Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Knowledge and Globalization
by Majumdar, Jeeon Kumar, M.A., Prescott College, 2013, 98; 1539490
Abstract (Summary)

An individual narrative relating subjective experience with communal social norms and practices is the modern way of understanding identity. Modern science also bridges the gap between a subjective experience and theoretical knowledge. In translating from the micro-social level of direct experience to the macro-social or collective experience, the particular and the subjective tend to be drowned out by conceptual totalities. Consumer capitalism however, at its extreme virtual limits, makes subjective experience central, and pushes metaphysical idealism back. The artist's knowledge, acquired through the juxtaposition of the human self at its most intimate level with the general or objective order of materials, also erodes a modern metaphysics. Language in psychoanalysis allows us to engage in self-identification and discover the subject within the spoken or written word by uncovering traces of an illicit desire that is repressed in metaphysics and rationalism. Psychoanalysis provides insight into how the decoded social space of capitalist production can be reconfigured as a meaningful space of subjective desire. Today's ubiquitous digital discourse, coupled with the universality of a machine time in the increasingly mechanized market, gives us globalization. A form of consciousness defined by the operations of the market recognizes the interwoven functions of humans and technologies/materials in a wide and complex production—including economic and social/cultural aspects. Outside of the dialectical structure of modern knowledge, social identity can only be a temporary coalescence of a subject that is staked upon a set of events of a specific and foundational significance. As a modern polarity of identity and negation is closed with globalization, social identity becomes situated with respect to a global information economy that increasingly reflects, not commodity objects and alienated subjects, but difference as such: capitalist production is nothing but the unbreakable rhythm that rearticulates a homogeneous Globality with each of its cycles. Under these conditions, otherness is an intelligible difference, rather than a repressed periphery of the ego ideal. As difference or alterity beyond the identity of subject and object, the Other is the counterpart of the void that is subjectivity itself. In the knowledge economy primarily constituted as the production of difference, subjectivity and otherness are modalities of a more thorough ecological integration with the environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tokar, Brian, Pratt, Norma
Commitee: Greenblum, Ellen, Rushbrook, Dereka, Willi Hooper, Michaela
School: Prescott College
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Peace Studies, Modern history, Sustainability
Keywords: Alterity, Capitalism, Cyborg, Enlightenment, Freudo-marxism, Globalization
Publication Number: 1539490
ISBN: 978-1-303-15002-9
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