work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Consumerism as Folk Religion?

06.07.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

[presentation at the workshop "Critiques of Capitalism: Christian and Muslim Voices", Exeter 2nd and 3rd June 2014] When talking about consumerism in the context of religion and critiques of capitalism, the standard approach is to portray it as some sort of adoration of a golden calf. Both theologians and critical social scientists are quick to ...

Lego-the-Movie and the expropriation of the brickolariat

03.06.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Seen the Lego movie – fascinating! What at first side comes across like a full endorsement of Adorno’s critique of the culture industry (produced by the culture industry itself) and paints an image of a totalitarian capitalism that has lost its creative edge (represented by the evil Lord Business) ends in a hug between the ...

Marksizm-Bektaşizm

12.27.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

random association: Marxism: ‘While individual consumption consumes use-values as the means of subsistence of the living individual, productive consumption consumes as “the means whereby labour, the labour-power of the living individual, is enabled to act”. In order to maintain the products of past labour in their objective existence as use-values, it is necessary for them ...

From Geneva to Moscow, via Manchester

12.24.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

The unacknowledged but pervasive tension and dishonest mingling of ultra-determinist historical materialism and hyperactive voluntarism/subjectivism has been shown to be a hallmark of the totalitarian turn in Leninism, Stalinism. According to Leo Kofler this particularly shows when things don’t go to plan ‚Das Hinüberschieben der Schuld für das Mißlingen der bürokratischen Pläne auf die Schulter ...

rousseau as puritan?

12.06.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Not really – but his Calvinist background clearly shows – as for example in his seemingly square and unromantic condemnation of unproductivity he deploys in his prize-winning rant against the arts and sciences that  kick-started his career as a writer « Si nos sciences sont vaines dans l’objet qu’elles se proposent, elles sont encore plus dangereuses ...

money and recognition (an assessment of now – from 70 years ago)

12.04.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

This passage from Horkheimer and Adorno’s 1944 Dialektik der Aufklärung sounds very much as if written as a comment on the views of the of the world’s financial centre’s mayor. ‚Hierzulande gibt es keinen Unterschied zwischen dem wirtschaftlichen Schicksal und den Menschen selbst. Keiner ist etwas anderes als sein Vermögen, sein Einkommen, seine Stellung, seine ...

emotional weber

12.02.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Max Weber has, again and again, been built up as main example for how modern sociology is rationalistic and works on a strict Cartesian mind/body dualism. And of course – if you seek to demonstrate how your new theory goes beyond the sociological tradition which from the start has ignored the body, non-human agency, emotions ...

inconvenient weber

12.01.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

… not sure we’re following this maxim enough in contemporary social science teaching… ‘The primary task of a useful teacher is to teach his students to recognize “inconvenient” facts – I mean facts that are inconvenient for their party opinions. And for every party opinion there are facts that are extremely inconvenient, for my opinion ...

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capitalism doesn’t keep its promises….

11.12.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

… but the way it doesn’t keep them is setting social movements on track to explore new ways of integrating the aims of Old Marxism and Neomarxism, says Charlie Masquelier in his article just out in EJST Far from marking the extinction of grounds upon which the artistic critique can draw its strength and legitimacy, the ...