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tsuomela : symbolism   11

The Meaning of Black Friday | Jacobin
"Black Friday relies for its occult meaning on the previous inviolability of Thanksgiving, which it then debases. This year, with the 8 AM Thanksgiving openings, it has completed the process, and eaten its way out the other side of what remained of the “holy” day. As a traffic accident it began, and thus does it end, a disaster that everyone recognizes as such, but no one has much idea what to do about — paralyzed by the contradictions of a culture whose system has gone to war against it."
holidays  shopping  retail  symbolism  symbols  capitalism  economics 
december 2014 by tsuomela
Bourdieu, ethics and symbolic power - Pellandini-Simányi - 2014 - The Sociological Review - Wiley Online Library
"This article critically discusses Pierre Bourdieu's views on ethics and normative evaluations. Bourdieu acknowledged that people hold ethical stances, yet sought to show that these stances are – unconsciously – conducive to obtaining symbolic power and legitimizing hierarchy. The first part of the article looks at this argument and charts the shifts it went through particularly in the early 1990s. The second part discusses ontological and empirical critiques of the ethics as ideology argument and suggests the latter to be more salient, as Bourdieu proposed his argument as an empirical rather than as an ontological point. The reason why he nevertheless found the ethics as ideology explanation fitting to nearly all the cases he studied, as the third part argues, is not simply that reality ‘obliged’ him to do so, but his circular definition of symbolic capital as qualities that are worthy of esteem. This definition makes his argument of ethics as ideology unfalsifiable and impedes him from distinguishing between cases when legitimate power is the aim of ethics and between those when it is merely their side effect. The article concludes by suggesting ways in which Bourdieu's work can be fruitfully incorporated into the study of ethics once the tautology is resolved."
ethics  philosophy  critical-theory  sociology  social-theory  power  symbolism 
december 2014 by tsuomela
Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog: What is Basic Research?
"So what is "basic research"? It is motherhood, apple pie and all that is good. It is, as Brian Cox would say, axiomatically a good thing. As such, "basic research" as a political symbol has proven to be a big obstacle to science policy research. After all, why question something that is axiomatically good? What are you, anti-science? Further, the inherent virtue of basic research means that precise knowledge of mechanisms of that goodness are not needed. If decisions about science and utilizing science are to be systematically evaluated and refined, it will be necessary to move beyond political symbols. But political symbols, obviously, are powerful things."
research  basic-research  symbolism  politics  rhetoric  science  funding  history 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Memorial Day: Enter Hitler, Release 2.0 - Clusterfuck Nation
"This is exactly the theme of Sarah Palin's campaign. A large segment of the American public has entered the dark wilderness of loserdom. They've lost jobs, incomes, and even their homes. They can't support a family, can't afford to gas up their God-given cars, can hardly even afford to buy food - though many of this group have been programmed, tragically, to get much of their food from hamburger and taco dispensaries that "free market" America has generously dotted the landscape with. They are ashamed, especially living in a nation where liberty is supposed to enable you to get a leg up in the world, to be self-reliant, to make something of yourself. Hence, they imagine themselves to have somehow been deprived of liberty (and honor!) which they must now get back. "
PalinSarah  politics  ideology  campaign  symbolism  symbols  failure 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Symbols and Substance « The Baseline Scenario
"This seems like a pretty straightforward description of why interest groups are politically powerful. I think Edelman’s additional contribution is the emphasis on the use of symbols by the Insiders to distract the Outsiders: “For Edelman, symbolic reassurance and political quiescence were somewhat troubling phenomena. The masses were being lulled by symbolic gestures into accepting adverse political outcomes.”"
political-science  symbolism  politics 
december 2010 by tsuomela
slacktivist: Vampires & crosses
Vampire stories tell us, for example, than any of us can have great power if only we are willing to prey on others. Feed off the blood of others and great power will be yours. This is demonstrably true. It's how the pyramids were built. And Standard Oil.
vampires  story  religion  ethics  symbols  symbolism 
september 2009 by tsuomela

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