Learning How to See

Authored by: Debbie Lisle

Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415732253
eBook ISBN: 9781315446486
Adobe ISBN: 9781315446479


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One of the most gratifying moments in intellectual life is when an interlocutor – often a colleague, collaborator, student, audience member or friend – responds to your work with the words ‘I see!’ It is a moment of clarity and understanding when the usually fraught exercise of communication is suddenly transparent: I see where you are coming from; I see your point of view; and most importantly, I see something I haven’t seen before. This is the moment you discover a comrade who sees the same world that you do and who has found inspiration in your idiosyncratic, disparate and often incoherent thoughts; in short, you are not alone. This is how communities and movements begin; more specifically, this is how the diverse group of scholars and students gathering around the ideas behind international political sociology began. 1 We found each other and acknowledged our shared interests with resounding affirmations: ‘I see!’ ‘I get it!’ ‘Me too!’ Tentative explorations (e.g. ‘do you see the world this way as well?’) became collectively and confidently shared as multiple visions connected and gathered momentum.

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