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When shopping is a baffling ordeal

Pretty much the entirety of my morning yesterday was consumed by trying to purchase new glasses. I already find eye tests a weirdly difficult experience because the analytical voice in my head can’t help but reflect on the naive empirical perception that the exercise is supposed to elicit and the […]

Overcoming your modernist training for constant improvement, advancement, development and accumulation

Overcoming your modernist training for constant improvement, advancement, development and accumulation. That’s what the social psychologist Kenneth Gergen advocates in the new introduction to his famous work The Saturated Self, as quoted by Harmut Rosa in Social Acceleration: I am also struggling against my modernist training for constant improvement, development, […]

The businessman and the fisherman

From Paul Dolan’s Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life, though it’s also included in the introduction to the English language version of Harmut Rosa’s Social Acceleration: There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw […]

The Pleasures of Acceleration

Acceleration is often framed as a problem. Things are speeding up. We never have enough time. We’re always falling behind. These will be familiar experiences to most. While the problem is more complex than may initially appear to be the case, with little quantitative time squeeze actually registering, it nonetheless leaves us with […]

Technology and Human Nature

In their Webcam, Daniel Miller and Jolynna Sinanan offer what they describe as a theory of attainment. While I’m not sure they’d accept my terminology, I read this as an attempt to theorise the causal powers of technology in relation to the causal powers of human beings. They start by recognising that “people have relationships […]

Graham Scambler on an interdisciplinary approach to the ‘structuring of agency’ – November 11th @SocioWarwick

In the third Centre for Social Ontology seminar of 2014/15, Graham Scambler (Emeritus Professor of Medical Sociology at UCL) discusses reflexivity and an interdisciplinary approach to the ‘structuring of agency’: Margaret Archer’s recent contributions to our understanding of reflexivity in late capitalist society provide useful resources for theorizing across the substantive domains of sociology. […]

Graham Scambler on an interdisciplinary approach to the ‘structuring of agency’ – November 11th @SocioWarwick

In the third Centre for Social Ontology seminar of 2014/15, Graham Scambler (Emeritus Professor of Medical Sociology at UCL) discusses reflexivity and an interdisciplinary approach to the ‘structuring of agency’: Margaret Archer’s recent contributions to our understanding of reflexivity in late capitalist society provide useful resources for theorizing across the substantive domains of sociology. […]

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 […]

Between interaction and intra-action

The notion of ‘interaction’ is well understood. Interactions are part of our everyday life. Sometimes these interactions leave us thinking about them afterwards (“what did he mean when he said that?”, “why is she always like that?” etc) and sometimes this leaves us thinking about interaction in a second-order way […]