Common pleasures: The politics of collective practice from sociability to militant conviviality.
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This thesis considers from a theoretical and historical standpoint the different political implications of experiencing togetherness as a source of pleasure and joy. The first part critically reflects upon the discourse of “sociability” developed from early modernity to the 19th century and examines the most significant institutional formations that characterised its practice, with a particular focus on the passage from aristocratic salons to the bourgeois world of cafes. The sociability of the upper classes is then compared and contrasted with the forms of collective joy of the plebs, critically accounting for the way in which subjectivity and the body are differently implicated in the discourses surrounding carnivals, collective dancing and ecstatic practices. The second part focuses on the 20th century arguing that from this point the conflict between high and low sociability diminishes its political relevance to give way to increasingly ambivalent forms of togetherness based on the consumption of experiences and situation. The paradigms of the scene, the brand and the game are discussed as the primary institutions of a new dominant form of sociability deeply embedded in economic cycles. Finally, in the last part the notion of “militant conviviality” is introduced as a concept-tool to describe an emerging body of practices that are raising the stakes of sociability as an important component of radical political action today.
AuthorsGraziano, Valeria Antonella
- Theses