Friday, 4 March 2011

Property relations, Positioning and Narrative

Is a "property relation" a feature of what Harre would call a person's narrative?

In a recent paper on music, I argued that 'Positioning' was effectively a steering mechanism which functioned to maintain the viability of a person by determining the types of communications, or sensory response they needed to make.

The paper dealt with the process of memory as a steered regulatory process with a material environment. A property relation, I think, is such a process.

A narrative is comprised partly of memories. In Harre's view, narrative emerges in a tri-partite relation between normative 'positioning' (what we might call conditioning), and the speech acts of individuals which are transformative of the normative situation as well as having a direct impact on other individuals.

Narratives involve property relations which will be partly determined in a normative context: for example, an economy.

I'm thinking the simplest way of sorting this stuff out is to bring Harre's triagular relationship together with Luhmann's distinction of psychic and social systems:

There are three nodes and three relationships.
'Position' relates to Luhmann's Social System: it is a normatively produced network of communications. Narrative and illocutionary force relate to Luhmann's Psychic system: they are predominantly psychological. The relationship between narrative and illocutionary acts is Luhmann's mechanism of information-utterance
The relationship between an illocutionary act and Position is meaning-making and understanding in Luhmann. The relationship, between narrative and position is a Property relation, which has a direct bearing on identity. I've labelled these 'sensual productions' because that's what I'm thinking a property relation really is....

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