The obsolescence of things

I love this old Ikea advert. I’m contemplating playing it in my lecture on social change later this week to illustrate the point that Harmut Rosa is making about the acceleration of production and the implications of intensified disposability for our sense of security and continuity. It also shows what I dislike about Rosa’s account: specific groups with vested interests deliberately sought to inculcate dispositions towards disposability in the population. It wasn’t the inexorable unfolding of an historical process. People made it happen. I don’t doubt that Rosa accepts this but he sets up his theoretical framework in a way which marginalises the specific questions (who did whatwhen and why) that I’d see as integral to sociological inquiry.

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