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In a classical philosophical opposition we are not dealing with the peaceful co-existence of a vis-á-vis, but a violent hierarchy. . . . To deconstruct the opposition first of all is to overturn the hierarchy at a given moment.2


Founded on the premise that culture is political, Social Etymologies was established in 2005 as a site for critical resources that deal with culture - that which shapes meaning and ways of talking about self, other, and difference. The materials offered here may help in the struggle to see culture, in the words of Raymond Williams, as "a whole way of life," something deserving of political-economic analysis.

This site adds to the multitude of internet spaces, some exegetical, some not, where information is exchanged, manufactured, disseminated, and discussed. Perhaps in some small way this blog will help to overturn hierarchies of meaning, understanding, and social (economic) relations as they continue to be (re)produced and (re)defined in the North Atlantic.

1. Krista Franklin, "Transatlantic Turntable-ism."

2. Gaetano Scarpetta, J. L. Houdebine, and Jacques Derrida "Interview: Jacques Derrida," Diacritics 2.4 (Winter 1972): 36.

Image: The image above of Mariana Grajales is the avatar of Social Etymologies' editor, Mambí Maestra. Grajales was a 19th-century Cuban revolutionary and the mother of Antonio Maceo, the Cuban independent leader. On 14 September 1958, the "Mariana Grajales Women´s Platoon" was established with Isabel Rielo serving as its commanding officer. MGW was a thirteen-member subdivision of Castro's guerilla army named in tribute to Grajales. For more information on the platoon, see Teté Puebla's Mariana's in Combat: Teté Puebla and the Mariana Grajales Women's Platoon in Cuba's Revolutionary War 1956-58 (NY: Pathfinder Press, 1990)

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