work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Posts Tagged ‘social justice’

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 ...

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Le nez rouge de Durkheim

02.15.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Red Nose Day again soon  – which comes as a reminder of just how closely the quasi-religious culture of celebrity and consumer sainthood and the discourse of humanitarianism and human rights are interlinked (see Goodman 2009). In an earlier post I have suggested that we can see the discourse of human rights as quasi-theological ...

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ironies of the microelectronic revolution: the scandal of tantalum mining

11.08.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The enthusiasm for the microelectronic revolution is dampened if one considers the social and environmental cost of the mobile phone – especially at the source: tantalum mining is a mired in exploitation, rape, and civil war. Alongside blood diamonds we should talk of “blood mobiles”. The irony? The mobile phone is the very device that ...

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socialism and consumer choice

04.17.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

A voice from the past, which I came across when reworking my consumerist critique of capitalism for publication: Douglas Jay – often misread as an advocat for paternalistic state planning (Richart Toye’s got more on this here) – in his 1938/1947 book The Socialist Case has this to say: ‘Socialists have been inclined to depreciate ...

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does inequality matter in rich societies?

12.18.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

asks Colin Crouch in the Social Europe Journal. I have previously  argued that it does, not so much because of unequal distribution of consumption but because the inequality in power it entails. Crouch’s answer is similar, but more concise – concluding that the rich are more likely to seek privileges and advantages over the rest ...

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Towards a Consumerist Critique of Capitalism (and a Socialist Defence of Consumer Culture)

11.16.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

update 19th may 2013 slightly improved version now published in ephemera http://www.academia.edu/1303458/towards_a_consumerist_critique_of_capitalism_and_a_socialist_defence_of_consumer_culture   Introduction To suggest a ‘consumerist critique of capitalism’ sounds quite oxymoronic – and even more so a ‘socialist defence of consumer culture’. Consumerism is widely seen as the cultural expression of developed capitalism and Marxist analyses from the 1970s onwards have tried to ...

Veblen in the Inner City: Sense of Entitlement and the Normality of Looting – A Reply to Iain Duncan Smith

09.18.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

update 2nd december 2011: an expanded version of this is now published in sociological research online – available here: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/4/22.html The London Riots have been interpreted as symptoms for what went wrong with our society in many ways – as an anomaly. It has been suggested that they are the expression of consumerism gone mad ...

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A neoliberal sense of entitlement

09.14.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

I think Hall (see previous entry) is wrong on the neoliberal programme of Cameron and Osborne in at least one respect. It is not about simply about cutting back government influence and interference so that the wealthy are free to dispose of their wealth as they please. Just as the New Labour before them they ...

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Tolerance – veering off into a socialist defence of consumer culture…

09.03.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

[this post is a bit of a mess – it’s initial occasion was Emre Kongar’s article (see below) on tolerance and secularism. My reaction to it got, somehow, entangled with my plan to write a socialist defence of consumer culture…] A distant colleague of mine is fond of saying that he will dance on the ...

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David A Borman Critiques Honneth’s Theory of Recognition

10.15.2010 · Posted in Uncategorized

David A Borman’s 2009 paper on ‘Labour, Exchange and Recognition’ gave me a bit of a shock as, at first, it looked like making the same points as my 2010 paper on ‘Reciprocity, Recognition and Labor Value’ … and thus robbing me of any claim to originality. For example when specifying the recognition function of commodity exchange: ...

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