Vol. 10 No. 5
April 2008

Return to Contents

Getting Real
The academic commitment to service learning at Emory

Further Reading

“I would love to see a day when students, staff, and faculty choose Emory because they want to pursue the finest liberal education in order to civically make a difference.”

“The setting for testing our theories of neighborhood transformation and social change is outside the classroom and in the community.”

New Covenants in Special Collections

In the Dangerous Hands of Undergraduates
The teaching mission of Emory’s Manuscripts and Rare Books Library

The Keeping of Records
Alice Walker’s archive as an act of self-authentication

The rising tide of faculty responsibilities

Letter to the Editor


Studying power and dominance
I personally think that power and dominance are the two most understudied topics in the social sciences. I don’t know who is here from the social sciences—anthropology, psychology, sociology—but as a psychology professor I get all these social psychology textbooks on my desk, and I always look up at the end what they say about power and dominance. Dominance they don’t talk about, and power, they usually only mention power abuse. I think that’s missing in the social sciences—that power is taboo, dominance is taboo. They all want to be politically correct, even though in the psychology department and the sociology department and so on, there are lots of power games going on I’m sure, so it’s not that these people are total egalitarians but they believe in egalitarianism. And I think dominance and power are such important components in human society if you walk into a room and you study people who know each other you’ll probably know within a minute what approximately the power relationships are. That’s how sensitive we are to it.
—Frans DeWaal, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior and Director, Living Links Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, from his Life of the Mind Series lecture “Our Inner Ape: What Primate Behavior Teaches Us About Human Nature,” October 3, 2007, Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Council

Always vulnerable
Human beings are all always vulnerable. This is due to the ever-constant possibility of dependency presented by disease, disaster, or other catastrophe beyond our immediate control. We might become physically or otherwise dependent for care on others, including society and institutions, most likely the state or family. We experience this specter of imminent reliance as frightening not least because we know that societal institutions themselves are vulnerable, potentially unstable and susceptible to challenges from both internal and external forces. For many Americans in particular, the state seems a particularly precarious entity with which to trust our dependency. . . . The ultimate point is, or should be, our current constitutional and statutory equality regimes analyze this equality through the lens of discrimination, independent of and seemingly oblivious to the existing inequalities of distribution. Our equality regime assumes the existing allocation of resources and power in various systems, such as those governing, economic, and employment relationships.

—Martha Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, from her Life of the Mind lecture “Reconciling Equality with the Inevitable Vulnerabilities of the Human Condition,” February 6, 2008, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Council