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Karsten Harries

The phrase ‘Spirit of Revenge’ is taken from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, where it names the deepest source of human self-alienation. In Sartre – but perhaps I should be more precise and say in Being and Nothingness – as I will try to show, the spirit of revenge finds paradigmatic expression.

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’Tis but a Habit in an Unconsolidated Democracy

Habitual Voting, Political Alienation and Spectatorship

Anthony Lawrence A. Borja

The electoral process can be considered as one basic component of a democracy and for this reason one way to evaluate the progress of a democratisation project is by looking at the development of this civic practice in terms of both quantity (voter turnout) and quality (voters’ preferences). Focusing on the former, specifically the impact of political alienation on electoral participation as voter turnout this article will look at the challenges to democratisation posed by electoral politics. From the case of electoral participation in the Philippines, I ask the question: What is the relationship between political alienation and voter turnout in the context of the latter enjoying relatively high and sustained rates? Through a synthesis between the notions of political spectatorship, habitual voting and the learning approach towards analysing voter behaviour, I argue that electoral participation is a disempowered mode of participation resulting from the interdependence of sustained spectatorship and habitual voting.

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The “Democracy-Politics Paradox”

The Dynamics of Political Alienation

Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans

Contemporary political scientists have observed a democratic paradox that has crystallized around the disconnection between how citizens imagine their democracy and how politics is practiced. Citizens continue to believe in the values of liberal democracy but are increasingly disillusioned with how their political systems work and the politics that are practiced in the name of democracy. This article revisits the root causes of political alienation to better understand this democratic paradox. It provides both a conceptual understanding of political alienation and its domain of action and insights into how the concept can be operationalized and measured in empirical research. It argues that while democracy itself may not be in crisis, the politics on which its operation rests is in peril.

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Benjamin Hutchens

This article explores Sartre's approach to the phenomenon and praxis of boxing in the Critique of Dialectical Reason. It examines two aspects of Sartre's approach to the 'sweet science': first, it analyses the claim that a single boxing match (and each punch thrown within it) 'incarnates' all the violence of boxing itself, which in turn 'incarnates' all socio-economic violence, so that, by extension, all such violence is concretely particularized in the boxing match; and second, it attempts to link the phenomenology of transcending/transcended subjectivities degraded by the fight-relation to the praxiology of alienation and the deterioration of praxis.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Important social aspects of contemporary higher education are addressed in this issue by authors from a number of countries and social science disciplines. These range from learning and teaching concepts of capitalism and alienation, to the impacts of computerised university administration, the systematic ways certain categories of students fall through cracks in the academic pipeline, and how to reintroduce social activism into a ‘professionalised’ curriculum and teach social justice through international study visits.

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Home or Away?

Widening Participation and the Challenge for Anthropology

Paul Hawkins and David Mills

Drawing on recent ethnographic research with 'non-traditional' humanities and social science students at a 'new' university in the North West of England, this paper explores their contradictory experiences of alienation and engagement, and their attitudes to institutional 'Widening Participation' initiatives. It argues that these students' institutional survival depends on negotiating the conflicting expectations of their academic relationships and their day-to-day social responsibilities beyond the university.

What might these findings mean for anthropology's own pedagogic strategies? The paper ends by suggesting that a subject that asks its students fundamentally to question their established senses of self and 'home' may pose a further challenge for students for whom strained personal and domestic relationships, ambivalence and self-doubt are dominant motifs of their whole university experience.

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Robin Oakley

The constitution, the law of the land of the modern state, is fertile ground for the Eurocentric imagination of the Canadian polity as a result of the resiliency of Victorian-era sentiments. The ethno-racial hierarchy contained within this political imagery merges well with the public health mandate process of 'othering'. Othering situates the causes of disease and illness in foreign bodies rather than in the social structures of industrial capitalism. Chief among its morbid symptoms, othering produces a sense of alienation in those subjected to it. Sri Lankan Tamils are one of the newer migrant populations who have been subjected to, and have resisted this intrinsically violent othering process. This article examines the Canadian constitution as it relates to ethno-racial classification, and then explores how this scheme is reproduced in common experiences of the public health system and its effects on the health and well-being of Canadian Tamils.

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Contradictions in Tourism

The Promise and Pitfalls of Ecotourism as a Manifold Capitalist Fix

Robert Fletcher and Katja Neves

This article reviews an interdisciplinary literature exploring the relationship between tourism and capitalism focused on ecotourism in particular. One of this literature's most salient features is to highlight ecotourism's function in employing capitalist mechanisms to address problems of capitalist development itself by attempting to resolve a series of contradictions intrinsic to the accumulation process, including: economic stagnation due to overaccumulation (time/space x); growing inequality and social unrest (social x); limitations on capital accumulation resulting from ecological degradation (environmental x); a widespread sense of alienation between humans and nonhuman natures; and a loss of “enchantment“ due to capitalist rationalization. Hence, widespread advocacy of ecotourism as a “panacea“ for diverse social and environmental ills can be interpreted as an implicit endorsement of its potential as a manifold capitalist x as well. The article concludes by outlining a number of possible directions for future research suggested by this review.

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Frank P. Tomasulo and Jason Grant McKahan

Although the extant scholarly literature on the cinema of the late Michelangelo Antonioni has often valorized his use of images and mise-en-scène to explore themes and reflections on humanism and alienation, few have examined the means by which the director conveyed ideas on psychology and sexuality in modern life and Italian culture. This article considers Antonioni's "trilogy"—L'avventura (The Adventure, 1959), La notte (Night, 1960), and L'eclisse (Eclipse, 1962)—in light of the modernist project, especially with regard to the conjuncture of psychology and sexuality within the historical context of the 1960s and the sexio-psychological discourses of that period. Finally, Antonioni's worldview is investigated, particularly as it pertains to his stated concept of malattia dei sentimenti, or "Sick Eros."

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Lalita Pandit Hogan

This article discusses filmic emotion by focusing on how the dominant color (blue in Gabbeh and Meenaxi; red in Mirch Masala) is used to elicit emotion. Through alienation effect, the viewer is distanced from the aims and goals of characters, and is less likely to experience the sorts of emotions that result from identification. The first two films use multiple frames of narration leading to character(s) in the outer frame becoming like spectators, invested in, for instance, fortune of others emotions that are central to the enjoyment of movies. In Mirch Masala, narration focuses on class struggle; there is minimal engagement with characters' individual aims, goals, and desires. While the red film foregrounds social anger, the blue films foreground consciousness. The three films together ask questions about what makes war and what makes peace, and how human action and human consciousness, represented through colors, figures in all this.