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What does it mean to be partners-in-freedom?

This phrase used by Damon Young has stuck with me in the years since I read the book which contained this acknowledgement in its preface. It immediately resonated yet I’ve only come to understand what it means with time, as well as what it entails for partnership. I thought back to it when reading this wonderful short piece by Simone de Beauvoir, It’s About Time Women Put A New Face On Love, recommended by Jana Bacevic. I realise that Young’s phrase hinted at a horizon of being-with-another that Beauvoir explicated in beautiful and precise prose.

The insidious sexism of Modern Family

There are lots of criticisms which can be made about Modern Family, as a distinctly old fashioned show dressed up in a superficial liberal progressivism. It’s nonetheless been a guilty pleasure of mine and I’ve been rewatching it during this grim coronic winter. There’s one aspect which stood out to […]

Why I’m so fascinated by education

This passage from Keri Facer’s superb Learning Futures (pg 21) captures why I’m so interested in education. I wrote a PhD on what I called personal morphogenesis: how we become who we are and how personal changes are bound up in social changes. The reason I’ve moved into education is because […]

Panic and reflexivity

From Zizek’s Pandemic! loc 439: What this contrast tells us is that panic is not a proper way to confront a real threat. When we react in panic, we do not take the threat seriously—we, on the contrary, trivialize it. Just think how ridiculous is the notion that having enough […]

The epochal sublime

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how breaks, ruptures and transitions are conceived of an ontological level. They are evidenced through factors across a range of domains which are presented as indicators of change but the underlying rupture must exceed these particular trends in order to be regarded as […]

Durkheim on bounding variety

There’s an interesting parallel between Durkheim’s conception of social regulation and what Archer calls ‘bounding variety’ and Cybernetics describes as ‘attenuating variety’. As Durkheim writes on pg 300 in a discussion of marriage and divorce, “One cannot avoid looking outside the place where one is when one no longer feels […]

Durkheim on the origin of reflexivity

From Suicide pg 163: Reflection only develops when it becomes necessary for it to develop; that is to say, if a certain number of unconsidered ideas and feelings which, until then, had sufficed to govern behaviour, have become ineffectual. At such times, reflection intervenes to fill the void that has […]

The micro-foundationalism of Erich Fromm

From the forward to Escape from Freedom: The basic entity of the social process is the individual, his desires and fears, his passions and reason, his propensities for good and for evil. To understand the dynamics of the social process we must understand the dynamics of the psychological processes operating […]