work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

anthropologist lost in lebensraum

06.24.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Tim Ingold’s (1993) notion of a ‘continuity of culture’ has (I think: rightfully) been hailed as a powerful challenge to ideas of insurmountable difference between “cultures” – a notion that reconciles diversity with universality. Which makes it ever so difficult to understand (and quite upsetting – hence apologies for the emotionally charged tone of the ...

Ziya Gökalp, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the two Emile Durkheims

06.21.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

All too often the political divides in Turkey are simplified into a crude division into a secularist/republican (Kemalist) camp and an Islamic/Islamist camp, with the only complication allowed for being the conflict around Kurdish minority rights. What has been long ignored was that both these camps share a set of outlooks that they inherited from ...

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Nilüfer Göle on Gezi and what came after

06.17.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

[update 30th July 2013 – İhsan Yılmaz’ critical comments in the conservative/religious Zaman on the combined Kemalist-Islamist witch hunt against the eminent sociologist Nilüfer Göle … and our whole discipline for that matter are interesting reading  http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-320525-gezi-and-kemalo-islamist-attacks-on-sociologist-gole-1.html] In a previous post I refer to the role that pioneering secular sociologists have played in de-demonising the new Turkish ...

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Turkey on knife’s edge

06.11.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

This morning there should have been talks between representatives of the protesters and Prime Minister Erdoğan. Last night police moved in on Taksim Square with tear gas and rubber bullets. This could either be a strangely inept attempt at “divide and rule” – separating “violent” and “left wing extremist” protesters and “hooligans” from the “reasonable” ...

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the consumerist cult of the individual, social peace and its enemies

06.09.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

With the decline in traditional religiosity and the deracination of the individual in a multicultural consumer society – shouldn’t we descend into an age of violence, particularly at a time of global crisis? Apparently not. According to this here the UK is now at its most peaceful ever, with crime rates, and especially homicide rates, ...

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when islamism turns sociological…

06.07.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

It is always flattering when the influence of one’s academic discipline is played up – as here by the religious/conservative intellectual Ali Bulaç (see Guida 2010), emphasising the relevance of a subject that, after Islamic theology, he also studied. In his column for the Islamic-conservative daily Zaman he concludes a reflection on the social composition ...

and some post-Kemalist intellectualism too…

06.05.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

graffiti on the Institut Français in Istanbul seen on Duygu’s flickr account   … I wonder whether the other cultural exchange institutions have been modified in a similar way?   ...

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post-post-Islamism?

06.05.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

If the currently governing AKP government in Turkey can be correctly described as “post-Islamist” movement emerging from the more clearly Islamist Refah… then we may be witnessing the emergence of post-post-Islamists turning their backs on the the AKP – people like Bülent Peker for whom the government reaction to the current protests is the last ...

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talking of swimming

05.29.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Idries Shah, who plays up Nasrettin Hoca as clever and witty Sufi master … and who starts his seminal work The Sufis with a swimming metaphor, advises us to go beyond the official claims tales and anecdotes like that of Aesop (and I assume that about Nasrettin Hoca as well) and see what else we ...

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more may drown without better swimming lessons… or more may drown with better swimming lessons (or: beware of policy advice based on foregone conclusions)

05.29.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

More may or may not drown with better swimming lessons. Who knows? The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) think they do – and guess what: they think swimming lessons may save lives and that the poor quality of swimming lessons at British schools “may” cost lives further down the line.  They don’t know, of course (hence they ...

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