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300268 The Paradoxes of Capitalism and Emotions (S) (SoSe 2019)

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For economists capitalism is the organization of economic exchange in a marketplace regulated by supply and demand in which actors plan their moves rationally. For traditional sociologists it is a social organization which disentangles the economy from normative systems and creates a vast process of rationalization of the economy and of ordinary action. But capitalism has proved to be and curiously so, a fantastic machine to produce, control, and commodify emotions. The process of commodification of emotions is pervasive and endemic to the history and sociology of capitalism.
This course will examine the ways in which emotions were made into intrinsic dimensions of the workplace and of the consumer sphere. It examines this process by studying the paradoxes produced by this historical juncture of emotions and capitalism. Five main paradoxes are examined: 1) The emergence of capitalism was accompanied by the institutionalization of self-interest; yet it also marked the emergence of a private sphere saturated with emotions. 2) The leisure industries and the sciences of marketing targeted the social actor as a hedonic subject, thus commodifying desire and subjectivity. This has in turn intensified the romantic bond. 3) Capitalism has produced a new form of commodity, the emodity, or emotional commodity. Emodities have in turn made authenticity into the chief moral vector for the development of the self. 4) Happiness psychologists and economists have joined forces to change policy and introduce ‘happiness indexes’ to measure the state of the nation. Happiness – once thought to be a radical demand of the Enlightenment—is now joining forces with neo-liberalism to transform notions of selfhood and privatize risk. 5) Choice is the key legitimating motive of capitalism; yet choice increasingly undermines the very notion of rational subjectivity which was supposed to have been at the heart of the rational subject.
Further Informationen:
- two more double-sessions in October 2019, planned for
16 October 12a.m.-4 p.m,
23 October 12a.m.-4 p.m,
- maximum 25 doctoral researchers can take part in the seminar, please register


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Studiengang/-angebot Gültigkeit Variante Untergliederung Status Sem. LP  
Bielefeld Graduate School In History And Sociology / Promotion Theory and Methods Classes   0.5 Theory Class  
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