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Enwinding Social Theory

Wind and Weather in Zulu Zionist Sensorial Experiences

Rune Flikke

very thin matter,” it is surprising that air has attracted comparatively little attention in social theory. The lack of focus on air and atmosphere might help explain why social scientific literature seldom treats experiences similar to Thandi’s as

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Rethinking Social Theory in Contemporary Social Movements

Nadia Ferrer

In current and future situations of trans-global crises, social dissent and related practices of resistance cut across conventional country boundaries. Expressions of dissent and resistance pursue change through unconventional practices not only to challenge current governance, but to re-invent participation. They seek to impact society by transforming acquired values, subjectivities and knowledge. Despite these transformations of people’s subjectivities, majoritarian theories examining social movements still focus on finding rational patterns that can be instrumentalized in data sets and produce generalizable theoretical outcomes. This paper problematizes how social theory makes sense of collective action practices on the ground. Everyday non-discursive practices prove productivity-led theories' increasing disengagement with their object while challenging the excessive bureaucratization of scientific knowledge (Lyotard, 1997). That is, people experiment collectively with their capacities, and create their own initiatives and identities which do not follow determined patterns but do-while-thinking. The dichotomist approach of majoritarian debates in collective action theory is critically analysed by introducing the work of ‘minor authors’ and ‘radical theorists’. The fundamental purpose of this paper is to open a discussion space between the field of social action theories and activism knowledge, hence encouraging the creation of plateaus that blur academic boundaries and construct new subjectivities beyond “the indignity of speaking for others” (Deleuze in Foucault et al., 1977. p. 209). Drawing on the experience of the 15th of May 2011 in Spain, I analyse how radical theory reflects on current movements and collectives."

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On Violence, Race, and Social Theory

Thinking with Wacquant and Du Bois

Ali Meghji

past few decades—when it comes to race and social theory—have largely focused on questioning how deep racial fissures get reproduced through post-racial ideologies (see Meghji 2022 ). Interestingly enough, violence was at the fore of much earlier

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Cosmopolitanism and Globality: Kant, Arendt, and Beck on the Global Condition

Roland Axtmann

The notion of cultural plurality and the idea of intercultural dialogue have been central to the discussion of cosmopolitanism in both political philosophy and social theory. This point is developed in an exposition of the arguments put forward by Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt and through a critical engagement with Ulrich Beck's social theory of cosmopolitanism as a “social reality.“ It is argued that Beck's analysis fails to convince as a sociological extension of a long philosophical tradition and that instead of Beck's macrostructural analysis it is more promising to formulate an actor-centred sociological theory on the transnationalization of social spaces and the formation of a “cosmopolitan“ consciousness or awareness of transnational actors.

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'Our Table Factory, Inc.': Learning Marx through role play

Neda Maghbouleh, Clayton Childress, and Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

Marx's critique of capitalism remains foundational to the university social science curriculum yet little is known about how instructors teach Marx. In post-industrial, service-oriented economies, students are also increasingly disconnected from the conditions of industrial capitalism that animate Marx's analysis. Inspired by the discussion of how a piece of wood becomes a table in Marx's Capital Vol. 1., 'Our Table Factory, Inc.' simulates a diverse array of roles in the chain of production into and out of a table factory to understand key concepts: means/mode of production, use/exchange value, primitive accumulation wage/surplus labour, proletariat, bourgeoisie, alienation, false consciousness, commodity fetishism and communist revolution. We describe the exercise and present qualitative and quantitative assessment data from introductory sociology undergraduates across three small teaching-intensive universities in the United States. Findings detail the exercise's efficacy in fostering retention of material and in facilitating critical engagement with issues of inequality.

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Clearing the Ground for Social Theory in South Africa

Bernard Dubbeld

Re-Imagining the Social in South Africa: Critique, Theory, and Post-Apartheid Society, edited by Heather Jacklin and Peter Vale

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The Socio-Theoretical Relevance of Erich Fromm's Psychoanalytic Conception of Narcissism

Towards a Frommian Critical Social Theory of Narcissism

Takamichi Sakurai

This article excavates Erich Fromm's psychoanalytic conception of narcissism within the framework of his social theory of alienation, thereby revealing the socio-theoretical relevance of the former theory and preparing for theoretical analyses of

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An Appreciation of the Ethnographic in Connell's The Men and the Boys

Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower

display throughout the book. Naturally, I appreciate her powers to create and wield social theory. Hegemonic masculinities has made truly profound impacts on the social sciences; it has launched a thousand research projects—maybe tens of thousands

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Sight and Touch between East and West

Ethics, Ethnography and Social Theory

Liene Ozolina

of the theory ‘at the centre’ (cf. Chakrabarty 2000 ). To do so, I offer a sensory, rather than scalar approach that might trouble some of the established categories of Western social theory. Let me begin with an encounter that brought these issues

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Szakolczai, Arpad and Bjørn Thomassen. 2019. From anthropology to social theory: rethinking the social sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 289 pp. Hb.: US$75.46. ISBN: 9781108438384.

Karen Mogendorff