By Kenneth H. Tucker Jr.
The increase of the general public sphere, as chronicled through social events spanning the 19th, 20th, and twenty-first centuries
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Additional resources for Workers of the World, Enjoy!: Aesthetic Politics from Revolutionary Syndicalism to the Global Justice Movement (Politics History & Social Chan)
Many sociologists are dissatisfied with this instrumental approach. They have responded to this materialist perspective by integrating an appreciation of the role of cultural experience and imaginative forms of solidarity and subjectivity in the dynamics of social movements. In this chapter, I begin with an analysis of the cultural turn in the study of social movements. This attention to culture has often underplayed the important aesthetic moment in social movements, though some researchers have been more sensitive to this aesthetic dimension than others.
For Habermas, every sphere must debate validity claims to procure legitimacy. The scientific realm analyzes facts and arguments in a cognitively objectified manner. The legal or normative sphere involves legal and moral understandings of interpersonal relationships. ”16 While each of these spheres raises validity claims that must be socially recognized, their logics, evaluations, and practices must remain autonomous from one another so that they maintain their distinctive integrity. They transmit specialized knowledge from one generation to the next while also connecting expert cultures to the languages of everyday life.
57 He argues that we need such an aesthetic sociology to understand the aestheticization of our experience. A new practice arises in everyday life, based on shared spaces and local knowledge. A vision of society founded on closed and essential identities gives way to a new social logic of identification with diverse others, resulting in more fluid and transitory political practices and allegiances. He implicitly calls for a new aesthetic politics to understand major features of contemporary societies, and locates this politics in everyday life rather than in public spheres.