Skip to main content

zizek: (phatic) violence -- review

There is a lot of recycled material in this book and a lot that is off the point altogether. So a typical Zizek book. The one idea I found interesting is his explanation of street protests that turn violent, as well as the kind of thing that went on in Paris in 2005, as 'phatic' violence. That is to say, it serves the sole purpose of saying 'I'm here' and 'we're talking'. But Zizek doesn't take it far enough because in fact the phatic requires two interlocutors and its purpose is to keep open the lines of communication. So the obvious point he missed is that the police response is also phatic. By brutalising the protestors, they too are saying 'I'm here' and 'we're talking'. Moreover, if this in fact the case, then this type of protest action will not bring change because it is a routine exchange. -- from a three-star review of Violence, 2009
This is (perhaps) similar to what's going on in Netherlands recently.

Brainstorm: I wonder if this could be connected with Bordieu's symbolic violence, variously:
“the violence which is exercised upon a social agent with his or her complicity”
“[a] term for the imposition on subordinated groups by the dominant class of an ideology which legitimates and naturalizes the status quo: see also dominant ideology”
Certainly a "status quo" seems roughly to be a phatic kind of thing, insofar as it provides a basis for communication.

Here's an abstract that offers an applied look at these issues:
Government policies and financial imperatives have fostered growing heterogeneity in student bodies in UK and Australian higher education (HE), but the underpinning logic of practice in these long-established social fields is far slower to change. Drawing on empirical evidence from case studies in each nation, this paper examines the tensions between the espoused and enacted values of the academy in relation to the widening participation and internationalisation agendas. We describe the research sites, their relationships with their respective fields of power and the experiences of participants as inhabitants of these HE fields. We highlight the struggles to secure relevant capital, acts of symbolic violence occurring at both institutional and programme levels and the resultant impact on individual positions and trajectories within the fields. Finally, we consider the extent to which the established practices in HE, which naturally preserve the dominance of the dominating factions, are likely to shift to enable it to genuinely enact the social conscience it espouses. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the social role of humor - Jason P. Steed apropos of Donald J. Trump

See Storify https://storify.com/DemFromCT/jason-p-steed-on-humor-and-humor Here's the info about the PhD thesis he was referring to. Title: Joke-making Jews/jokes making Jews: Essays on humor and identity in American Jewish fiction.
Creator: Jason Paul. Steed
Contributor: Joseph McCullough; University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Subjects: American literature -- 20th century;
Anecdotes; Comedy; Comedians -- United States; Sociology; United States -- Study and teaching; Thesis (PhD)
Is Part Of: 65-08A.
Description: Beginning from the premise that humor plays a prominent role in the construction of group and individual identities, as a social phenomenon and a simultaneously alienating and assimilating force, these essays explore and examine humor and its construction of American Jewish identity within the context of various works of American Jewish fiction. Though organized as "chapters," the essays do not build upon one another progressively, nor do they center on a uni…

History of communion (Discourse on Inequality) (pt. 1)

"Il retourne chez ses Egaux" (pt. 1) In a recent post here I mentioned that I need to read Rousseau's Discourse upon the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind (1755[1761]) sooner rather than later. Since I've been handing out lately with a young lady who studied French at some point, I took this up sooner than I anticipated. I regularly abstain from reading translations but consider this one's age and availability (particularly during the 19th Century) a personal justification.The thing is, I'm not sure if I can make reading it a jeesusjalutasallveelaeval post since my recent readings have taken a looser form. I've become somewhat disillusioned with my habitual style of blogging. Blockquotes and comments don't do my memory and comprehension as many favours as I would like them to. Presently, I see little point in lining up quotes by themselves. Instead, I'd go over some verbiage from the book here, essentially listing the stuff I…

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal

The typical conception of a resource like "Arxiv" or "Wikipedia" is summed up in the name: it is an archive or an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.  "Stack Exchange" is somewhat less self-descriptive -- but nevertheless, the emphasis on "exchange" is apt, since this site is not quite a gift economy in Eric S. Raymond's sense, but rather a place where questions are exchanged for answers, and both are exchanged for reputation in the form of points and badges.

Nevertheless, in broad brushstrokes all three resources have something much more essential as a common basis: they all grow in the course of use.  That said, they do not typically transform radically along the way.  Arxiv remains an archive; Wikipedia remains a wiki and encyclopedia; Stack Exchange is and always will be a Q&A site focused on questions with specific, usually technical, answers.

But what if we get "outside" of these systems, stop thinking about them as objec…