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Music, Religion, Politics, and Everyday Life: The Tensions of Utopianism and Pragmatism in Movements for Change

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Abstract:

From the scribes and rabbis who wrote the original Torah, to the troubador-activists who sang "Which Side Are You On? and "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy," to the gangbangers and hip-hoppers who create contemporary street rap, the relationship between culture, politics, religion and everyday life has been poorly understood. As Bloor observes: “In fact sociologists have been only too eager to limit their concern with science to its institutional framework and external factors relating to its rate of growth or direction This leaves untouched the nature of the knowledge thus created.” There is an obvious tension between romanticism and reality, between humanity and barbarism, between self-reflection and communal expression, which pervades both the written word and the oral tradition. Can a society promote utopianism and dystopianism simultaneously, while allowing its governing officials, whether military conquerors or democratically elected, to perform the necessary day-to-day functions of street-cleaning, sanitation, animal rescue, industrial production, hunting-and-gathering, maintaining law and order, and (what Heideger called the "organicity of intellectual work") educating children and reproducing the next generation. We might call this a kind of scientism of contradiction, or the contradictions of scientific production, or the contradictory intellectual discipline of everyday life. In other words, can the rigours of so called "pure" intellectual work (including those of the priestly class and its modern counterparts), the artistry of craftwork (or the craft of artistry), and the degradations of subsistence agriculture, mining, factory work, and retail sales co-inhabit the same society without igniting the ticking time bomb of social implosion, as we've recently seen in riots in the French suburbs and in the ghettos and barrios of Los Angeles? How, in other words, does the globalization of both production and knowledge work (the so-called "Walmartization" of societies) challenge our ability to think clearly about what is true in contrast to what is delusion? Self-delusion and self-discipline inhibits the reflective self, the postmodern membrane, the ecclesiastical impulse forbidden by truth-seeking and sun worship, problemetizing the inchoate structures of both reason and darkness, allowing knowledge, half-knowledge, and knowledgelessness to undermine and yet simultaneously overcome the self-loathing that overwhelms the gnostic challenge facing Biblical scribes, folksingers, and hip-hop rappers alike. Sociologists ignore these topics at their peril.
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Association:
Name: 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions
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http://www.4sonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p412741_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Dreier, Peter. "Music, Religion, Politics, and Everyday Life: The Tensions of Utopianism and Pragmatism in Movements for Change" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Komaba I Campus, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p412741_index.html>

APA Citation:

Dreier, P. "Music, Religion, Politics, and Everyday Life: The Tensions of Utopianism and Pragmatism in Movements for Change" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Komaba I Campus, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p412741_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: From the scribes and rabbis who wrote the original Torah, to the troubador-activists who sang "Which Side Are You On? and "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy," to the gangbangers and hip-hoppers who create contemporary street rap, the relationship between culture, politics, religion and everyday life has been poorly understood. As Bloor observes: “In fact sociologists have been only too eager to limit their concern with science to its institutional framework and external factors relating to its rate of growth or direction This leaves untouched the nature of the knowledge thus created.” There is an obvious tension between romanticism and reality, between humanity and barbarism, between self-reflection and communal expression, which pervades both the written word and the oral tradition. Can a society promote utopianism and dystopianism simultaneously, while allowing its governing officials, whether military conquerors or democratically elected, to perform the necessary day-to-day functions of street-cleaning, sanitation, animal rescue, industrial production, hunting-and-gathering, maintaining law and order, and (what Heideger called the "organicity of intellectual work") educating children and reproducing the next generation. We might call this a kind of scientism of contradiction, or the contradictions of scientific production, or the contradictory intellectual discipline of everyday life. In other words, can the rigours of so called "pure" intellectual work (including those of the priestly class and its modern counterparts), the artistry of craftwork (or the craft of artistry), and the degradations of subsistence agriculture, mining, factory work, and retail sales co-inhabit the same society without igniting the ticking time bomb of social implosion, as we've recently seen in riots in the French suburbs and in the ghettos and barrios of Los Angeles? How, in other words, does the globalization of both production and knowledge work (the so-called "Walmartization" of societies) challenge our ability to think clearly about what is true in contrast to what is delusion? Self-delusion and self-discipline inhibits the reflective self, the postmodern membrane, the ecclesiastical impulse forbidden by truth-seeking and sun worship, problemetizing the inchoate structures of both reason and darkness, allowing knowledge, half-knowledge, and knowledgelessness to undermine and yet simultaneously overcome the self-loathing that overwhelms the gnostic challenge facing Biblical scribes, folksingers, and hip-hop rappers alike. Sociologists ignore these topics at their peril.


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