You are cordially invited to luncheon with the Oneonta Faculty Convivium on Thursday, March 14, from noon to 1 p.m., in Le Café, Morris. Dr. Brian Lowe, Professor of Sociology, will present a talk titled, “Towards a Sociology of Purposeful Simulations: Building Plausible Realities for Societal Influence.”
Abstract: Broadly defined, simulations have been created within human societies for thousands of years, for reasons varying from reenacting foundational myths and histories, as forms of entertainment, and for training and preparatory purposes. Purposeful simulations involve four elements: narratives, (mis)information, cultural artifacts and conflicts, and social and political apparatuses. Narratives are stories, scripts, characters, and scenarios that organize information and develop compelling interest. (Mis)information refers to data and evidence expressed within these simulations that vary in terms of validity, reliability and/or proportionality. Cultural artifacts and conflicts refer to how purposeful simulations are communication, and to the conflicts that they generally contribute to. Finally, social and political apparatuses refer to the social and/or political locations that these simulations influence and/or are influenced by. Together, these elements help account for how some simulations create discernible social and political change.
One category of these are purposeful simulations, the creation of which have accelerated and expanded in contemporary Western societies because they are more readily created and disseminated by social movements, within subcultures, and by other nonstate actors. Simulations are narratives created around possible future scenarios integral to the claims emerging from social movements, subcultures or other claimsmakers that potentially generate greater credulity and/or emotional resonance with audiences through making potential future outcomes more plausible.
Seating is limited. To reserve a seat please call X2517 prior to March 11. Vegetarian meals are available.