Exlposion of Violence, Anomic Condition and Regression to the Archaic Man: Three Feautures of Contemporary Society

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Mariolina GRAZIOSI, University of Milan, Italy
Explosion of violence, anomic condition and regression to the archaic man: three features of contemporary society

The question about the reasons for the overwhelming spread of violence is becoming more and more crucial. We are witnessing an increase in violence in many different forms: terrorism, sexual abuse of women, which ever more frequently turn into feminicide; abuse of the homeless and in general toward every form of weakness.

In my paper, I would like to analyse this explosion of violence in the light of Durkheim’s theory of anomie, that is the weakening of the authority of norms and values and with it the weakening of social ties. Durkheim argues that such social conditions have a strong impact on the individual causing a loss of orientation that can easily lead to deviance, in different forms.

Even though Durkheim’s view explains the explosion of violence in contemporary society very well, it cannot be considered the only and last explanation. I believe that the condition of anomie, together associated with individual regression, both due to radical individualism and free market, well expressed in the ideology of the fittest, causes the emergence of the archaic instinctual man, as the other face of the rational man. In the former the ego is no longer fit to mediate but accepts the urge to kill the other, who is seen as the enemy rather than as his own kind. The main question I will explore is then the explosion of irrationality vis a vis an increase of rationalization (for instance the diffusion of Mac-Donaldization) and what we can expect in the future. In particular, is it a momentary explosion or will it transform society making the idea of solidarity obsolete and substituting it with the idea of social struggle as an ordinary condition.