These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC36 Alienation Theory and Research (host committee)

Language: English

Kant’s celebration of reason was a central moment of modernity for Max Weber, who viewed reason solely in terms of logic, rationality, evidence, and, most of all, the disenchantment of the world. Furthermore, given that bureaucracy constituted Weber’s model of contemporary organization, displacing various types of patrimonial organizations and undergirded as it was by the growth of science, he expected the world to become orderly, rational, and predictable. But this was not to be, and we instead encountered World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and, more recently, neoliberal globalization. Neoliberalism has played havoc with the economy, governance, and, indeed, cultural values, even as it celebrated and sought to legitimate capitalism, and the contemporary world might well be considered more precarious than earlier times. The resulting, and greatly increased, uncertainty provides one reason for why certain postmodernists came to reject grand narratives. Perhaps one of the most useful descriptions of the contemporary world can be found in Bauman’s notion of liquid modernity, which implies greater flexibility albeit uncertainty, fluidity rather than solid structures. But the concept of alienation nevertheless remains an essential element of globalized capitalism as well as a robust concept for understanding society, even though the mediating causes, expressions, and consequences of alienation are radically different today from the world of the 1840s penned by Marx. This session will attempt to explore contemporary articulations of alienation in various aspects of social life, social institutions, and other social settings.
Session Organizer:
Michael THOMPSON, William Paterson University, USA
Michael THOMPSON, William Paterson University, USA
Oral Presentations
New Knowledge Contemporary Aesthetics of Sciences and the Dirge of the Withering Scholar
Dirk MICHEL-SCHERTGES, Aarhus University, Faculty of Arts, DPU, Denmark
When Dignity Is Impossible
Andrew BLASKO, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
Racism in Former Soviet Republics: A Critical Account
Nikolay ZAKHAROV, Södertörn University, Sweden