The World Upside Down

Social Theory is...


Christopher Lasch, 1932-1994.

“At first glance, a society based on mass consumption appears to encourage self-indulgence in its most blatant forms. Strictly considered, however, modern advertising seeks to promote not so much self-indulgence as self-doubt. It seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them; to generate new anxieties instead of allaying old ones.”

(quote via theweightofemptiness)

(Source: semper-spes-est, via sociologic)

Foucault explains thesis of Discipline and Punishment.

Good summary of Baudrillard’s conception of hyperreality.

Marx’s prediction was correct even if it took 500 years!

In this video Stuart Hall, a theorist and sociologist of the United Kingdom explains his rationale for considering race a floating signifier. To better understand his stand point at the beginning of this video there is a clip of Spike Lee’s film Do The RIght Thing. In this clip different races are stating racial slurs about other races. This validates that race is floating signifier because although the slurs are concrete words the concepts they describe are unstable.

Surveillance and discipline within the contemporary American family. 

Hyperreality in the media.

In this short clip from the matrix, the child shows Neo that the world is not really how we see it. While Neo at first saw the spoon, the child revealed that the spoon doesn’t really exist. It is simply a concept that we create with our own mind. The matrix relates to Jean Baudrillard’s work Simulacra and Simulations, in which he claims that individuals in society no longer understand reality, but rather live in hyperreality. We live in a world of symbols and illusions due to mass media and consumerism, but we no longer live in reality.