Philosophy & the Protagonist’s Speech in the Aid of Qualitative Research by Lubov Karpinchik B.A. DDC
Philosophy & the Protagonist’s Speech in the Aid of Qualitative Research
Lubov Karpinchik, B.A., Dissertation Doctor’s Clinic
Imagine ancient Greece with its progressive flourishing ideas for citizens of the future to draw their inspirations to and from. Perhaps not all of us are sufficiently aware, yet perfectly familiar, with the pebbles of the ethical conduct that the philosophers of that time laid out in front of us. We draw intensely and excessively from the wisdom of the times that we call B.C – the ideas that are still applicable, sharp, motivational and innovative even in the ever-fluxing post-modern times. The laid out Grecian foundations of democracy, for example, are now our principles of moral and societal functioning. Or so it is often proclaimed.
As a scholar, citizen and observer, but mostly as a tiny grain of societal composition of what we call Human kind, I begin to have my doubts that democracy, in its core, has not reverted to the antediluvian belonging of the ancient times. Aristotle’s democracy nowadays has morphed into a distant cousin called the Statistical Average.
The reader may accuse me of being overly pessimistic, perhaps, even delusional. Following my trail of argument, the antagonist of my view may bring to the light an overwhelming fact of ever-expending technology and fora of ‘expression’ that it facilitates. Like in no other era, one may conclude, the individual has a potential to express oneself with a Concordian speed of the thought itself and the technology that facilitates it across the borders of the States, governments and territories of the political and communal establishments. Democracy, therefore, is fulfilling its prophecy regardless of the regimes and notions of ‘freedom’. “Man is, by nature, a political animal” is that of Aristotle’s conclusion. And here we are in the 21st century, finally given the right of unlimited political expression. Agora, my opponent might say, is in the virtual space and is unbeatable in its totality even to the most censorious of the rules.
And yet, the very juxtaposition of my paper manifests itself in the daunting thought that the surface of the cyber conscious participation does not go beyond the shallow syllables of 0s and 1s combinations along with flashing advertisements on the blue screens of the “liberating apparatus”. In other words, it may cause the storm, but it doesn’t change the climate. And as Bauman (2012) sharply states: “Our intentions to do good have been commercialised”.
Let me show the latest statistics produced in Ireland by the Central Statistics Office. In the latest 2011 election more people than ever voted in the attempt to salvage the rapid decline in economic state of affairs by casting their vote. The young, the old, the middle-aged, professionals and unemployed – all, it seems, had an increased desire to be part of the democratic process and gain control of their present and the future. Some modus vivendi evidence at last!, my opponent may say suggest. And yet, symbolic to my argument, another statistical metrics produced a few years later evidently show, the poorer became even more poor and the reaches if not avoided to capitalise, than did not count the losses. Only four years after the election, the issues of homelessness, malnutrition and every day struggles prevail national agenda in the media, networks and political circles. Did all this electorate vote against themselves?
Let’s deduct logically here, like Pythagoras with the equation of 2 x 2 equals 4, my modest knowledge of social and psychological science permits me to suggest that the new electorate did not go out in numbers to worsen their sufferings in the midst of the global economic turmoil. Allow me to direct my original thought to the issue at stake – the voice of the Agorian democracy. My opinion may be ridiculed by the antagonist but, nonetheless, I proceed – protected by the shield of visibility in the perpetuum mobile of technological evolution, we are on the other hand, are more voiceless than ever.
In this highly interconnected world we stand isolated and vulnerable to the predisposition of the Fortuna herself rather than the conscious choice. Ulrich Beck explored that issue with the staggering conclusion “individuals are now expected to seek biographical solutions to systematic contradictions”. Thus, it is not governments or elections that are to be blamed for one’s bad fortunes, it is the individual’s fault to find oneself represented in the shadowed column of the Statistical Average whose voice counts, but ultimately does not matter.
And yet, my thought is not dystopian. Things can and should be done. Let us draw from the ancient wisdom again and ‘fight’ the social forces with the weapons of our predecessor’s choice – science and knowledge. Let’s engage our scholarly minds in studying the real voice rather than losing the essence in the average statistical of the Survey Monkey response. If a qualitative analysis produces a story, a view, a knowledge of individual perception, than why not to engage in contributing to the wealth of wisdom of the “reality as it is” as opposed to the numeric and formulaic translation of human visibility rather than the voice. (McElwee, 2007). Surrender your synthesis and analysis to the long pauses, hesitance and trembling in the voice, and the questions left unanswered. It is through the legacy of that kind of knowledge that the society can change. The deeper and intimate it is, the better and greater it has the potential to be interpreted by the futures of the human race with the right stressors of emotion at the correct wording of the question at the electoral booth.
Bauman, Z. (2012) Collateral Damage: Social Inequalities in the Global Age, UK: Polity.
Beck, U. (1992), Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London: Sage.
Guthrie, W. K. C. (2014), The Greek Philosophers, Great Britain: Rutledge, p. 143.
McElwee, N. (2007), At-Risk Children and Youth: Resiliency Explored, USA: Haworth Press, p. 107.
Central Statistics Office (2011) www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/…/voterq22011.pdf (accessed 31/01/2015).