CSOn4010 Culture wars, rebellions and social conflicts

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 10 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
doc. PhDr. Csaba Szaló, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Csaba Szaló, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Soňa Enenkelová
Supplier department: Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 16:00–17:40 U41
Basic knowledge of sociological theories and methods is presupposed.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 15 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 8/15, only registered: 0/15, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/15
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
After a period of social and political stabilization, marked by a growing global economic and institutional convergence in the current decades one could observe the disappearance of the last remnants of consensus that characterized the post-cold-war era of the early 1990s. The course focuses on contemporary societies' inherent thrust toward cultural polarisation on three thematic areas: (i) On the most general, a theoretical level we would focus on discursive fields to understand how cultural context influences claims-making in everyday situations. (ii) Contemporary radical and emancipatory discourses will be explored in their tension with the Promethean optimism and scientific materialism of accelerating technological innovation. (iii) The last thematic areas we will deal with consist of the aspirations for self-determination of individuals and collectives. The course through a reconsideration of sociological theories of power proposes a conceptual framework for a research program in cultural, historical, and political sociology.
Learning outcomes
Knowledge of the basic analytical apparatus of contemporary cultural sociology. Ability to critically interpret and utilize articles published in academic journals for own research. Ability to employ relevant analytical apparatus for explaining various cultural processes and social problems.
  • 1. The symbolic resources of collective action
  • 2. The political use of historical figures
  • 3. The political contexts of storytelling
  • 4. Situated claimsmaking
  • 5. From political to biological forms of resistance
  • 6. Against neuro-liberalism
  • 7. Actor-network theory of resistance
  • 8. Normalisation through performance
  • 9. Against cultural determinism
  • 10. Power as sending and binding of another
  • 11. Affect, vulnerability and becoming
  • 12. Between insubordination and counter-conduct
    required literature
  • Malabou, Catherine. 2016. “One Life Only: Biological Resistance, Political Resistance.” Critical Inquiry 42(3):429–38. doi: 10.1086/685601.
  • Polletta, Francesca, Pang Ching Bobby Chen, Beth Gharrity Gardner, and Alice Motes. 2011. “The Sociology of Storytelling.” Annual Review of Sociology 37:109–130.
  • Szaló, Csaba. 2020. “The Existential Spatiality of Rebellion: Insubordination, Counter‐conduct, and Places.” Sociology Compass. doi: 10.1111/soc4.12835.
  • Laszczkowski, Mateusz. 2019. “Rethinking Resistance through and as Affect.” Anthropological Theory 19(4):489–509. doi: 10.1177/1463499618793078.
  • Lichterman, Paul, and Kushan Dasgupta. 2020. “From Culture to Claimsmaking.” Sociological Theory 36(3):236–62.
  • Russell, Francis. 2020. “Brain Power: Cruel Optimism and Neuro-Liberalism in the Work of Catherine Malabou.” Culture, Theory and Critique 61(1):64–78. doi: 10.1080/14735784.2020.1749685.
  • Pfaff, Steven, and Guobin Yang. 2001. “Double-Edged Rituals and the Symbolic Resources of Collective Action: Political Commemorations and the Mobilization of Protest in 1989.” Theory and Society 30(4):539–589.
  • Jansen, Robert S. 2007. “Resurrection and Appropriation: Reputational Trajectories, Memory Work, and the Political Use of Historical Figures.” American Journal of Sociology 112(4):953–1007.
  • Maze, Jacob. 2020. “Normativity versus Normalisation: Reassembling Actor-Network Theory through Butler and Foucault.” Culture, Theory and Critique 1–15. doi: 10.1080/14735784.2020.1780623.
  • Tummons, Jonathan. 2020. “Ontological Pluralism, Modes of Existence, and Actor-Network Theory: Upgrading Latour with Latour.” Social Epistemology 1–11. doi: 10.1080/02691728.2020.1774815.
  • Reed, Isaac Ariail, and Michael Weinman. 2019. “Agency, Power, Modernity: A Manifesto for Social Theory.” European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 6(1):6–50. doi: 10.1080/23254823.2018.1499434.
  • Randeria, Shalini, and Evangelos Karagiannis. 2020. “The Migrant Position: Dynamics of Political and Cultural Exclusion.” Theory, Culture & Society 026327642095773. doi: 10.1177/0263276420957733.
Teaching methods
Active participation in seminar discussions. Presentations. Teamwork.
Assessment methods
Regular critical comments. Final paper.
Language of instruction
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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