Weak Messianism: Essays in Everyday Utopianism

Weak Messianism: Essays in Everyday Utopianism

by Michael Gardiner


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This volume explores the connection between two phenomena usually thought to be utterly incongruous, even antithetical: ‘utopia’ and ‘everyday life’. It presents a series of essays, written over the last twenty years, which rethink the nature and prospects of utopianism in a world that has grown increasingly sceptical as to the possibility of systemic socio-political transformation in a positive direction. Through critical interdisciplinary engagements with a wide variety of thinkers ranging from Mikhail Bakhtin to Henri Lefebvre and beyond, many of whom are often read as anti-utopian figures, the essays argue that it is possible to locate utopian promises buried deep within the embodied rituals, practices and symbolic forms associated with everyday existence, in a manner that reveals the essential openness of the present day to momentous future change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783034307161
Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften
Publication date: 01/11/2013
Series: Ralahine Utopian Studies Series , #11
Pages: 273
Product dimensions: 5.91(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.04(d)

About the Author

Michael E. Gardiner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He is the author of numerous books, journal articles and book chapters on dialogical social theory, ethics, everyday life and utopianism, concentrating in particular on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Henri Lefebvre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Table of Contents

Contents: Bakhtin’s Carnival: Utopia as Critique – ‘A Very Understandable Horror of Dialectics’: Bakhtin and Merleau-Ponty – Utopia and Everyday Life in French Social Thought – A Postmodern Utopia? Heller and Fehér’s Critique of Messianic Marxism – Everyday Utopianism: Lefebvre and His Critics – The Grandchildren of Marx and Coca-Cola: Lefebvre, Utopia and the ‘Recuperation’ of Everyday Life.

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