All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald

By Michael Patrick MacDonald

A breakaway bestseller considering that its first printing, All Souls takes us deep into Michael Patrick MacDonald's Southie, the proudly insular local with the top focus of white poverty in the United States. Rocked by way of Whitey Bulger's crime schemes and busing riots, MacDonald's Southie is populated by way of sharply hewn characters like his Ma, a miniskirted, accordion-playing unmarried mom who endures the deaths of 4 of her 11 teenagers. approximately suffocated through his grief and his community's code of silence, MacDonald tells his relatives tale the following with gritty yet relocating honesty.

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The aim here is to try to evaluate the cognitive state of the individual with respect to his spatial environment. An alternative, favoured by behaviourists and operant psycholo­ gists, is simply to observe peoples' behaviour and thus gauge their reaction to objects and events. In this case, it is overt behaviour in space which provides us with the necessary clues to understand spatial significance. Practical considerations make it almost impossible to use anything other than overt behaviour when large aggregates of population are involved as, for example, in the study of journey-to-work and journey-to­ shop phenomena as they occur at the total city scale of analysis.

Logicians such as Wilson ( J 955) and Carnap ( 1 958) have examined some general problems arising from it. One import­ ant distinction they draw is that between individuation in substance languages and individuation in space-time languages. In the first kind of language, an individual may be defined by specifying a set ofproperties (PI' P2' Pa, • . ) which the individ­ ual possesses-we may individuate a "town" by stating the minimum size of the agglomeration, the nature of the employ­ ment structure, and so on.

Thus the two languages have different characteristics and space itself can enter into either language but in different ways (Bergmann, 1964, 272-301). It is scarcely surprising that situation has generated much philosophical and methodological confusion and that the regionalization problem is a controvelsial one. The controversy usually results from a failure to identify how and when the different languages are being used. Taylor (1969) has indicated that confusion arises because "of a failure to appreciate that location occurs twice in the problem".

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