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SOCB50H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Social Text, Professional Responsibility, Interconnectivity

Course Code
Joe Hermer
Study Guide

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The Death of the Profane
(Genre of legal writing)
- Buzzers big in NYC
o Particularly by smaller stores and boutiques
o Merchants installed them as screening devices to reduce incidence of
o If face at door looks desirable, buzzer pressed and door unlocked
o If face undesirable door stays locked
- Issue of undesirability = racial determination
- Buzzer system necessary evil, mere inconvenience in comparison to risks
of being murdered
o Suffering discrimination is not as bad as being assaulted
o )n any event not all blacks who are barred 7-year old black males
wearing running shoes and hooded sweatshirts
- Installation went from stores that always had doors wide open to exclusive
or received people by appointment
- First telling of story:
o Shopping in Soho, saw sweater through store window - pressed
button seeking admittance
o Narrow-eyed, white teenager - evaluated me for signs that would pit
against the limits of his social understanding
Said Were closed  Saturdays before Christmas, at 1 p.m.,
with several white people in store shopping
o In moment wanted to break windows of store and take sweaters
Sales child - transformed brightly sentimental, pre-Christmas
spree to shambles
(e snuffed my sense of humanitarian catholicity but couldnt
snuff his without making a spectacle of myself
o Structure of power driving person into blizzard of rage
Nothing person could do cant physically intrude and
humiliate him like he did to me
No words, gestures, prejudices of own would make difference
to him
o Store Benettons ads
Principle on everyone having their cottons and woolens
Outward manifestation of sales child never having let
someone like me in realm of his reality
o Sales child
No compassion, remorse, reference or desire to acknowledge
me even at estranged level of arms-length transactor
Saw me only as one who would take his money & not conceive
there to give him money
o Ontological imbalance
Buying something in that store was like bestowing a gift of my
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o Wanting:
Take back gift of appreciation peering in window appeared to
In form of appreciation, disrespect, defilement
Wishing he could feel what I felt - he would never again
mistake hatred fro some sort of plaintive wish to be included
Willing to boycott/ disenfranchise
o Rage admittedly diffuse, self-destructive, but symmetrical
Decency of rage lost to young man who barred person
Also those who appreciate my being barred only as abstract
Those who would bar me even as they deny it
o Violence of desire to burst in apparent
Violence - exclusionary hatred equally apparent in repeated
public urgings that blacks understand the buzzer system by
putting themselves in shows of white storeowners
Blacks look into mirror of frightened white faces for reality of
Conclude they wouldnt let themselves in under
Blacks agreeing -shows some of us have learned lessons of
privatized intimacies of self-hatred and rationalized away the
fullness of our public, participatory selves
o Catharsis:
Type up story, made poster of it, put border and once store
closed stuck it to window
Exercised first amendment right to place business with them in
- Second telling of story:
o Symposium on Excluded Voices sponsored by law review
o Essay summing up feelings of exclusion from Benettons
Analyzing "how the rhetoric of increased privatization, in
response to racial issues, functions as the rationalizing agent of
public unaccountability and, ultimately, irresponsibility."
o Received first edit
Fury was cut out, reduced to simple declarative sentences
Active personal inverted in factor of passive impersonal
Words were different spoken to be upside-down
Meanings odd. Stolen and strange
o Second edit
Reference to Benetton deleted because according to editors it
was defamatory
Feared harassment and liability irresponsible to print
Wanted to testify as her own statement at particular location,
buzzer system not limited to Benetton
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