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What Happened? The end of modernisation

In the last few days, I’ve been reading Hilary Clinton’s What Happened and reflecting on it as an expression of a political centrism which I suspect is coming to an end. These self-defined ‘modernisers’ sought to adapt their respective political parties to what they saw as a new reality, necessitating […]

The sobered modernist perspective

An interesting formulation from Eva Illouz in Why Love Hurts. I’m certainly a ‘sobered modernist’ in this sense. From loc 375-393: While my analysis of love in the conditions of modernity is critical , it is critical from the standpoint of a sobered modernist perspective: that is, a perspective which […]

Time and Reflexivity

In Margaret Archer’s work on Reflexivity, this faculty is seen as mediating between structure and agency. Our capacity to ‘bend back’ upon ourselves, considering our circumstances in light of our commitments and vice versa, constitutes the point at which structural powers operate upon individual lives. On this view, structures don’t […]

Solitude and Interiority

The historians taught us long ago that the King was never left alone. But, in fact, until the end of the seventeeth century, nobody was ever left alone. The density of social life made isolation virtually impossible, and people who managed to shut themselves up in a room for some […]