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Session Overview
RN07_02a_P: Sociology of Culture General Session II
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Joost Van Loon, Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Location: PC.2.11
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 2.

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Irrational basis of rational consideration about the god’s divinity. Dionysiac source of modern philosophy and study.

Jadwiga Stefania Skrzypek - Faluszczak, Agnieszka Iskra - Paczkowska

University of Rzeszow, Poland

In today’s western society irrational element is becoming to supersede in behalf of ethics and rational reflection on the world. Even in the field of religion there is a phenomenon of its reduction to the meaning of ethics or dogma as a compilation of beliefs, depriving the group of believers of their creative and community dimension.

Because what is irrational seems to be not only valueless but it is also opposing rationality. The study of ancient Greece culture demonstrates the fallaciousness of the thesis. I affirm that rationality is rooted in irrational sources.

This article exhibits that the Dionysiac religion represents the base of philosophy interpreted as a rational reflexion on the world and divinity. The basis of holistic thought (idea) about the world, knowledge about the deathless and godlike character of the human soul is irrational religious experience existing in rituals and religious service. The Dionysiac religious is neither homogeneous nor unequivocal but therefore it gives the rise to Orphism as well as Apollonian religion. The fulcrum of the beliefs collection is the conviction about the omnipotent god and his dominance, cyclicity of appearances and at the same time permanence of that deathless, the most substantial element which can be linked to the god’s divinity.

In the present work I have made use of the K. Krerenyi research. He published the issues relevant to Dionysus cult and sketched the nature of this polymorphic god, identity with the endless form of life that is zoe, in his work “Dionysus”.

Consistent image relating to the beliefs and the cult of Dionysus we can find in the works of Dodds, Rohde, W. Otto, Elied, Seaford, Detenne, Burkert.

Theatre and social and cultural theory – exploring elective affinities anew

Isabelle Darmon

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Sociology has long been fascinated by affinities between theatre and the social life it purports to study. Some of the finest theoretical tools and analyses of the discipline have emerged from this at times metaphorical, at times structural, resonance. But whilst they made use of the theatrical toolbox, theories of the dramatization and of the dramaturgy of social life do not analyse the specificity of theatre. In this paper I review and document the status of theatre in two recent such constructions, as aesthetic instance of ‘crystallisation’ of a more general ‘cultural pragmatics’ (Alexander); or as vehicle for connections that we miss in ‘real life’ (Latour). The paper is a contribution to a broader attempt at theorising domains of culture and the arts as having their own logic of organisation of their ‘matter’. Starting from the Weberian idea that affinities can only relate domains with identified immanent logics, I seek to unravel such logics for specific theatrical configurations. This allows me to explore affinities between typification, the staging of stances and conflict, which characterise certain theatrical configurations, and a Weberian conception of social science, as topographic mapping for subjectivation and the conduct of life. Alain Badiou asks: where does an immanentist conception of art (alongside love, science, and politics) leave philosophy? The same should perhaps be asked of social and cultural theory, if we are to reinvigorate its take on the contemporary world and its contribution to forming human beings taking transformative stances, rather than competent technicians.

Crisis of duration, subjectivity and 'new individualism'


University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy

Among the many challenges sociological knowledge faces in the new century, there is undoubtedly the loss of centrality of the dimension of duration in social life, a process connected to the depth and intensity of the processes of change that we observe on a global scale. The redefinition of social time, which this loss refers to, has powerful repercussions on public life, relations with politics, and also, jointly, with biographical construction, the expression of identity, forms of solidarity and social bonds. The ‘crisis of duration’, while it critically interrogates the conceptual network with which we have analysed social integration, founded on the central role of social institutions as mediators between the individual and society, also requires a rethinking of the forms of sociological imagination that we have inherited from the last century. In this new framework, how can we put everyday life and history, subjectivities on the one side and democracy and justice on the other, into relation? In my opinion, a reflection on contemporary redefinitions of the concept of individualism can contribute to re-strengthen the sociological imagination and critical thought. The central issue becomes the following: is it possible to rethink contemporary individualism not only as an expression of privatism, but also as fruit of the redefinition of the relationship between the present and future, between subjectivities and institutions? The presentation will face these questions, underlining how ‘new individualism’ can also be bearer of dynamics able to promote critical subjectivity and ethics of personal responsibility.

Legitimization, Popularization and the Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010

Semi Purhonen1, Riie Heikkilä1, Irmak Karademir Hazir2, Tina Lauronen3, Carlos J. Fernández Rodríguez4, Jukka Gronow3

1University of Tampere, Finland; 2Oxford Brookes University, UK; 3University of Helsinki, Finland; 4Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

The paper summarizes and reflects on some of the main results of a large-scale research project exploring the ways in which cultural classifications and hierarchies have changed from 1960 to 2010. Have the old distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ dwindled and lead us into a more de-hierarchized, democratized and tolerant culture? The project tackles these questions through the lens of a specific institution in the field of cultural production – the culture sections in European quality newspapers – over the last fifty years, covering wide geographical variety. The newspapers included in the study range from two Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden) to two large Western European countries (France, the UK) and finally to two Mediterranean countries (Spain, Turkey). The newspapers are examined by systematic content analysis, both quantitative and qualitative. The analyses focus on the supposed trend toward increased heterogeneity of the cultural content, the rise of popular culture and the corresponding decline of traditional highbrow culture. Moreover, special attention is paid on the ways in which aesthetic, commercial and political valuations are intertwined in cultural coverage and how the relationships among these evaluative principles have changed. The results substantiate and add to the previous knowledge on the post-1960s cultural change, which essentially can be conceptualized as two simultaneous processes of ‘openings’ of culture: the legitimization of popular culture and the popularization of traditional legitimate culture.

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