work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Stromlinienlimousine

04.04.2015 · Posted in Uncategorized

Much of an era’s social, cultural and political aspects are coagulated in the cars it produced. So much of early 1960s France is conserved in the Citroën DS famously analysed in Roland Barthes’s Mythes. Two features stand out in la Déesse: The achievement of beauty by seamlessness of form and the civility of a homely interior that it ...

jack wills…

03.19.2015 · Posted in Uncategorized

Our students kindly featured some of my ramblings on their blog. I reference jack wills as one of the looks often encountered on campus. It is a most intriguing phenomenon. Of course: all I know about that I’ve learned from Daniel Smith… There’s a book in the offing as well. ...

From Elective Affinities and Selection to Base/Superstructure and Back – an Attempt at Salvaging Concepts

02.22.2015 · Posted in Uncategorized

„Es ist mit den Geschäften wie mit dem Tanze; Personen, die gleichen Schritt halten, müssen sich unentbehrlich werden; ein wechselseitiges Wohlwollen muß notwendig daraus entstehen…“ [It is with business as it is with dance; persons who are in step with each other, will inevitably become indispensible for each other. A mutual benevolence will arise with ...

Heinrich Blücher on Laozi (Mystic Weber)

02.05.2015 · Posted in Uncategorized

There is a strange and largely unnoticed return of Orientalism into the social-scientific debate. The anti-rationalist turn against what often is perceived to be a continued stranglehold of Cartesian mind-body dualism now often seeks to ally itself with ‘Eastern thought’. The most startling precedent of poststructuralist Orientalism of course is to be found in Gilles ...

The Lego Movie as Consumer-Capitalist Myth: The Cultural Tragedy of Production and the Expropriation of the Brickolariat

11.04.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Current Capitalism is in crisis. This is well known. Capitalism always is in crisis. From early on capitalism was experienced as unsettling, unbalancing and unstable. Gone was the cherished Aristotelian feudal/aristocratic ideal of moderation (σωφροσύνη) which locates virtuous behaviour in the considered middle (μεσότης) of two vices or excesses. It was replaced by an ever ...

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 ...