Workers of the World, Enjoy!: Aesthetic Politics from Revolutionary Syndicalism to the Global Justice Movement

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Overview

The aesthetic politics of social movements turn public life into a public stage, where mutual displays of performance often trump rational debate, and urban streets become sites of festivals and carnival. In his penetrating new book, Workers of the World, Enjoy!, Kenneth Tucker provides a new model for understanding social change in our image-saturated and aesthetically charged world. As emotional and artistic images inform our perceptions and evaluation of politics, art and performance often provide new and creative ways of understanding self and society.

Spanning the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, Workers of the World, Enjoy! uses examples from major social movements that have dramatically changed the dominant capitalist society-often in the name of labor. Tucker investigates how class and culture develop as he raises questions about what it means for public life and social movements when politics and drama come together.

Tucker catalogues how aesthetic politics influences social movements-from French Revolutionary syndicalism and fascism to the selling of the President and the street theater of the contemporary global justice movement. He also discusses the work of political theorists including Jurgen Habermas, Jeffrey Alexander, and Nancy Fraser to critique the ways public sphere has been studied.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592137640
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Series: Politics History & Social Chan
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth H. Tucker, Jr. is Professor of Sociology at Mount Holyoke College, and author of Classical Social Theory: A Contemporary Approach, Anthony Giddens and Modern Social Theory, French Revolutionary Syndicalism and the Public Sphere, and (with Barbara Tucker) Industrializing Antebellum America.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 
Introduction

Part I. Theoretical Reflections 
1. Public Life, Aesthetics, and Social Theory 
2. Social Movements and Aesthetic Politics 
3. Identity, Knowledge, Solidarity, and Aesthetic Politics

Part II. History and Social Movements 
4. The World Is a Stage and Life Is a Carnival: The Rise of the Aesthetic Sphere and Pop u lar Culture 
5. Labor and Aesthetic Politics: French Revolutionary Syndicalism, the IWW, and Fascism 
6. The Flowering of Aesthetic Politics: May 1968, the New Social Movements, and the Global Justice Movement

Conclusion 
Notes 
Index

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