Tuesday, October 9, 2012

precarity and democracy

For me, Berlant's discussion of precarity and "the situation" was most interesting. In this discussion, the situation refers to the historical present, a moment of flux with little promise of futurity. It lies in neoliberalism's wake "as an impasse, a thick moment of ongoingness, a situation that can absorb many genres without having one itself." (200) Placing oneself within this moment becomes imperative yet increasingly difficult. In the past, an attachment to subtle hierarchies or notions of upward mobility provided a means for placement, but such attachments are no longer useful. This situation is active, continuously moving and shifting. The precariat that finds itself in the situation necessarily moves and shifts, as well. Berlant: "Upward mobility has been replaced by what we have been calling lateral or sideways mobility." (222) I'm interested in discussing what these changes mean for democracy, or, more specifically, our idea of democracy. How does this affective precarity and idea of lateral mobility create new notions of nationhood and community?

No comments: