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PPS Part II, Soc 6 Advanced Social Theory 2013-14


Course Organizer: Professor John Thompson

Aims and objectives This course offers students the opportunity to pursue their interests in contemporary social theory at an advanced level. The course encourages students to use social theory in order to think creatively, constructively and critically about the ways in which the social and political world is changing today. The course takes for granted an intermediate level of knowledge of classical and contemporary social theory; students are expected to develop and extend their knowledge of key thinkers by reading their work in greater depth. However, the course itself is organized around problems and issues, not around thinkers and texts. The emphasis is on encouraging students to practise social theory by thinking theoretically about particular problems and issues. The course seeks to bring social theory alive by getting students to draw on the resources of social theory in order to understand the world of the 21st century and how it is changing. Course aims: To enable students to pursue their interests in social theory at an advanced level. To enable students to read a selection of theoretical texts in detail. To encourage students to use social theory to analyze particular aspects or characteristics of contemporary societies. To encourage students to think creatively, constructively and critically about how the social and political world is changing today. Course organization The course is organized in terms of discrete modules i.e., clusters of lectures or seminars. Each module consists of around four hours of lectures or seminar-based teaching, often scheduled as two two-hour sessions. The modules are focused on particular problems or themes and are taught by leading practitioners of social theory today. The content of the modules will vary from year to year, depending on the availability of members of staff. In 2013-14 the following modules will be offered: Michaelmas 2013 Professor John Thompson, Shifting boundaries of public and private life Professor Sarah Franklin, The biological and the technical Professor Patrick Baert, Public intellectuals Lent 2014 Professor Richard Sennett and Professor Henrietta Moore, Rethinking culture Dr Vronique Mottier, Race and the politics of sexuality Professor Manuel Castells, The crisis of Europe Easter 2014 Professor Michael Mann, War and militarism

Supervision Supervision will be provided either by the individual(s) teaching the modules or by other supervisors who have agreed to supervise for this paper. One or two contacts are given for each module and they will either do the supervision or help arrange it. If students or Directors of Studies encounter difficulties they should contact the Course Organizer. Revision A one-hour revision class will be scheduled at the beginning of Easter Term. Assessment The course will be assessed either by means of a three-hour examination paper or by means of two 5000-word essays. A list of long essay questions will be posted separately.

Brief description of modules and reading lists


1 Shifting boundaries between public and private life Prof John Thompson This aim of this module is to re-examine our ways of thinking about the distinction between the public and the private in relation to changing technologies of media and surveillance in the modern world. We will begin by retracing some aspects of the history of the distinction between the private and the public, starting from Hannah Arendts seminal discussion in The Human Condition. We will then explore in detail how traditional notions of the public and the private are being challenged, threatened or reconfigured by social and technological change. The first session will focus on the changing nature of the public sphere in the age of mediated communication, while the second session will focus on how privacy is being challenged by the development of computerized databases and the disclosure of personal information online. We shall use examples ranging from political scandals and modern forms of surveillance to blogs and social network sites. Reading The new visibility (session 1) *Arendt, H. 1958. The Human Condition, esp. ch. 2. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. *Habermas, J. 1989. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge: Polity. Weintraub, Jeff and Kumar, Krishan (eds.), Public and Private in Thought and Practice, esp. ch. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. Sennett, R. 1974. The Fall of Public Man. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thompson, J. 1995. The Media and Modernity, esp. ch. 4. Cambridge: Polity. Thompson, J. 2000. Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age. Cambridge: Polity. *Thompson, J. 2005. The New Visibility, Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 31-52. *Thompson, J. 2011. Shifting Boundaries of Public and Private Life, Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 28, no. 4 (2011), pp. 49-70. Adut, A. 2008. On Scandal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3 Privacy in question (session 2) *Solove, D.J. 2008. Understanding Privacy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. *Solove, D.J. 2007. The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet. New Haven: Yale University Press. Solove, D.J. 2004. The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age. New York: New York University Press, 2004. *Nissenbaum, H. 2004. Privacy as Contextual Integrity, Washington Law Review. Nissenbaum, H. 2010. Privacy in Context. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Roessler, B. 2005. The Value of Privacy. Cambridge: Polity. Nippert-Eng, Christena, Islands of Privacy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Levmore, Saul and Martha C. Nussbaum (eds.), The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy and Reputation. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2010. Essay questions 1 Why has scandal become such a prevalent feature of public life? 2 Should we worry about privacy in the age of the internet? Supervision Contact Prof Thompson at jbt1000@cam.ac.uk

2 The Biological and the Technical Prof Sarah Franklin This module will review recent debates in the social study of bioscience and biomedicine addressed to the changing status of the biological as it becomes increasingly subject to technological intervention sometimes referred to as the remaking of life. In the first two-hour session we examine Paul Rabinows contention that nature will be remade as technique and that new forms of biosociality will emerge in response to projects such as the Human Genome initiative. As we shall see, this hypothesis can be productively compared to earlier arguments from both Marx and Engels, as well as Darwin. We also look at this question ethnographically in order to explore what, exactly, is meant by biology in the context of the new reproductive and genetic technology? How do we separate the biological and the social in such contexts or is this no longer a meaningful distinction? In the second part of this module, we examine new biological tools, such as genes, embryos and cells. If biology is becoming more technologized, does this also suggest a more biological model of technology? Specifically, we look more closely at how biological tools are being made and used. In what way might we reconceptualise both biology and technology, now that they appear to be increasingly merged? Reading Session 1 Rabinow, Paul 1992. Artificiality and Enlightenment. In J. Crary and S. Kwinter (eds.), Incorporations. New York: Zone Books. Marx, Karl 1990. Capital, Volume 1 London: Penguin, Chapter 15, Machinery and Large Scale Industry, esp. Section 1, The Development of Machinery, pp. 492-508. Keller, Evelyn Fox 1996. The Biological Gaze. In George Robertson, Melinda Mash, Lisa Tickner, Jon Bird, Barry Curtis, and Tim Putnam (eds.), FutureNatural: Nature, Science and Culture. London: Routledge, pp. 107-121.

4 See also: Landecker, Hannah 2007. Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Latour, Bruno 1987 Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Session 2 Bestard, Joan 2009. Knowing and Relating: Kinship, Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the New Genetics in Edwards, Jeanette and Salazar, Carles (eds.) European Kinship in the Age of Biotechnology. Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 19-28. Thompson, Charis 2005. The Sacred and Profane Human Embryo: A Biomedical Mode of (Re)production? in Making Parents: the Ontological Choreography: Reproductive Technologies, Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 245-276. Franklin, Sarah 2007. Dolly Mixtures: the Remaking of Genealogy. Durham, NC: Duke University press, esp. Chapter 1, Sex, pp. 19-45. See also: Franklin, Sarah and Lock, Margaret 2003. Animation and Cessation: the Remaking of Life and Death in S. Franklin and M. Lock (eds.) Remaking Life and Death: Towards an Anthropology of Biomedicine. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, pp. 3-22. Brodwin, Paul E. (ed.) 2000. Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Ethics, Anxieties Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, esp. Part 1, Genealogies, pp. 27-74. Habermas, Jrgen 2003. The Future of Human Nature. Cambridge: Polity. Essay questions 1 Is biology socially constructed? 2 Has human reproduction been changed by technology? Supervision Contact Prof Franklin at sbf25@cam.ac.uk

3 Public Intellectuals Prof Patrick Baert This module will introduce students to the sociology of intellectual life. In the first two-hour session, we compare the main theories and methodologies for the study of intellectuals. In the second session, we explore how intellectual life has evolved since the beginning of the 20th century and we assess its current status today. Reading The sociological study of intellectual life (session 1) *Baert, Patrick (2011) The sudden rise of French existentialism; a case-study in the sociology of intellectual life. In: Theory and Society volume 40 issue 6. Baert, Patrick (2011) Jean-Paul Sartres positioning in Anti-Semite and Jew. In: Journal of Classical Sociology Volume 11 issue 4. *Bourdieu, Pierre (1988) Homo Academicus. Cambridge: Polity Press. Camic, Charles and Neil Gross (2001) The new sociology of ideas. In: Blackwell Companion to Sociology (ed. Judith R. Blau), pp. 236-249. *Collins, Randall (1998) Sociology of Philosophies: Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. *Gross, Neil (2008) Richard Rorty: the Making of an American Philosopher. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

5 *Lamont, Michele (1988) How to become a dominant French philosopher: the case of Jacques Derrida. In: American Journal of Sociology 93 3, pp. 584-622. Lamont, Michele (2009) How Professors Think; Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgement. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. The changing nature of intellectual life (session 2) *Baert, Patrick and Alan Shipman (2012) Transforming the intellectual. In: The Politics of Knowledge, eds. F.Dominguez Rubio and P.Baert. London: Routledge, pp. 179-204. *Bauman, Zygmunt (1991) Legislators and Interpreters: On Modernity, Postmodernity, and Intellectuals. Cambridge: Polity. Benchimol, Alex and Willy Maley (2007) Spheres of Influence; Intellectual and Intellectual Publics from Shakespeare to Habermas. Oxford: Peter Lang. Etzioni, Amitai and Alyssa Bowditch (eds.) (2006) Public Intellectuals; An Endangered Species. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. * Dan Clawson et al. (2007) Public Sociology; Fifteen Eminent Sociologists Debate Politics and the Profession in the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. *Eyerman, Ron (1994) Between Culture and Politics: Intellectuals in Modern Society. Cambridge: Polity. Fleck, Christian, Andreas Hess and E.Stina Lyon (eds.) (2009) Intellectuals and their Publics. Farnham: Ashgate. Fuller, Steve (2009) The Sociology of Intellectual Life; The Career of the Mind in and around Academy. London: Sage. Furedi, Frank Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone? Confronting 21st Century Philistinism. London: Continuum. *Jacoby, Russel (1987) The Last Intellectuals; American Culture in the Age of Academe. New York: Basic Books. Misztal, Barbara (2007) Intellectuals and the Public Good: Creativity and Civil Outrage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Posner, Richard (2001) Public Intellectuals: A Study in Decline. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Small, Helen (ed.) (2002) The Public Intellectual. Oxford: Blackwell. Essay questions 1 What insights can sociology bring to the study of intellectual life? 2 How has the role of the intellectual changed since the beginning of the twentieth century? Supervision Contact Dr Baert at pjnb100@hermes.cam.ac.uk

4 Rethinking Culture Prof Richard Sennett and Prof Henrietta Moore This module will address cutting-edge questions of culture and interpretation in the social sciences. The module will consist of three two-hour sessions. The first will be on material culture; it will be taught by Prof Sennett and will focus on the culture of the city. The second session will be taught jointly by Prof Sennett and Prof Moore; it will explore new ideas about interpretation, following on from Geertzs path-breaking account of 'thick description'. Geertz never dealt with the issue of how thick description enables theory; how would we? The third session, taught by Prof Moore,

6 will examine the relationship between secularism and modernity in social science theorising. It will discuss the difficulties inherent in studying and interpreting contemporary forms of religiosity and religious faith, and their relation to projects of freedom, autonomy and self-realisation. Reading On the culture of the city (session 1) *Sennett, Richard 1977. The Fall of Public Man. Cambridge University Press. * Sennett, Richard 1994. Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization. Faber. On interpretation (session 2) *Geertz, Clifford 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic. Sennett, Richard 1999. The Corrosion of Character. Norton. *Sennett, Richard 'Sociology as Literature' 2008. On reserve in the PPSIS Library. Mitchell, W.J.T. (ed.) 1981. On Narrative. Chicago. Brooks, Peter 2000. Troubling Confessions. Chicago. Lewis, D et al. The fiction of development: literary representation as a source of authoritative knowledge, Development Studies 44(2): 118-216 Bronk, R 2009. The Romantic Economist. Cambridge. On the post-secular (session 3) *Habermas, J. 2009. What is meant by a post-secular society?, in his Europe: The Faltering Project. Polity. Braidotti, R. 2008. In spite of the times: the postsecular turn in feminism, Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 25(6): 124. Mahmood, S. 2005. The Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, chs1 and 3. Princeton University Press. Taylor, C. 2007. A Secular Age. Harvard University Press. Asad, T. 2009. Is critique secular? University of California Press. Asad, T. 2003. Formations of the Secular. Stanford University Press. Essay questions 1 Are the similarities between social scientists and novelists more important than the differences between them? 2 Is interpretation anything other than informed contextualism? 3 Must social science be secular? 4 Is feminism incompatible with religious faith? Supervision Contact Prof Thompson at jbt1000@cam.ac.uk

5 Race and the politics of sexuality Dr Vronique Mottier This module will explore intersections between sexuality, gender, race and politics. The first 2-hour session examines the ways in which sexuality and sexual purity have been mobilized politically. Focusing on the example of eugenic state regulation of reproductive sexuality in pre- and post-War European welfare-states, we analyse the intertwinement of relations of power around sexuality with normative ideas about gender and race. The second two-hour session further pursues the analysis of

7 politicisations of race and sexuality, focusing on contemporary controversies and collective mobilizations around sexual and reproductive rights. Reading Racial purity and eugenics (session 1) Broberg, G. and N. Roll-Hansen 1996. Eugenics and the Welfare State: Sterilization Policy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Michigan: Michigan State University Press. Foucault, M. 1978. The History of Sexuality. Volume 1: An Introduction. New York: Pantheon. Fraser, N. 1989. Women, Welfare, and the Politics of Need Interpretation, ch.7 in Unruly Practices: Power Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press. Hill Collins, P. and V. Chepp 2013. Intersectionality, in Waylen, G., Celis, K., Kantola, J. & S. L. Weldon. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Oxford: OUP. Levine, P. 2003. Prostitution, race and politics: policing venereal disease in the British Empire. New York: Routledge. *Mottier, V. 2008. Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press Mottier, V. and N. Gerodetti 2007. Eugenics and Social Democracy: Or, How the European Left Tried to Eliminate the Weeds From Its National Gardens, New Formations, 20, pp.35-49. Quine, M.S. 1996. Population Politics in Twentieth Century Europe: Fascist Dictatorships and Liberal Democracies. London: Routledge. Rose, H. 1996. 'Gay Brains, Gay Genes and Feminist Science Theory', in Weeks, J. and J. Holland (Eds.) Sexual Cultures. Houndmills, Basingstoke: MacMillan. Yuval-Davis, N. and Anthias, F. (Eds.) 1989. Woman-Nation-State. London: Macmillan. Sexual and Reproductive rights (session 2) Gerodetti, N. & V. Mottier (Eds) 2009. Feminist Politics of Reproduction: Special Issue of Feminist Theory, vol.10, nr.2. Hirsi Ali, A. 2006. The Caged Virgin. London: The Free Press. McRobbie, A. 2009. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. London: Sage. Mottier, V. 2013. Reproductive Rights, in Waylen, G., Celis, K., Kantola, J. & S. L. Weldon. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Oxford: OUP. Parker, A., Russo, M, Sommer, D, and P. Yaeger 1992. Nationalisms & Sexualities. New York: Routledge. Plummer, K. 1995. Telling Sexual Stories: Power, Change and Social Worlds. London: Routledge. *Roberts, D. 1997. Killing the Black Body. Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage Books. Puar, J.K. 2007. Terrorist Assemblages. Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham : Duke University Press. *Weeks, J. 2007. The World We Have Won: The Remaking of Erotic and Intimate Life. London: Routledge. Essay questions 1 Why are states concerned with sexuality?

8 2 How is sexuality mobilised in contemporary political struggles around immigration? 3 Why is race relevant to the notion of reproductive rights? Supervision Contact Dr Anna Bull (bull.anna@gmail.com) or Dr Robbie Duschinsky (robert.duschinsky@northumbria.ac.uk ).

6 The Crisis of Europe Prof Manuel Castells This module will focus on the crisis that has been unfolding in Europe over the last few years. While this crisis is connected to the financial crisis of 2007-08, well take the view that the crisis affecting many countries today is fundamentally multidimensional in character and that its most profound consequences are currently being experienced in Europe, especially in the eurozone. Well argue that the interaction between the different dimensions of the crisis is amplifying its effects and leading to a deeper crisis what well call the crisis of crisis management. Financial crisis, the crisis of trust, the loss of legitimacy, political incompetence, social outrage, individual despair, political demagogy, and the questioning of existing political institutions, including the European Union, are feeding into each other in a spiral of destruction whose effects may be more profound and more lasting that most observers anticipate. Could this spiral of crisis, outrage and distrust turn out to have long-term debilitating consequences for political institutions in Europe and for the legitimacy of democratic institutions more generally? The crisis of a model of capitalism (session one) The economic origins of the current crisis: the development of global informational financial capitalism. The specificity of the crisis in Europe. The crisis of the euro. From economic crisis to political crisis (session two) The politics of austerity. Power strategies in the reconfiguration of the European Union. Social movements against the management of the crisis. The crisis of legitimacy in national and European institutions. Reading Key Texts Session one *Castells, Manuel, Joao Caraca and Gustavo Cardoso (eds), Aftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) *Engelen, Ewald et al., After the Great Complacence: Financial Crisis and the Politics of Reform (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) Tett, Gillian, Fools Gold (London: Little, Brown, 2009) Marsh, David, The Euro: The Battle for the New Global Currency, new edition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011) Session two *Streeck, Wolfgang and Armin Schafer (eds.), Politics in the Age of Austerity, (Cambridge: Polity, 2012) *Castells, Manuel, Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age (Cambridge: Polity, 2012) Blythe, Mark, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) Beck, Ulrich, German Europe (Cambridge: Polity, 2013)

9 Crouch, Colin, Post-Democracy (Cambridge: Polity, 2004) Additional Reading Hutton, Will and Giddens, Anthony (eds.), On the Edge: Living with Global Capitalism (London: Jonathan Cape, 2000) Zaloom, Caitlin, Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006) Stiglitz, Joseph, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010) Wolf, Martin, Fixing Global Finance (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) McDonald, L.S. and Robinson, P., Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers (New York: Crown Business, 2009) Hewitt, Gavin, The Lost Continent (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2013) Mason, Paul, Why Its Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions (London: Verso, 2012) Judt, Tony, Ill Fares the Land, (New York: Penguin, 2011) Nolan, Peter, Crossroads: The End of Wild Capitalism and the Future of Humanity (London: Marshall Cavendish, 2009) Essay questions 1 What is the connection, if any, between the information revolution associated with computation and digital communication networks, on the one hand, and the rise and crisis of global financial capitalism, on the other? 2 What is the connection, if any, between the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the antiausterity protests in Athens, Lisbon, Madrid and other European cities from 2011 on? 3 Why was the euro created? Did the founders of the euro take sufficient account of the risks? 4 Are the problems in the eurozone creating a legitimation crisis for Europe? Supervision Contact Prof Thompson at jbt1000@cam.ac.uk

7 War and Militarism Prof Michael Mann This module will be concerned with aspects of war and military power in the 20th and 21st centuries. The first session will focus on war and revolution, and the second will focus on war in the nuclear age. Reading War and Revolution (session 1) Skocpol, Theda 1979. States and Social Revolutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. *Mann, Michael 1986. The Sources of Social Power, Vol I, Chapter 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. *Mann, Michael 2012. The Sources of Social Power, Vol III, Chapter 6, Explaining Revolutionary Success and Failure, 1917-1923 and Chapter 14, Explaining the Chinese Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. *Mann, Michael, 2011. Power in the 21st Century. Cambridge: Polity.

10 War in the Nuclear Age (session 2) *van Creveld, Martin 2008. The Changing Face of War. New York: Ballantine Books, esp. chapters 5, In the Shadow of the Bomb, and 6, The New World Disorder, 1991 to the Present. *Mann, Michael 2013. The Sources of Social Power, Vol IV, Chapter 10, American Empire at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mann, Michael 2003. Incoherent Empire. London: Verso. Wimmer Andreas & Min, Brian 2006. From Empire to Nation-State: Explaining Wars in the Modern World, 1816-200, American Sociological Review, Vol 71: 867897. Bacevich , Andrew 2005. The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War. New York: Oxford University Press, chapters 1, 8 & 9. Bacevich, Andrew 2002. American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Essay questions 1 Would communism have existed without world war? 2 Is the United States an imperial power? 3 Is war obsolete, or has it been revived by terrorism and the United States? Supervision Contact Dr Jeff Miley at tjm52@cam.ac.uk or Dr Hazem Kandil at hk376@cam.ac.uk