Book Progress Report, Week 26

25 May

So, despite getting absorbed in revising my Facebook refusal paper, I was able to meet my goal of putting away the Sexuality chapter by the end of this week. There are still a few places where the language really needs to be cleaned up so as not to be so “high theory” (AKA totally not understandable to readers) but I am thinking that can happen latter when I do a sweep through the whole book looking for those kinds of things.

My first task on the next chapter (the Identity Politics chapter for those keeping track) was to read it again this morning – the draft has been languishing unread for a while now. Upon reading I came to several conclusions: 1) the chapter is not really about identity politics (it might be a little bit, but that is a bad organizing principle for the content that is actually there); 2) I have not yet broken the bad habit pointed out to me by my graduate Feminist Theory professor of making major points and then just leaving them sitting there at the end of a paragraph, unexplained; (3) this chapter is actually interesting and not that bad.

So, the chapter doesn’t need a major overhaul. I think what it needs is some reframing at the beginning, reframing that is more sensitive to what I’ve actually written about in the chapter itself. It’s ok if this chapter doesn’t solve the problem of identity politics, all it has to do is have a title and introduction that address the problem it does solve. Then I think I need to front-load the empirical evidence about anarchist issues with identity, and bring in the identity politics history/theory in the back half of the chapter for context and support for the ultimate argument I make about “ethical normativity.” (I also need to be careful about making theoretical arguments versus prescriptive arguments – instead of advocating “ethical normativity” as something I want to see, I need to just show how it’s a useful framework for thinking about what anarchists do and how it might be consistent with what they want to see.) And then there are about a million places where I just need to draw out the points a little more instead of leaving them hanging on the page and expecting every reader to be clairvoyant about what I meant. Also, right now this chapter is a bit shorter than the others, but I think probably by the time I’m through with it, it’ll measure up.

First step will be to sketch out the current paragraph level outline, then see what about that needs rethinking. Then based on the outline I’ll figure out the best way to title/frame this chapter. Then I can do the drawing out of the points. And then I can cut some of the cite-y stuff, make it more about what I’ve found rather than what I’ve read. Sounds like a plan.


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