Politics in small town America
What does Politics mean for the working class? How is it experienced in everyday life? How do local worldviews tie to political preferences? The atypical results of the 2016 American presidential election offer a unique opportunity to revitalize the conversation around the relationship between politics and culture in American political sociology. While traditional frameworks for understanding voting preferences and political behavior are rooted within macro-level political institutions such as political parties, the advent of alt-right grassroots movements and the emergence of a white middle-class identity raises critical questions on how politics is practiced, lived, and experienced beyond the traditional party-lines paradigm. Throughout these pieces, I will be offering a set of thoughts on what this analytic might look like.
Friendship and the becoming
What is it to be a friend? What is to be found in this relationship? What do friends do to help us resolve the little and big problems of our daily life? What type of beings do we become, when we are “friends” with someone? Inspired by the 20th century phenomenological and pragmatic intellectual traditions, this project returns the concept of friendship into political analysis. Friendship is a constitutive element of human communities. It is fundamental to how we experience togetherness. It determines how we act as a collective, and how we, collectively, pursue a good life. Once a central element of the Aristotelian polis, friendship is now considered a marginal matter in contemporary political thought. Concepts such as power, legitimacy, violence, or representation have been prioritized in our agendas, as a way to fight back against different modes of oppression that are still invisible to our societies. In times of political, social, and environmental crises, nonetheless, I do think that we should not only focus on political domination, but also on other ways of creating community, understanding, and interpersonal engagement. In this sense, this project hopes to explore the contours of the concept of friendship (here understood as a becoming-together), in order to imagine different political ontologies that exceed our modern conceptual boundaries –something much needed in critical times like these.