What does people’s refusal to wear face-masks during a pandemic tell us about the possibility of Kant’s self-governing humans?

“In early 2020, the covid-19 pandemic was declared and national governments around the world put in place various levels of restriction […] reduce close-contact with each other so as to reduce transmission of the virus. […]

Does the refusal of so many to follow what seems to so many others as rational rules which benefit us all individually and collectively then disprove the Kantian hope of self-governance? Does Foucault accidentally provide the state with an argument for more disciplinary power, given new evidence of people’s apparent inability to follow their rational self-interest? … More What does people’s refusal to wear face-masks during a pandemic tell us about the possibility of Kant’s self-governing humans?

Perspectives on American Culture: Stigma of Government Assistance | Guest Article by Dylan Yoki

“While people who live on government assistance programs are vilified and looked down on, the wealthy who have benefited from corporate welfare are celebrated to the point of cult-like worship. Despite the similar fashion that people on government assistance programs and the wealthy owners of corporations receive government subsidies, the extreme contrast with how the two groups are viewed by society as a whole reflects the extreme contrast in power to control public opinion.” … More Perspectives on American Culture: Stigma of Government Assistance | Guest Article by Dylan Yoki

The Truth About the Conscription of Student Nurses: Let Them Eat Cake (Again! But This Time With Clapping!)

“On 19th March, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) called for student nurses in the final stage of their course to “volunteer” to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic […] it is expected that thousands of final year students will begin working this month. The main focus of this article will be to highlight the atrocious wordplay bordering on an outright lie of claiming that early registration is on a voluntary basis.

[…]

I spoke to a few student nurses about their actual situations and how this crisis is affecting them […]

One student, Claire is a single mother with 2 young children […] not being able to go on placement means her income is devastated and she must defer. Considering pursuing her course has already been a financial struggle, deferring another year may mean the end of her university career and hopes of becoming a registered nurse, but this is her only real option- no choice. ” … More The Truth About the Conscription of Student Nurses: Let Them Eat Cake (Again! But This Time With Clapping!)

Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 2

“In order to prevent future moral catastrophe, we need to encourage thoughtfulness and discourage thoughtlessness. In order to do this, we need to include philosophers’ biographies when considering their philosophies. […] Nixon ends by admitting how he believes too much thoughtfulness could lead to mental quagmire, as in Heidegger, thoughtlessness would lead to more Eichmanns, and points to Mendelssohn, whom befriended a teenage Arendt, as giving an example of how to foster thinking. It’s a nice sentiment, and we can agree Mendelssohn did a good thing, however by leaving it there, Nixon fails to follow his own call to action.

Biography does indeed need to be considered when thinking about thinkers and their thoughts- what this really means is we cannot think about thought alone; the material reality and its influences on a persons thoughts and actions is necessary to truly understand either.” … More Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 2

Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 1

“Similarly to how Arendt saw the process of becoming thoughtful as a reaction to actual events, Bourdieu claims that reflexivity, the temporary ability for us to reflect upon and change our social practices (which include thoughtfulness), is a reaction to the world. […] Arendt’s life cause her to become not just thoughtful, but reflecting on her own thoughtfulness, allows Arendt to develop her ideas about the connection between thoughtfulness and morality […] Similarly, Bourdieu wrestled with internal conflicts which, in a similarly meta-reflexive action, helped him develop the concept of cleft habitus. […] Thinking about how doxa affects social practices, which include both the social practice of thinking as such, and reflexivity, can then help us understand how doxa themselves can be considered forms of capital. […] we might say that Arendt’s refusal to systematise her thinking was due to her cleft habitus, as a fractured habitus could perhaps only contain fractured doxa- a habitus without a bannister.” … More Arendt’s “Thoughtfulness” & Bourdieu’s “Reflexivity”: Differences, Similarities & Consequences | Part 1

“This Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” | McDonald’s Advert Tells A Plebeian Truth: We Don’t Have the Power to Save the World, We Need to Work Together

““Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” is not how to address increasing climate change, the European migrant crisis, or, continuing to zoom in on the UK, the worsening homelessness epidemic. For the majority of people living, working, or even just visiting Britain currently, this McDonald’s advert is true- especially if we added the subtle caveat: “for you”. For you and me, whether upper-middle class business owner or precarian service worker, the decision to change the world is not in our hands. […]
The current liberal system of free market competition regulated by states does not work for humanity as even those with the power to pursue interests which require collective action must consider their profit margins. The working classes simply do not have such power. Money controls those with or without it. […]” … More “This Summer’s Most Difficult Decision” | McDonald’s Advert Tells A Plebeian Truth: We Don’t Have the Power to Save the World, We Need to Work Together

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 11: The Psychological Sanctions of Social Mobility

“The feeling of “not fitting in” is not the result of a simple clash of personalities, or some individual failing due to perhaps poor social skills, but that these social skills, perhaps the accompanying or produced anxiety, and even the emotional intensity of such feelings and thoughts is a reflection of habitus and field incongruence. […] Psychological sanctions as by-products of social mobility are not just experienced individually even social cognition is affected. Feelings of shame and guilt also become barriers between family members that have not similarly experienced social mobility. […] Those who are rapidly upwardly socially mobile it seems are doomed to inherit the dispositions of a class that will never fully accept them, and in doing so, become not just physically, but psychically separated from their class of origin.” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 11: The Psychological Sanctions of Social Mobility

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 10: The Paradoxical Temporality of Reflexivity & The Continuity of Class

“Reflexivity is paradoxical because it can only really be temporary, almost like a mode of habitus as it adjust to it’s new field, or is socially mobile in such a way that it moves into a more congruent field.
[…]
This paradoxical understanding led Bourdieu to theorise reflexivity as temporal, a kind of active mode which is triggered by habitus and field incongruence that reveals to a person the unwritten rules of the field they inhabited. However, this moment would always be temporary as once the incongruence is solved, practice becomes stable.
[…]
The fact that class is continuous and mobility is slow allows habitus more time to adjust itself to the new field and avoid the disruptive effects of hysteresis…” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 10: The Paradoxical Temporality of Reflexivity & The Continuity of Class

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 9: Does Social Mobility Reduce Hysteresis?

“Like the old adage, “you can take the person out of the place, but you can’t take the place out the person,” Bourdieu’s theory of habitus includes the idea of a primary habitus, the result of primary socialisation, which is much more resistant to change- yet not eternal. When a person experiences rapid changes in field, Bourdieu argued that the mismatch between a person’s habitus and their new field causes a “hysteresis effect”. […] in today’s world in which social mobility is much more common, is the working-class habitus protected from splitting that might occur as a result of rapid upwards social mobility, perhaps simply as a result of increased awareness of such a possibility existing?” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 9: Does Social Mobility Reduce Hysteresis?

The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 8: Pessimism About Practices of Resistance and Social Mobility

“Further reflection on Reay’s pessimism […] has deepened the cynical turn in my thought and practices. In my notes for this series I had originally written to include a discussion of my individual practices of resistance to class stereotyping and stigma.

One of these practices was to retain my North-West English accent. […] this strategy was meant to diminish stigma by going against common stereotypes about what an educated person looks/sounds like […] however, I doubt the effectiveness of this practice.

Perhaps some readers will interpret aspects of this article as a confession that I have given up on the rationale most associated with critical theory. […] Yet, much as I am dismayed by much of what I currently see, I am still working on my own theories and I still do my best to follow Horkheimer’s famous dictum on the purpose of critique, that it is “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them.”” … More The Psychic Landscape of Social Class & My Cleft Habitus | Part 8: Pessimism About Practices of Resistance and Social Mobility