A 2015 demonstration in Washington, DC against the still-operating Guantanamo Bay facility © Stephen Melkisethian | Flickr
DemocracyEssays

Let’s Change the Future

On reclaiming our humanity in times of fear

I have a strange feeling, like I’ve been here before.

Everything looks familiar. The highly coordinated Islamist attack on a “Western” nation; the bloodthirsty demand for revenge; the calls to war abroad and the suspension of liberties at home; the simplification of the world into …

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President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law, 1935 © FDR Presidential Library & Museum | Flickr
CapitalismDisabilityEssaysRaceSex & Gender

The Disability Paradox

Further thoughts on inequality, disability, and the imaginal

Do you have a disability? Do you want to work? This seemingly innocent pairing of questions should immediately raise a red flag, for it is technically oxymoronic: in the United States, the disabled, by definition, are those who cannot work, at least in any significant sense. Granted, disability falls on a continuum, and answering to this continuum is a parallel benefits scheme for some workers — specifically, those whose disabilities have resulted from …

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Illustration of Hannah Arendt "Hannah-Arendt3" ©  Ben Northern | Flickr
O.O.P.S.Theory & Practice

Arendt’s Plurology

The sociologist reading Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition is bound to squint at the page in puzzlement when Arendt gives her definition of society. So would, I think, most readers of the text. Arendt’s fondness for assigning new meanings to commonly used words is most perfectly demonstrated in that moment when she nonchalantly declares that “society” is a distinctly modern phenomenon: the intrusion of the private sphere into the public, resulting in a massive emptying of the value of human association.

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A mosaic by Louis Delsarte in Harlem, the former epicenter of Black jazz © Wally Gobetz | Flickr
EssaysRaceTheory & Practice

The Social Condition and the Ghetto

Jeffrey Goldfarb and Iddo Tavory (recently joined additionally by Tim Rosenkranz) have been trading pieces in this forum toward sketching the outlines of an existential sociology based on a concept they call “the social condition.” The social condition, if I understand them correctly, is the intrinsic potential for our lives and our projects to come up against impasses. Borne from the complexity of our existences as social beings, it is the impossibility of overarching, unproblematic narratives. It is the inevitably of indeterminacy and irreconcilability. …

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