work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

the spirit of capitalism and fordist daydreaming

10.10.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

  Benjamin Franklin’s advice to a young tradesman has famously been used by Max Weber to exemplify what he called the ‘spirit of capitalism’ which he (Weber) summarises thus ‘Sondern vor allem ist das “summum bonum” dieser “Ethik”: der Erwerb von Geld und immer mehr Geld, unter strengster Vermeidung alles unbefangenen Genießens, so gänzlich aller ...

the daily mail explains why majority of britons don’t see themselves as middle class

10.05.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

The majority of Britons still see themselves, decades after de-industrialisation, as “working class”. Why? It’s simple: to be middle class it’s not enough to have a slightly-above-average income, hold down a white-collar job, have been to university and prefer red wine over beer: you need a nanny, a gardener and a cleaner     ...

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sociology and the bearded bourgeois white men

10.05.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

It has become a common exercise in sociology introductory classes to show students a lineup of the classics (normally Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim) and ask them what these three have in common. Answer: they are all bearded middle-class white males. This is, of course, a valid reminder of one of sociology’s core messages: ...

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“Marxist” “philosopher”

10.03.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Slavoj Zizek on Newsnight – doubly mislabelled. He’s a jacobinist demagogue in search for “an authentic leader” – not one who tells people what to do but one who expresses what they really really want and tells them to do that. Very much what, at the time, a lot of people (and they themselves) thought ...

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the best possible student feedback

10.02.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

is an endorsement from someone who stands on the opposite end of the democratic political spectrum. Here’s Conservative Lord Moore whose tutor Ralph Miliband was (quoted from the Guardian) Moore, who served in Thatcher’s cabinet between 1986 and 1989 and was briefly tipped as a potential successor to Thatcher, said it “beggars belief” that the ...

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an evil, evil legacy

10.02.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

from a blog not normally renown for anti-British sentiment… http://hurryupharry.org/2013/10/02/from-the-dusty-shoebox-in-the-bottom-drawer-open-letter-to-the-times-on-political-repression-czechoslovakia-11972-and-20480/ Ralph Miliband campaigning for freedom of expression in Soviet controlled Czechoslovakia – what a cunning Fifth Column ploy! These commie intellectuals – shameless. ...

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base/superstructure 1 1/2: totalitarian tendencies in gramsci ?!?

10.02.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

In my previous post on Basis/Überbau I casually mention Gramsci’s totalitarian tendencies. This needs some further explanation, especially since I will use some aspects of his reconceptionalisation (as struttura/superstrutture) when arguing for the retention of this much maligned metaphor. Gramsci tries to solve the old problem of dualism of base/superstructure (which he rejects as an ...

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base/superstructure – miscellaneous snippet…

10.01.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

One of the most effective critiques of base/superstructure determinism is that by Cornelius Castoriadis in his “provisional” reckoning with Marxism. One of his more striking points is that if the determining base is itself driven by the progress of the productive forces – i.e. technology, both material and organisational – then it relies on an ...

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