inside baseballfor example, in-depth discussions of a songs chord progressions or the key it ought to be played in and friendly debates about which performer recorded the best version of a classic tune.

I think I play in E flat, but could be G too. Whats the difference? Well, E flat might be better for the trumpet due to the range. My best memory of this tune now is you wont believe this the Andrews Sisters recording, with Patti Andrews showing that she really could sing if they let her do it. I know this because Paul Taylor made a fantastic dance called Company B to a collection of Andrews Sisters recordings and thats one of the tunesthe dance is about WWII and soldiers and all that, very somber.

The authors do include a nice feature in the e-book that makes these discussions more interesting by allowing the reader to listen to the tunesover of themthat they mention in-text. Unfortunately, this experience is not as seamless as one would hope. Clicking a tune in-text opens up your web browser and takes you to a version of the song that someone uploaded to YouTube. A few of the links had already been taken down when I navigated to them, and others made me watch a commercial before playing the tune.

I found this to be a bit too disruptive to my reading experience, and so I only wound up listening to a fraction of the songs mentioned in the e-book, which is a shame because hearing On Green Dolphin Street juxtaposed to Now He Sings, Now He Sobs helped me make a lot more sense out of Becker and Faulkners e-mail exchange about the character of easy, relaxed gigs versus more up tempo, complex gigs. Thinking Together ends unceremoniously. I suppose I had hoped for some kind of de facto coda, such as a message about the book going to press, but there is nothing about the last e-mail that announces any kind of conclusion or even next step.

However, after reflecting on this for a moment, I found it entirely appropriate. Thinking Together is, after all, a compilation of e-mails; we ought not expect a standard narrative arc. And in this work, which perhaps more than any other I have encountered that goes under the guise of academics or social science is centered on the process of doing research and writing, the journey is the destination. Becker, H. Writing for the social sciences: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article.

Employment contracts, capability dismissal, redundancy … and all that jazz!

Tricks of the trade: How to think about your research while you're doing it. Thinking together: An e-mail exchange and all that jazz. Faulkner, R. Do you know. The jazz repertoire in action. Sewell, W.

A theory of structure: Duality, agency, and transformation. American Journal of Sociology, 98, Swidler, A. Culture in action: Symbols and strategies.


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Jazz knew he wouldn't be in a good mood when he got back. While he'd been closed-mouthed about his work prior to their wedding, he'd confided in her after about those who seemed to have a spiritual crisis at least once a week. Though it was clear to anyone with insider knowledge that these people enjoyed the attention their religious temper tantrums garnered, there was no way of avoiding them. She patted a couch cushion, wondering why Wesley didn't delegate more authority to the Elder Board.

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Surely one of them could handle some of the issues he'd always been the one to field--especially on his day off. She'd talk to him again, but she knew he'd only say that it was part of his job.


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The Elder Board members weren't paid--he was. Spiritual counseling came with the territory.

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Jazz had never voiced her thoughts. Once she became the pastor's wife, giving up the waitressing job she'd held for many years, she'd willingly taken on the role of a female spiritual counselor She didn't mind. She adored taking care of her husband, being available to their congregation, and she looked forward to the time when she'd be nurturing a family of her own. She also loved the women in the church. Nevertheless, not one of them would dare call her on Wesley's day off--no matter how dire the situation. All would wait until Tuesday.

Jazz straightened, her gaze on the clock. She had just enough time to freshen up before she started dinner. She hadn't played for some time. Life was so busy. At the moment all she had time to notice was that she needed to dust her treasure.