work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology

Hybridity, Alterity and Beyond – A Simmelian Perspective on Ebruesque Identity

11.16.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Kardeşin duymaz, eloğlu duyar Hybridity and alterity are concepts that feature highly in cosmopolitan critiques of culturalist (including multi-culturalist) projections of homogeneity in a drive against classificatory thinking (e.g. Çağlar 1997). Cosmopolitanism can be characterised as a universalist-liberal project opposed to a more communitarian multiculturalism. Cosmopolitanism tries to evade the danger of reifying racial, ethnic ...

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Becoming vs Being – Towards an anti-Heideggerian and post-Platonic Ontology of Fashion – A Preliminary Note

11.12.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

[footnotes at the end of this post – links don’t work…] As Simmelian/Bermanian Marxist, Plessner fan and antifascist, I have a deep aversion against the protagonists of the proto-fascist “conservative revolution” (konservative Revolution) in the Weimar Republic – people like “jurist” Carl Schmitt, the essayist and “novelist” Ernst Jünger, the “historian” Oswald Spengler … and ...

absurdity of the microelectronic revolution – the government app

11.08.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

I’ve just come across the news that soon Government will rely on decision making apps. According to the BBC: The app, which had the working title of Number 10 Dashboard, was developed by the Cabinet Office’s digital team – and pulls data from hundreds of data sources including Google, Twitter and Facebook. The Cabinet Office confirmed ...

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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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Stonier’s “microelectronic revolution” – a forgotten concept?

06.15.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

I came across this more by accident (partly because I’m not greatly attracted to the author’s cosmic theories…), but Tom Stonier’s 1983 text on the “Microelectronic Revolution” not only predicts the crumbling away of the Soviet Empire when faced with the possibilities of new communication technologies, but also outlines the pattern that recently brought down ...

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Fatwa against Shahin Najafi – Rushdi all over again or desperation of the militant anti-secularists?

05.10.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Iranian Revolution in 1979 and particularly the aftermath of Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdi spelled, for many, the end of Western style secularisation. Clearly the religious revival in the Islamic world and its political repercussions meant that religion was still a factor in world politics – and within ...

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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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Veblen in the Inner City: On the Normality of Looting (2)

12.02.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

… just out in the latest Sociological Research Online … http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/4/22.html Abstract: Drawing on Veblen’s concept of ‘pecuniary prowess’ I will argue that the August riots can be understood not so much in terms of protest but as an appropriation of the underlying acquisitive logic of capitalism. The violent realisation of that logic across class ...

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