Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

“Macbeth teaches its audience a moral lesson beyond killing is wrong, since it is unquestioningly alright to kill your fellow man at war, nor even regicide is wrong as King Macbeth is justly slain at the end (no spoiler alerts on a four centuries old play), but that it is wrong to disturb the social order. […]

Perhaps Bernays’ concept of propaganda is too broad? Can we consider, for example, Aesop’s fables as propaganda? […]

t is also difficult to examine how much luck was involved in creating my situation because, like Bourdieu who first theorised about habitus, my class mobility is an exception to the rule about how our inherited capitals, our origins, determine our destinations. […]

At what point does doing what modern society requires of one to get ahead, perhaps abandoning the class interests as a whole yet still working towards more justice and opportunities for those like myself that want to move up, equate to killing the king?” … More Macbeth Had a Cleft Habitus, Sometimes Propaganda is Moral, and Social Mobility is Like Killing the King

Joke Or Not: Does It Matter When The Solution Is Censorship, Social Or Legal? | Does Liking MDE Humour Prove You Are Right-Wing?

“Whether or not MDE are part of the alt-right, and whether one enjoying its humour can be taken as evidence of one having certain political views has been discussed before. The consensus varies around the latter point, but for the most part, it seems the MDE boys really are sometimes, somewhat white supremacist and misogynistic. Nevertheless, as much as I might sometimes consider MDE’s views wrong, I still enjoy their content. Unfortunately, to some this is a sign that I secretly harbour similar views.” … More Joke Or Not: Does It Matter When The Solution Is Censorship, Social Or Legal? | Does Liking MDE Humour Prove You Are Right-Wing?

“There is No Magic Money Tree”, Let Them Eat Cake | On the 70th Anniversary of the NHS

“There is no magic money tree they say, but they will put money in. They hope us plebs don’t know about how it’s probably not going to be enough in real terms to cover the massive gaps already which have been worrying executives for years. They wear their little badges in parliament to show off their pride in a service that wouldn’t exist had the decision been solely up to them. They covertly privatise services by simply contracting them out to private companies and getting the NHS to foot the bill. […] The NHS is under attack, but at least some of the workers got some cake last week…” … More “There is No Magic Money Tree”, Let Them Eat Cake | On the 70th Anniversary of the NHS

The Responsibility of Public Intellectuals in Holding Governments to Account | The Diffusion of Responsibility in Bureaucracy | The Connection Between the Holocaust & Welfare Cuts | Dedicated to Hannah Arendt

“The diffusion of responsibility is the phenomena whereby one considers that one is less responsible for some action when others are present- they absorb some of the responsibility or another might even be perceived to take it all, for example in cases where an authority is present. The government is not only not the bystander it wants us to think it is, but it has the knowledge and power to act so is responsible nevertheless. Public intellectuals, including social scientists, need to reinforce this idea or things will never change and we similarly act as irresponsible deferrers of responsibility. Those individuals responsible for disability assessments that label dying people fit for work, cut their benefits, and might as well just kill those they assess, should be vilified until held to account. As an extreme example, but using the same logic, if we don’t hold these people to account, then the Nazis who “just drove the trains” are not culpable for their role in the holocaust.” … More The Responsibility of Public Intellectuals in Holding Governments to Account | The Diffusion of Responsibility in Bureaucracy | The Connection Between the Holocaust & Welfare Cuts | Dedicated to Hannah Arendt

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 7 of 7

“Although after years of higher education have allowed me to reflect on the experience and articulate it, these experiences were hardly unique and reflect the harsh, dull reality of millions of workers. It’s not difficult to find these types of critique throughout the world of contemplative thought. I only repeat them here as examples to highlight the point that this kind of criticism of our working life is not uncommon, however I feel that much of this critique does not offer much in the way of realistic ways out of this predicament. I think a key part of overcoming these obstacles is realising that the social position of the worker is the most important category that links these situations and imbues those subordinate to them with common interests to transcend the current system.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 7 of 7

In Defense of Bourdieu | Critical Commentary on Dylan Riley’s “Bourdieu’s Class Theory” in new journal: Catalyst by Jacobin Magazine

“This article is a critical commentary, hopefully also comically polemical, on an article by Dylan Riley, professor of sociology at UC Berkeley, written in the new journal Catalyst in Spring 2017. I think his article does an injustice to Bourdieu and those scholars that have continued to develop his sociology. It is an extremely long and thorough, although still not as thorough as it could be, article which I hope succeeds in at least combating Riley’s criticisms, many of which seem almost slanderous to me. I hope this article also provides a decent introduction to Bourdieu’s sociology for anyone interested. ” … More In Defense of Bourdieu | Critical Commentary on Dylan Riley’s “Bourdieu’s Class Theory” in new journal: Catalyst by Jacobin Magazine

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 5

“I believe that the uncritical acceptance of such methods is a result of the inculcation of values of propriety and the normalisation of examination (practices which are so generalised in modern society, they led Foucault to call it “the disciplinarian society”). Having eyes upon you, whether of the state or one’s employer (in reductionist terms, both can easily be conceived as collaborators in class domination, hence enemies/dominators of the working class and so indistinguishable in that regard) is just a part of daily proletarian life in contemporary British society.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 5

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 4

“The pathetic value and arbitrariness of rewards at foodchain made the punishment aspect of games the main incentive for competition. Some of these punishments, as discussed in the earlier part of this series, were explicit, however, some were seemingly (and possibly) accidental side-effects. […] Beyond the unfairness of rewards and punishments, and the arbitration involved in the allocation of them, the sales game itself was rigged.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 4

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 3

“At foodchain, the objective of the game was to maximise certain types of additional sales and compete with fellow workers on daily scoreboards, displayed for all workers to see. Falling below a certain threshold cumulative score for the week could result in penalisation and winning meant possible rewards. Domination is more apparent when considering penalisation might include being made redundant, or more perniciously, scheduling less hours of work for the “losing” worker.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 3

The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 2

“In an article comparing Antonio Gramsci’s ideas about domination being based on a somewhat consensual hegemonic order with Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas about domination being partly resultant from a misrecognition of social domination by the dominated, Michael Burawoy talks about his experiences working on a factory shop floor. Burawoy talks about the types of concessions given by management to the workers in order to legitimise and make more consensual their relationship, which is analogous Burawoy and others like Gramsci could claim, to the class relationship in broader society, between capitalists and proletarians. One of the sources of consent-making identified by Burawoy was the consititution of work as a game.” … More The indignity of service work | My experiences as a fast-food worker | Part 2