Saturday, April 1, 2017

distance vs. objectivity

At what point does keeping a distance from certain subject matter or viewpoints become objectivity?

Does an individual have to distance oneself from a topic to remain or find objectivity?

How does a student, teacher, or everyday person find objectivity when attempting to understand what they have learned? How are students, instructors,and the general population impacted by the differing dance genres they explore or to which they have been exposed?

How can an individual truly leave cultural, religious, political, regional, and national influences out of the equation when reading material or listening to discussions? I was in an undergraduate class years ago studying a book about illegal immigration of Mexican and Latin American citizens into the USA. The international/foreign students did not recognize slurs referenced by using nationalist adjectives to describe the Latino population but I was horrified by the flippant use of the word Mexican as an all inclusive slur. Even the instructor who was younger than several of the students and from a region that did not experience similar misuses of the word could not understand my interpretation of the hate spewed forth in this book.

With this as an example, I question how we truly find sources with an open objectivity to substantiate our writings. I find myself becoming more dependent on studies and scientific articles regarding topics I have written about or am researching. I used a blog by a relatively famous choreographer about well funded project she had done that was similar to one I have been developing for a few years with far less financial backing. The choreographer's viewpoint is strong because of the time and work she had put into her blog; but, and this is a big but for me, I have been taught blogs and writings by individuals that are not well documented are not  considered as valid as peer review or academically accepted sources.

So the deeper question regarding objectivity for me is at what point does an article, essay, survey,research project, or any other effort become accepted as valid and useful? Perception and interpretation depend on perspective which is affected by many factors which and and often does include the passing of time and cultural modifications to language.

Does time equate distance? What equates with objectivity?

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