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Alienation, a legacy of the Marxian Hegelian critique of domination, remains one of the most heuristic yet ambiguous concepts in social thought. Yet there endure questions…
Alienation, a legacy of the Marxian Hegelian critique of domination, remains one of the most heuristic yet ambiguous concepts in social thought. Yet there endure questions of its definition, indications, level of analysis, relationships to capitalism or modernity in general. To speak of alienation raises a notion that there was once either a pristine era of bliss or a Utopian promise of universal self‐realization. I cannot enter this debate but only note that throughout most historical eras people have created societies, institutions and beliefs that have benefited the powerful few at the cost of the powerless many. Yet the few have had the power to construct definitions of reality and ideologies of legitimacy that are reproduced in the everday life routines of the many, so that arbitrary power arrangements seem natural and typical. Insofar as these routines are sustained by habits, fear and anxiety and thwart human potential, we can talk of alienated selfhood and interaction.
A systems approach to the family as a self‐regulating, goal‐directed system is developed. It is viewed in terms of socio‐legal boundaries delimiting certain role relationships and interactional patterns or action‐strategies, which are regulated by a hierarchy of steering principles and meta‐principles. Steering principles include adaptation, self‐regulation, control of interaction and morphogenesis, while meta‐principles include values, identity and meaning. The applicability of systems theory to family policy is discussed; its predictive possibilities should not be used to control, but to facilitate morphogenesis.
Anne Bartlett is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. She holds a degree in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of the West of England and Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Prior to this, she worked in various capacities in the British government for over fifteen years. Her Ph.D. research centers on the changing nature of political subjectivity in London, particularly as it pertains to the lives of refugees and migrants. Her other areas of interest include sociological theory, globalization, human rights and evolving forms of political culture.Katie Cangemi is a student at DePaul University.Terry Nichols Clark is Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He holds MA and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, and has taught at Columbia, Harvard, Yale, the Sorbonne, University of Florence, and UCLA. He has worked at the Brookings Institution, The Urban Institute, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and US Conference of Mayors. His books include Citizen Politics in Post-Industrial Society, City Money, The New Political Culture, and Urban Innovation. Since 1982 he has been Coordinator of the Fiscal Austerity and Urban Innovation (FAUI) Project, which includes a data base of over 10,000 municipalities in up to 35 countries. It is the most extensive study to date of local government in the world, including data, some 700 participants, a budget exceeding $20 million, and 50 published books, much available on the website http://www.src.uchicago.edu/depts/faui/archive.htmlRichard Florida is the author of the groundbreaking book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How Its Transforming Work, Leisure Community and Everyday Life Basic Books 2002, stressing the rise of creativity as an economic force. He is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is founder and co-director of the Software Industry Center. He has been a visiting professor at MIT and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is co-author of five other books, including Industrializing Knowledge; Beyond Mass Production and The Breakthrough Illusion, and more than 100 articles in academic journals. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and Ph.D. from Columbia University.Gary Gates works in the Population Studies Center of The Urban Institute in Washington DC 20037. He completed his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University, and is a leading researcher on gays in the U.S.Edward Glaeser is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He teaches urban and social economics and microeconomic theory. He has published dozens of papers on cities, economic growth, and law and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He also edits the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992.Pushpam Jain completed a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.Jed Kolko is at the Department of Economics, Harvard University.Lauren Langman is Professor of Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago. His interests include alienation studies, Marxist sociology and cultural sociology. Recent publications include: Suppose They Gave a Culture War and No-one Came: Zippergate and the Carnivalization of Political Culture, American Behavioral Scientist (December, 2002); The Body and the Mediation of Hegemony: From Subject to Citizen to Audience, in Richard Brown (Ed.) Body, Self and Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2002); From the Poetics of Pleasure to the Poetics of Protest, in Paul Kennedy (Ed.) Identity in the Global Age (Macmillan & Palmore, 2001); with Douglas Morris and Jackie Zalewski, Globalization, Domination and Cyberactivism, in Wilma A. Dunaway (Ed.) The 21st Century World-System: Systemic Crises and Antisystemic Resistance (Greenwood Press, 2002).Richard Lloyd teaches at Vanderbilt University, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. His research interests include urban culture. Postindustrial economy, and labor force participation.Dennis Merritt completed a BA at the University of Chicago and MA at DePaul University. He was Analysis Manager of the Fiscal Austerity and Urban Innovation Project for four years.Albert Saiz is in the Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He completed a Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard.Lenka Siroky studied at the Universities of Prague and Budapest, spent two years at the University of Chicago, and is currently studying at Harvard University.Kenneth Wong is Professor of Public Policy and Education and Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He also serves as Associate Director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University. He was Associate Professor in the Department of Education and the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate in political science. He has conducted research in American government, urban school reform, state finance and educational policies, intergovernmental relations, and federal educational policies (Title I). He is author of Funding Public Schools: Politics and Policy (1999), and City Choices: Education and Housing (1990), and a co-author of When Federalism Works (1986). He is currently the President of the Politics of Education Association.Alexei Zelenev is an Associate Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.
To resurrect and renew the tradition of the early Frankfurt School, whose of Marxist–Hegelian dialectical approach to understanding the societal conditions of its…
To resurrect and renew the tradition of the early Frankfurt School, whose of Marxist–Hegelian dialectical approach to understanding the societal conditions of its emergence – post World War I Germany, the rise of fascism, New Deal politics, the defeat of fascism, and the subsequent rise of consumer society – remains relevant to studying present circumstances, stressing the cultural dimension of capitalism, the proliferation of alienation, ideology, and mass media, and, finally, the nature of the society-character/subjectivity nexus.
Employing a comparative historical approach to the study of alienation, ideology, and character, to articulate social-theoretical standards for critical social research today.
Global civilization faces an array of crises, beginning with economies whose lack of growth or stability the ability of a large segment of the world’s population to obtain jobs conducive to a decent standard of life. With governments’ inability to implement public policies to buffer instabilities, cultural values are in crisis as well.
Reviving the framework of early Frankfurt School Critical Theory is necessary to promote a better world.
Reconstructing key concerns of the Frankfurt School is conducive to critiquing this tradition’s recent preoccupation with communication and recognition, and demonstrates how the first generation’s legacy helps us understand contemporary social movements of the Right and the Left, in ways that are similar to the Weimar Republic in Germany. Both the Right and the Left being products of legitimation crises that trigger a desire for regressive or progressive social change – the Right would restore a mythical past, the Left would foster a new social order based on humanistic concerns.
Arthur Schlessinger (1983) suggested that the contradictions and paradoxes of American foreign policy reflected contradictions and paradoxes in the underlying character of…
Arthur Schlessinger (1983) suggested that the contradictions and paradoxes of American foreign policy reflected contradictions and paradoxes in the underlying character of the people. We would go further to suggest that the early years of colonial life, much like the early years of a person's life, had major consequences ever since. The intersection of Puritanism, available land, and eventually the rise of a commercial culture would forge a unique trajectory of what would be called “American Exceptionalism”, reflecting an “American character”, which itself is subject to three paradoxes or polarities, individualism vs. community, toughness vs. compassion, and moralism vs. pragmatism. The effect of this legacy and the dialectical aspect of American character were first evident when Winthrop proclaimed the city on the hill as the new Jerusalem. The legacy of that vision is taking place today in Iraq.
We all do it. We label persons or groups as chic, funky, chauvinist, cool, Uncle Tom, nerdy, liberated, Baby Boomers, and more. Political and religious leaders similarly…
We all do it. We label persons or groups as chic, funky, chauvinist, cool, Uncle Tom, nerdy, liberated, Baby Boomers, and more. Political and religious leaders similarly make moral statements, for instance by applying Biblical characters’ names to contemporaries like Bill Clinton or Saddam Hussein – as Satanical or a Good Samaritan. Muslims analogously invoke the Koran.
To pay tribute to Felix Geyer's contributions to the activities of Research Committee (RC) 36, alienation research and theory, of the International Sociological Association.
The author recollects his involvement with RC36 and his longstanding relationship with Felix Geyer.
The establishment of RC36 and its current viability stand as testimony to the effort of Felix Geyer.
Alienation, one of the oldest concepts in social analysis and critique, remains a lively and exciting topic for theory and research, thanks not least to Felix Geyer. It is right that he should receive recognition for his hard work and achievements.
Globalization, advanced by technologies of production and information, created seamless world markets with profound impacts on the world economy. Vast amounts of wealth…
Globalization, advanced by technologies of production and information, created seamless world markets with profound impacts on the world economy. Vast amounts of wealth have been created, but that wealth has been unequally distributed. Such inequality has meant that large numbers of young people have not been able to find the kinds of jobs and careers that provide the “goods” life extolled in a consumer society. Nor do the dominant values of rationality, neo-liberalism or secularism hold much appeal. These conditions have encouraged the emergence of a number of subcultures of transgression, identity-granting communities of meaning which provide members with a sense of community with recognition and empowerment. As many such subcultures repudiate dominant norms, we note how they resemble the medieval carnival, which Bakhtin showed was a time and place of inversion, transgression, and celebration of the grotesque. It allowed the common people encapsulate realms of agency to articulate disdain and resistance. Yet this served to reproduce the dominant system.
In much the same way, insofar as globalization is intimately tied to cities, we have seen the growing importance of cities as nodal points for global commerce as well as sites for entertainment and tourism. These factors, together with the longstanding anonymity and toleration of the city, have become focal points for the emergence of a number of oppositional subcultures. They include those who embrace extreme body modification, numerous forms of body adornment through piercings (rings, posts, studs), tattoos, and surgical modifications such as implanted horns, furrows, or split tongues. Following Simmel, adornment can be seen as a means of inclusion within a group and differentiation from others. The practitioners of extreme body modification label themselves “urban primitives,” who see themselves rejecting global modernity, the occupation-based status hierarchies of the dominant occupational system and its shallow, materialistic culture. They see themselves as a moment of the “transvaluation of values” in which Dionysian passion triumphs over Apollonian control and restraint. This is especially evident in various genital decorations in which what heretofore has been private and exposure was a matter of shame. There has been a “cultural transformation of the pubic sphere.” While such groups find community, identity and recognition, they must also be understood as a key ingredient of the city in a global age in which diversity, cosmopolitanism, and the offbeat constitute essential moments of urban ambience.
In recent years there has been a veritable explosion in Fanonian studies and this would be a welcome development given the scope and depth of Fanon's insights…
In recent years there has been a veritable explosion in Fanonian studies and this would be a welcome development given the scope and depth of Fanon's insights. Unfortunately, Fanon's work itself has been “post-alized” in recent years especially in the Western literary academy. This exploration of Fanon's work has, for the most part, been in the form of “textual” analyses which tend to obfuscate the radical humanistic underpinnings of Fanon's writings. Many postcolonial and postmodern discourses which have appropriated Fanon to buttress their valorization of “difference” and “identity politics” in an era hostile to universalism and humanism have, in effect, excised the critical, normative, and revolutionary humanist vision which informs Fanon's oeuvre. As such, these renderings have robbed Fanon's work of the critical insights and interpretive frameworks that it offers in confronting some of the pressing issues of our day: questions of identity politics, difference, class, agency, political struggle, etc. The intent of this paper is to argue that Fanon offers a dialetical framework for discerning relationships of identity as ideological constructions which mediate between structurally located hegemonic blocs and the conciousness of empirical subjects, and, which clearly situates identity and difference within broader networks of domination and exploitation by navigating a course between the Structure/ agency; humanism/anti-humanism binaries that have dominated contemporary social thought.