The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity…
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity in ontology and accounts of human nature, critical theories have been critical of the relationship between ontological and normative projects. Queer theory in particular has been critical of ontological endeavors. Exploring the problem of normativity and ontology, this paper will make the case that the critical realist ontology of open systems and complex, contingent, conjunctural causation deeply resonates with queer theory, generating a queer ontology that both allows for and undermines ontological and normative projects.
Purpose – This contribution draws on the processually proceeding historico-genetic theory developed by Günter Dux, in order to reconstruct the emergence of normativity as…
Purpose – This contribution draws on the processually proceeding historico-genetic theory developed by Günter Dux, in order to reconstruct the emergence of normativity as a central mode of human social organization from nonnormatively ordered prehuman societies.
Design/methodology/approach – In the first step, some of the most important premises and core arguments of historico-genetic theory are being explicated, as well as its conception of society. These are then illustrated with reference to the socio-genesis of normativity and of morality as a special kind of normativity. The chapter concludes with an attempt to evaluate the productiveness of historico-genetically oriented explanations.
Findings – According to sociological accounts, only human beings are able to develop mentally construed sociocultural forms and worlds, which are mediated through thought and language, and stabilized and secured by means of normativity. For the modern, natural scientifically shaped antimetaphysical understanding of the world, however, the normative constitution of human social forms of cultural organization as a distinguishing mark of the conditio humana can only be understood as a successor organization to a natural-historical precursor.
Originality/value – This chapter introduces the theoretical perspective of contemporary German social theorist Günter Dux to English-speaking readers, and provides a critical assessment of his work.
Allen’s critique of current Frankfurt School theory presents the joint methods of “problematizing genealogy” and “metanormative contextualism” as alternative for the…
Allen’s critique of current Frankfurt School theory presents the joint methods of “problematizing genealogy” and “metanormative contextualism” as alternative for the normative grounding of critical theory. Through a close reading of Allen’s critique, I investigate whether Allen’s identification of philosophy of history is an accurate diagnosis of the problems of the normative grounding of current Frankfurt School theory, whether Allen’s distinction between metanormative and normative levels is tenable for critical theory, and whether Allen’s methodology constitutes a viable alternative for the normative grounding of critical theory. As an alternative, I suggest scrutinizing the grounding strategies of current Frankfurt School theory to expand beyond their genealogy in Enlightenment thought, and address the question of what made the affirmative form of thought underlying current Frankfurt School theory a historical possibility. Expanding on Allen’s reiteration of the mediated nature of categories, I suggest that the stark contrast between forms of thought underlying first- and second-generation Frankfurt School critical theory needs to be understood not in relation to philosophy of history but against the backdrop of the specific context of the European historical present that informs its normative universe.
My response to the thoughtful and insightful critical discussions of my book, The End of Progress, offered by Reha Kadakal, George Steinmetz, Karen Ng, and Kevin Olson…
My response to the thoughtful and insightful critical discussions of my book, The End of Progress, offered by Reha Kadakal, George Steinmetz, Karen Ng, and Kevin Olson, restates its motivation and rationale to defend my interpretive claims regarding Adorno, Foucault, Habermas, Honneth, and Forst by applying standards drawn from the first two theorists that are consonant with postcolonial critical theory to the perspectives, claims, and theoretical contributions of the latter three theorists. Habermas, Honneth, and Forst presume a historical present that has shaped the second, third, and fourth generations of the Frankfurt School they represent – a present that appears to be characterized by relative social and political stability – a stability that only applies in the context of Europe and the United States. Elsewhere, anti-colonial struggles, proxy wars, and even genocides were related to the persistent legacies of European colonialism and consequences of American imperialism. Yet, critical theory must expand its angle of vision and acknowledge how its own critical perspective is situated within the postcolonial present. The essays of Kadakal and Ng express concerns about my metanormative contextualism and the question of whether Adorno’s work can be deployed to support it. Steinmetz challenges my “process of elimination” argument for metanormative contextualism and asks why I assume that constructivism, reconstructivism, and problematizing genealogy exhaust the available options for grounding normativity. Olson calls for a methodological decolonization to complement the epistemic decolonization I recommend. Critical theory should produce critical theories of actually existing societies, rather than being preoccupied with meta-theory or disputes over clashing paradigms.
The objective of this chapter is to analyse the impact of France’s ‘Grenelle 2’ law of 2010, which applies to environmental accounting disclosures (EADs). More…
The objective of this chapter is to analyse the impact of France’s ‘Grenelle 2’ law of 2010, which applies to environmental accounting disclosures (EADs). More specifically, it seeks to observe whether the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ ‘comply or explain’ model, transposed into the French regulatory framework, influences the disclosure strategies of firms that are listed on a regulated market.
Drawing on the theoretical framework of legitimacy and the concept of normativity, an empirical study is conducted on a sample of 96 French firms listed on the SBF index between 2009 and 2014. The effect of regulation is assessed by a content analysis of EAD in annual reports, examining changes in disclosure practices and the contents of disclosures.
The main results show that explanations for the absence of EAD showed a significant increase after the introduction of the law. We also observe that the new rules had no effect on the number of firms making EADs, although the quality of the disclosures declined. Finally, the results also concern practices of non-disclosure without any accompanying explanation.
The limitations of this study relate to the choices underlying the classifications and observations made during the content analysis.
This study has social relevance in that it supplies information for assessing the transposition of European directives into French law.
This study extends research concerning environmental disclosures by examining a recent accounting object. It also continues the debate on normativity, with its analysis of disclosures subject to a changing regulatory framework.
This chapter rethinks the future of critical theory by engaging Amy Allen’s recent work. Allen does the Frankfurt School a great service by drawing a sharp-edged picture of some significant problems. I aim to think along with her in a spirit of shared sympathies that follow sometimes divergent paths. I agree with Allen’s critique of Frankfurt tendencies toward Eurocentrism, progress thinking, and historical teleology. However, I also argue that critical theory must be more thoroughly reconfigured to adequately address the struggles and wishes of our age. Specifically, recent work of the Frankfurt School displaces critique in two important ways. The first is a tendency to work at a paradigmatic, meta-level of analysis rather than focusing on concrete problems. The second is a tendency to rely on democratic procedure for normativity without taking account of the tensions and contradictions in actual political cultures. In place of these uncritical tendencies, we need more interpretive and freely experimental critical strategies. One example is an interpretive approach that problematizes political cultures, revealing the tensions ignored by proceduralism. Another example lies in the rich archives of postcolonial thought that have had such a large impact on contemporary political and social life. Postcolonial critique is a non-dogmatic and flexible form of interpretation that has great potential to address problems of racism, international inequality, and the false universalism of many of our ideals.
Purpose: To consider the extent to which the legal recognition of non-binary gender has the potential to disrupt the gender binary.Methodology/Approach: This chapter will…
Purpose: To consider the extent to which the legal recognition of non-binary gender has the potential to disrupt the gender binary.
Methodology/Approach: This chapter will employ case study as method, focusing on recent changes to Australian law and policy, which introduce a third gender category. I rely on the work of queer theorists on normativity and recognition as a theoretical framework and on the work of social scientists on transgender people as evidence.
Findings: This chapter finds that while there is much to be celebrated about increasing alternatives to the dominant categories of male and female, the legal recognition of non-binary gender may in fact serve to conceptually purge the dominant gender categories of non-conforming elements while simultaneously masking the ways in which institutions of regulatory power continue to demand conformity with normative standards of gender.
Research Limitations: Since few non-binary individuals in Australia have adopted the X marker the implications laid out in this paper are speculative. The experiences of non-binary individuals present an important avenue for further research.
Practical Implications: I recommend, as an alternative to further gender classifications, that we should seek to minimize the degree to which membership of a particular gender category is used to distribute rights and privileges.
Originality/Value of Paper: This chapter advances the literature on non-binary gender, contributes to existing queer and feminist analyses of the gender binary and extends work on normativity to legal recognition of alternative genders.
Notes that people use self‐presentation strategies to enhance their self‐image, and in doing so, they rely on norms. Raises the question of the desirability and…
Notes that people use self‐presentation strategies to enhance their self‐image, and in doing so, they rely on norms. Raises the question of the desirability and feasibility of giving training to individuals in normative self‐presentation, where the idea is to teach the trainees to refer to judgment norms when responding in formal evaluation situations (like job interviews). Three judgment norms are used as illustration: internality, self‐sufficiency, and individual anchoring. The materials for training in these three norms are tested using the methods and techniques of the socionormative approach, and briefly presented. The ethical implications of this type of training are discussed.
The main purpose of this essay is to reflect on the nature of justification. To this end, the analysis draws on Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s De la justification…
The main purpose of this essay is to reflect on the nature of justification. To this end, the analysis draws on Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s De la justification. Les économies de la grandeur 1 [On Justification: Economies of Worth 2 ]. More specifically, the article aims to examine the extent to which Boltanski and Thévenot’s conceptual framework, widely known as ‘the sociology of critical capacity’, 3 permits us to demonstrate that processes of justification 4 are vital to the symbolically mediated construction – that is, to both the conceptual and the empirical organization 5 – of social life. In order to prove the validity of this contention, the inquiry explores the meaning of ‘justification’ in relation to the following dimensions: (1) existence, (2) ethics, (3) justice, (4) perspective, (5) presuppositions, (6) agreement, (7) common worlds, (8) critique, (9) practice and (10) justification itself. By way of conclusion, the article maintains that processes of justification constitute an essential ingredient of human reality.
The objective of this study is to provide insights into insiders' perspectives on environmental accounting disclosures, which is relatively under-investigated. Based on…
The objective of this study is to provide insights into insiders' perspectives on environmental accounting disclosures, which is relatively under-investigated. Based on insights from key managers, we provide information on company decisions and practices related to the data disclosed in annual reports. More specifically, we explore how regulation guidance affects and shapes disclosure strategies.
Drawing on the normativity framework, our research design involves a multiple-case study focusing on eight French listed firms in sensitive industries. We primarily build our investigation on the analysis of annual reports. Semi-structured interviews with 20 key managers belonging to these same firms provide interpretative explanations of the disclosed (and un-disclosed) figures.
Our main findings show that the disclosure of environmental accounting information (EAI) is still in its infancy. Weak definitions and poor guidance in regulations explain the limitations in disclosure and induce interpretative strategies depending on the type of data to be disclosed in the companies' annual reports. We document that separate logics drive environmental expenditure and environmental liability disclosures in many respects.
This study should be useful for regulators because environmental accounting standards are currently subject to change and helpful for users because of the careful consideration of disclosures.
Our research is timely and adds to the growing body of research on regulation. We document how a common regulation may lead to interpretative strategies by different actors and networks of actors, thereby contributing to shaping EAI norms.