Essays on the ‘Pragmatic Sociology of Critique’

Author: Simon Susen,Bryan S. Turner

Publisher: Anthem Press

ISBN: 1783082968

Category: Social Science

Page: 884

View: 2965

What is the relevance of Luc Boltanski’s ‘pragmatic sociology of critique’ to central issues in contemporary social and political analysis? In seeking to respond to this question, this book contains critical commentaries from prominent social theorists attempting to map out the influence and broad scope of Boltanski’s oeuvre.
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Author: Luc Boltanski,Eve Chiapello

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1786633272

Category: Political Science

Page: 688

View: 3547

New edition of this major work examining the development of neoliberalism In this established classic, sociologists Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello get to the heart of contemporary capitalism. Delving deep into the latest management texts informing the thinking of employers, the authors trace the contours of a new spirit of capitalism. They argue that beginning in the mid-1970s, capitalism abandoned the hierarchical Fordist work structure and developed a new network-based form of organization founded on employee initiative and autonomy in the workplace—a putative freedom bought at the cost of material and psychological security. This was a spirit in tune with the libertarian and romantic currents of the period (as epitomized by dressed-down, cool capitalists such as Bill Gates and Ben and Jerry) and, as the authors argue, a more successful, pernicious, and subtle form of exploitation. In this new edition, the authors reflect on the reception of the book and the debates it has stimulated.
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A Sociology of Emancipation

Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745683533

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 6810

The relationship between sociology and social critique has haunted the discipline since its origins. Does critique divert sociology from its scientific project? Or is critique the ultimate goal of sociology, without which the latter would be a futile activity disconnected from the concerns of ordinary people? This issue has underpinned two divergent theoretical orientations that can be found in the discipline today: the critical sociology that was developed in its most elaborate form by Pierre Bourdieu, and the pragmatic sociology of critique developed by Luc Boltanski and his associates. In critical sociology, description in terms of power relations underscores the potency of mechanisms of oppression, the way the oppressed passively endure them, going so far in their alienation as to adopt the values that enslave them. Pragmatic sociology, by contrast, describes the actions of human beings who rebel but who are endowed with reason. It stresses their ability, in certain historical conditions, to rise up against their domination and construct new interpretations of reality in the service of critical activity. In this major new book Boltanski develops a framework that makes it possible to reconcile these seemingly antagonistic approaches - the one determinist and assigning the leading role to the enlightening science of the sociologist, the other concerned to stick as closely as possible to what people say and do. This labour of unification leads him to rework central notions such as practice, institution, critique and, finally, ‘social reality,' all with the aim of contributing to a contemporary renewal of practices of emancipation.
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Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 0745649106

Category: Philosophy

Page: 340

View: 9562

People care a great deal about justice. They protest and engage in confrontations with others when their sense of justice is affronted or disturbed. When they do this, they don’t generally act in a strategic or calculating way but use arguments that claim a general validity. Disputes are commonly regulated by these ‘regimes of justice’ implicit in everyday social life. But justice is not the only regime that governs action. There are some actions that are selfless and gratuitous, and that belong to what might be called a regime of ‘peace’ or ‘love’. In the course of their everyday lives, people constantly move back and forth between these two regimes, that of justice and that of love. And everyone also has the capacity for violence, which arises when the regulation of action within either of these regimes breaks down. In Love and Justice as Competences, Boltanski lays out this highly original framework for analysing the action of individuals as they pursue their day-to-day lives. The framework outlined in this important book is the basis for the path-breaking work that he has developed over the last twenty years – work that has examined the moral foundations of society in and through the forms of everyday conflict. For anyone who wants to understand what a critical sociology might mean today, this book is an essential text.
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Economies of Worth

Author: Luc Boltanski,Laurent Thévenot

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691125169

Category: Social Science

Page: 389

View: 6441

A vital and underappreciated dimension of social interaction is the way individuals justify their actions to others, instinctively drawing on their experience to appeal to principles they hope will command respect. Individuals, however, often misread situations, and many disagreements can be explained by people appealing, knowingly and unknowingly, to different principles. On Justification is the first English translation of Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot's ambitious theoretical examination of these phenomena, a book that has already had a huge impact on French sociology and is likely to have a similar influence in the English-speaking world. In this foundational work of post-Bourdieu sociology, the authors examine a wide range of situations where people justify their actions. The authors argue that justifications fall into six main logics exemplified by six authors: civic (Rousseau), market (Adam Smith), industrial (Saint-Simon), domestic (Bossuet), inspiration (Augustine), and fame (Hobbes). The authors show how these justifications conflict, as people compete to legitimize their views of a situation. On Justification is likely to spark important debates across the social sciences.
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Detective Stories, Spy Novels and the Making of Modern Societies

Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745683444

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 4222

The detective story, focused on inquiries, and in its wake the spy novel, built around conspiracies, developed as genres in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the same period, psychiatry was inventing paranoia, sociology was devising new forms of causality to explain the social lives of individuals and groups and political science was shifting the problematics of paranoia from the psychic to the social realm and seeking to explain historical events in terms of conspiracy theories. In each instance, social reality was cast into doubt. We owe the project of organizing and unifying this reality for a particular population and territory to the nation-state as it took shape at the end of the nineteenth century. Thus the figure of conspiracy became the focal point for suspicions concerning the exercise of power. Where does power really lie, and who actually holds it? The national authorities that are presumed to be responsible for it, or other agencies acting in the shadows - bankers, anarchists, secret societies, the ruling class? Questions of this kind provided the scaffolding for political ontologies that banked on a doubly distributed reality: an official but superficial reality and its opposite, a deeper, hidden, threatening reality that was unofficial but much more real. Crime fiction and spy fiction, paranoia and sociology - more or less concomitant inventions - had in common a new way of problematizing reality and of working through the contradictions inherit in it. The adventures of the conflict between these two realities - superficial versus real - provide the framework for this highly original book. Through an exploration of the work of the great masters of detective stories and spy novels - G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Le Carré and Graham Greene among others - Boltanski shows that these works of fiction and imagination tell us something fundamental about the nature of modern societies and the modern state.
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A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion

Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745683495

Category: Social Science

Page: 448

View: 1300

Abortion is a contentious issue in social life but it has rarely been subjected to careful scrutiny in the social sciences. While the legalization of abortion has brought it into the public domain, it still remains a sensitive topic in many cultures, often hidden from view and rarely spoken about, consigned to a shadowy existence. Drawing on reports gathered from hospital settings and in-depth interviews with women who have had abortions, Luc Boltanski sets out to explain the ambiguous status of this social practice. Abortion, he argues, has to remain in the shadows, for it reveals a contradiction at the heart of the social contract: the principle of the uniqueness of beings conflicts with the postulate of their replaceable nature, a postulate without which no society would achieve demographic renewal. This leads Boltanski to explore the way human beings are engendered and to analyze the symbolic constraints that preside over their entry into society. What makes a human being is not the foetus as such, ensconced within the body, but rather the process by which it is taken up symbolically in speech - that is, its symbolic adoption. But this symbolic adoption presupposes the possibility of discriminating among embryos that are indistinguishable. For society, and sometimes for individuals, the arbitrary character of this discrimination is hard to tolerate. The contradiction is made bearable, Boltanski shows, by a grammatical categorization: the “project” foetus - adopted by its parents, who use speech to welcome the new being and give it a name - is juxtaposed to the “tumoral” foetus, an accidental embryo that will not be the object of a life-forming project. Bringing together grammar, narrations of life experience and an historical perspective, this highly original book sheds fresh light on a social phenomenon that is widely practised but poorly understood.
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Morality, Media and Politics

Author: Luc Boltanski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521659536

Category: Social Science

Page: 246

View: 6410

Distant Suffering, first published in 1999, examines the moral and political implications for a spectator of the distant suffering of others as presented through the media. What are the morally acceptable responses to the sight of suffering on television, for example, when the viewer cannot act directly to affect the circumstances in which the suffering takes place? Luc Boltanski argues that spectators can actively involve themselves and others by speaking about what they have seen and how they were affected by it. Developing ideas in Adam Smith's moral theory, he examines three rhetorical 'topics' available for the expression of the spectator's response to suffering: the topics of denunciation and of sentiment and the aesthetic topic. The book concludes with a discussion of a 'crisis of pity' in relation to modern forms of humanitarianism. A possible way out of this crisis is suggested which involves an emphasis and focus on present suffering.
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Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics

Author: Paul Du Gay,Glenn Morgan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198708831

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 328

View: 6814

After many years in which it appeared to be losing the pre-eminent position it had occupied in the lexicon of the social and human sciences, the term 'capitalism' has once again become a matter of critical concern, both theoretically and substantively, in a range of disciplinary fields. The global financial and environmental crises, and the shifting of economic power associated with the rise of the BRICs and the sovereign debt contagion in the Eurozone, for example, have all put the norms, practices, and devices of capitalist conduct back under the spotlight. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello's The New Spirit of Capitalism has become a seminal text since its publication, sparking debate about the meaning, significance, and effects of contemporary changes in economic and organizational life, and becoming a reference point in political discussions about the welfare state, collective action in a 'networked' world, and reconciliation of the interests of social justice with the 'laws of the markets'. This edited book offers the first comprehensive attempt to examine the power and reach of Boltanski and Chiapello's argument, the text's theoretical and methodological perspectives, tools, and techniques, and to do so in relation to the development of neo-liberal capitalism in the period since its original publication and in particular the culmination of these developments in the ongoing crisis since the financial collapse of 2007-8. The volume provides both a balanced critique and overview of New Spirit, but also shows how it can be used in a variety of empirical studies to develop new insights into the functioning and regulation of capitalism in the contemporary era. The volume brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplinary fields such as Sociology, Management and Organization Studies, and Geography. Luc Boltanksi and Eve Chiapello also offer their thoughts on the continuing relevance of New Spirit over a decade after its publication, and in the context of contemporary global economic and political developments.
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Author: Bryan S Turner

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1847876854

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 2483

In this book, one of the foremost sociologists of the present day, turns his gaze upon the key figures and seminal institutions in the rise of sociology. Turner examines the work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Karl Mannheim, Georg Simmel, Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons to produce a rich and authoritative perspective on the classical tradition. He argues that classical sociology has developed on many fronts, including debates on the family, religion, the city, social stratification, generations and citizenship. The book defends classical perspectives as a living tradition for understanding contemporary social life and demonstrates how the classical tradition produces an agenda for contemporary sociology.
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How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being

Author: William Davies

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781688478

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 1307

In winter 2014, a Tibetan monk lectured the world leaders gathered at Davos on the importance of Happiness. The recent DSM-5, the manual of all diagnosable mental illnesses, for the first time included shyness and grief as treatable diseases. Happiness has become the biggest idea of our age, a new religion dedicated to well-being. In this brilliant dissection of our times, political economist William Davies shows how this philosophy, first pronounced by Jeremy Bentham in the 1780s, has dominated the political debates that have delivered neoliberalism. From a history of business strategies of how to get the best out of employees, to the increased level of surveillance measuring every aspect of our lives; from why experts prefer to measure the chemical in the brain than ask you how you are feeling, to why Freakonomics tells us less about the way people behave than expected, The Happiness Industry is an essential guide to the marketization of modern life. Davies shows that the science of happiness is less a science than an extension of hyper-capitalism.
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Disbelief and Discredit

Author: Bernard Stiegler

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9780745648149

Category: Social Science

Page: 140

View: 1380

Max Weber famously argued that the rise of capitalism in early modern Europe was premised on the emergence of a distinctive set of attitudes - including the pursuit of profit for its own sake - which he called ‘the spirit of capitalism’. Today, when capitalism has spread across the globe, the spirit of capitalism would appear to reign supreme. In this important book Bernard Stiegler takes a very different view: what we are witnessing today is not the triumph of the spirit of capitalism but rather its demise, as our contemporary ‘hyper-industrial’ societies become increasingly uncontrollable, profoundly irrational and incapable of inspiring hope. Disenchantment and despair have become the everyday lived experiences of countless individuals. Far from being a moment of liberation, May '68 was just the first symptom of our increasing disenchantment and 'spiritual misery'. The libidinal energy that originally underpinned capitalism has become an unbound force, unleashing drives that can no longer be contained. Is there an alternative? Stiegler argues that the development of alternatives must begin with a new industrial policy, designed to recognize that technologies are what Plato called pharmaka, meaning both poison and cure. Industrial society has a future only if we can create technologies that foster relations of care (otium) for people whose spirit has been exhausted by contemporary consumerism. We must develop an ecology not only to protect the planet but also to renew the exploited energies of human desire. This volume - the third in a trilogy that includes The Decadence of Industrial Democracies and Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals - will consolidate Stiegler's reputation as one of the most original philosophers and cultural theorists of our time.
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Author: Jasper Bernes

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503602605

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 9208

A novel account of the relationship between postindustrial capitalism and postmodern culture, this book looks at American poetry and art of the last fifty years in light of the massive changes in people's working lives. Over the last few decades, we have seen the shift from an economy based on the production of goods to one based on the provision of services, the entry of large numbers of women into the workforce, and the emergence of new digital technologies that have transformed the way people work. The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization argues that art and literature not only reflected the transformation of the workplace but anticipated and may have contributed to it as well, providing some of the terms through which resistance to labor was expressed. As firms continue to tout creativity and to reorganize in response to this resistance, they increasingly rely on models of labor that derive from values and ideas found in the experimental poetry and conceptual art of decades past.
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Contributions from French Pragmatist Sociology

Author: Charlotte Cloutier,Jean-Pascal Gond,Bernard Leca

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing

ISBN: 1787143791

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 7579

This volume explores how mobilizing Boltanski and Thévenot’s economies of worth framework, and its associated concepts of justification, evaluation and critique, help address questions regarding the premises and dynamics of coordinated action, both within and across organizations, and by so doing help advance our understanding.
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From Waterwheel to Social Control

Author: Jennifer Karns Alexander

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801886935

Category: History

Page: 233

View: 5735

**** note: author may be promoted to associate professor 5/2007, may want to check for jacket****
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Financial and Psychic Economies in Victorian Form

Author: Anna Kornbluh

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0823254976

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 221

View: 6905

Traces modern rhetorical and ideological connections between finance and psychology first generated in the Victorian period in the journalism of Walter Bagehot and David Morier Evans; the novels of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope; and the critical works of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud.
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Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition

Author: William Davies

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 152641161X

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 5926

"Brilliant... explains how the rhetoric of competition has invaded almost every domain of our existence” - Evgeny Morozov, author of To Save Everything, Click Here “In this fascinating book Davies inverts the conventional neoliberal practice of treating politics as if it were mere epiphenomenon of market theory, demonstrating that their version of economics is far better understood as the pursuit of politics by other means” - Professor Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame "A sparkling, original, and provocative analysis of neoliberalism. It offers a distinctive account of the diverse, sometimes contradictory, conventions and justifications that lend authority to the extension of the spirit of competitiveness to all spheres of social life…This book breaks new ground, offers new modes of critique, and points to post-neoliberal futures” - Professor Bob Jessop, University of Lancaster Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics. This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model. By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy? Now with a new preface from the author and a foreword by Aditya Chakrabortty.
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Critical Essays

Author: Simon Susen,Bryan S. Turner

Publisher: Anthem Press

ISBN: 1783080728

Category: Social Science

Page: 470

View: 6663

These critical essays bring together prominent scholars in the social sciences to consider the diverse nature of the legacy of Pierre Bourdieu in contemporary social theory. In offering a range of perspectives on the continuing relevance of Bourdieu’s sociology, the essays of this volume examine Bourdieu’s relationship to both classical and contemporary social theory. This collection constructs an intellectual bridge between French-speaking and English-speaking accounts of Bourdieu’s work.
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Author: Carl Cederstr?m,Andre Spicer

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745688713

Category: Philosophy

Page: 200

View: 6429

Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your calories in your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be a victim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström and André Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximize our wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worse and provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndrome follows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet, corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and the self-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilet habits. This is a world where feeling good has become indistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation, political debate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientific evidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively and humorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is an indispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless quest to be happier and healthier.
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Beyond Violence and the Modern Era

Author: Tetsuji Yamamoto

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847695386

Category: Religion

Page: 856

View: 5321

This volume presents original writings and interviews with prominent thinkers on the front lines of an international intellectual effort to reconsider the fundamental terms of modernity and promote a philosophical design that reconsiders the significance of modernity itself.
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