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The Evolution of Alienation : Trauma, Promise, and the Millennium - Lauren Langman

The Evolution of Alienation

Trauma, Promise, and the Millennium

By: Lauren Langman (Editor), Devorah Kalekin-Fishman (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 28th January 2006
ISBN: 9780742518346
Number Of Pages: 319

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The Evolution of Alienation: Trauma, Promise and the Millennium presents a collection of essays that examine the prevalence of alienation in the contemporary world. Although the authors share a critical approach to society, their views of alienation vary. While some feel that alienation is inescapable under the conditions of late modernity, others see that especially at this time there are opportunities to overcome alienation. Testing their approaches, the authors touch on highly diverse domains of life. The book is divided into four sections, each with a focus on how alienation is produced and, perhaps, overcome. Part I presents theoretical approaches to 'shifting views of alienation'. Here the authors discuss how alienation is disclosed in social science, in technology, and in biological constructions of the human being. Part II deals with political consequences of alienation. The three chapters focus on how alienation can lead to fascist beliefs, how it functions in the development of authoritarian personalities, and how alienation is disclosed in teen-age violence, but also in the justice meted out to desperate teens, without compassion. Part III includes examinations of 'alienation in identity, culture, and religion'. Here, researchers discuss how the alienating conditions of globalization create alienated identities that are carnivalized in shock music and in exploitative television shows. The last chapter of this section sees in these developments evidence of our inability or unwillingness as social scientists to deal with transcendental values. Part IV focuses on phenomena from everyday life, showing how alienation undermines the advantages of community, and the intimacies of dialogue. Although the very concern with alienation shows awareness of trauma, there are, throughout the book, hints of promise - in technology, in loving and creative domesticity, in activism and through grass-roots initiatives in education. Through an interest in the cosmos human being may yet discover the way out of alienating labyrinths.

Industry Reviews

The Evolution of Alienation takes account of the postmodern debate and the rejection in recent years of the concept of alienation, critiques that rejection, and makes a strong argument for the relevance for today of a broader, more cultural concept of alienation. This is a strong collection, broad in nature and with scholarly depth, that should appeal to a wide audience while also finding use in undergraduate and graduate courses in theory, social problems, and other core areas of sociology. -- Kevin B. Anderson, Purdue University
For anyone who believes 'alienation' refers to the disempowering awareness of being an outsider in a society where everyone else acts as if they belong. This fine collection argues persuasively that it is the society that doesn't 'belong', and that 'alienation' plays a crucial role in helping us to understand why, and, with a little help from our friends, to exchange our alienating society for something far better. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. -- Bertell Ollman, New York University, and author of Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in Capitalist Society

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Theorizing Promise: Shifting Views of Alienation
Does Alienation Have a Future? Recapturing the Core of Critical Theoryp. 23
New Technologies and Alienation: Some Critical Reflectionsp. 47
Embodiment and Communication: Alienation, Genetics, and Computing. What Does It Mean to Be Human?p. 69
Trauma: Alienated Politics
Authority Fetishism and the Manichaean Vision: Stigma, Stereotyping, and Charisma as Keys to Pseudo-Orientation in an Estranged Societyp. 91
When Alienation Turns Right: Populist Conspiracism, the Apocalyptic Style, and Neofascist Movementsp. 115
Lonely Privilege in Despair: Aiming for Unfeigned Hopep. 145
Alienation in Identity, Culture, and Religion
Globalization, Alienation, and Identity: A Critical Approachp. 179
Alienation Incorporated: "F---the Mainstream Music" in the Mainstreamp. 201
The Final Indignity: The Commodification of Alienationp. 227
Alienation and the Cosmosp. 243
Alienation, Gender, and Everyday Life
Alienated Communities: Between Aloneness and Connectednessp. 253
Loving Alienation: The Contradictions of Domestic Workp. 269
"Plain Talk": Producing and Reproducing Alienationp. 283
Indexp. 309
About the Editors and Contributorsp. 317
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742518346
ISBN-10: 0742518345
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 319
Published: 28th January 2006
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.65 x 15.8  x 2.77
Weight (kg): 0.69

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