Yıl : 2019 Cilt : 39 Sayı : 1

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You Only Get What You Give? A New Radical Durkheimian Political Economy of Sacrifice

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Recognizing the convergence of renewed scholarly interest in the sacred, and debates about fiscal sacrifices in recent economic history, this rethinking of Durkheim develops a symptomatic reading of his theory of sacrifice in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. The paper argues that Durkheim’s suppression of political economic sensibilities in The Forms leads him to generate a fetishistic account of sacrifice as a moral activity that renews existing bases of rule. His analysis does so because it inadequately accounts for the role of structured inequalities in the production of the rite. A radical Durkheimian political economy of sacrifice is reclaimed by critically synthesizing it with the Foucauldian concept of dispositifs, one better able to account for the combined impact of knowledge control, inequality, and exclusion on moral life. The critical theoretical work is then applied to the axiological implications of neoliberal individualism, highlighting that it depends on and disavows sacrifice, specifically the sacrificing of people’s capacity for altruism (or, the sacrifice of sacrifice). Finally, Durkheim’s heterological sensibilities about the constitutive potential of the sacred in moments of collective effervescence are used to put the politics back in this political economy of sacrifice.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Radical-Durkheimianism   Sacrifice   Neoliberalism   Dispositif   Morality   Heterology  

Sorumlu Yazar

Ronjon Paul Datta


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Daha Fazla Göster


DOI 10.26650/SJ.2019.39.1.0029

Submission : 14 Ağu 2018

Published : 30 Haz 2019

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