This book challenges the conventional wisdom that improving democratic politics requires keeping emotion out of it. Marcus advances the provocative claim that the tradition in democratic theory of treating emotion and reason as hostile opposites is misguided and leads contemporary theorists to misdiagnose the current state of American democracy. Instead of viewing the presence of emotion in politics as a failure of rationality and therefore as a failure of citizenship, Marcus argues, democratic theorists need to understand that emotions (...) are in fact a prerequisite for the exercise of reason and thus essential for rational democratic deliberation and political judgment. Attempts to purge emotion from public life not only are destined to fail, but ultimately would rob democracies of a key source of revitalization and change. Drawing on recent research in neuroscience, Marcus shows how emotion functions generally and what role it plays in politics. In contrast to the traditional view of emotion as a form of agitation associated with belief, neuroscience reveals it to be generated by brain systems that operate largely outside of awareness. Two of these systems, "disposition" and "surveillance," are especially important in enabling emotions to produce habits, which often serve a positive function in democratic societies. But anxiety, also a preconscious emotion, is crucial to democratic politics as well because it can inhibit or disable habits and thus clear a space for the conscious use of reason and deliberation. If we acknowledge how emotion facilitates reason and is "cooperatively entangled" with it, Marcus concludes, then we should recognize sentimental citizens as the only citizens really capable of exercising political judgment and of putting their decisions into action. (shrink)
This article shows how, in recent works of cultural analysis, the concept of ‘assemblage’ has been been derived from key sources of theory and put to work to provide a structure-like surrogate to express certain prominent values of a modernist sensibility in the discourse of description and analysis. Assemblage is a sort of anti-structural concept that permits the researcher to speak of emergence, heterogeneity, the decentred and the ephemeral in nonetheless ordered social life. There are other related concepts, like collage, (...) which have been used to give these values substance in research, but currently assemblage is enjoying a popularity perhaps because of the continuing fascination of the work of Deleuze and Guattari. (shrink)
Remarkably accessible, Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment urges social scientists to move beyond the idealistic notion of the purely rational citizen to form a more complete, realistic model that includes the emotional side of ...
One of the major assumptions of John Zaller's RAS model of public opinion is that people need explicit cues from partisan elites in order to evaluate persuasive messages. This puts the public in the position of a passive audience, unable to scrutinize information or make independent decisions. However, there is evidence that people can, under some circumstances, evaluate and use information independently of elite cues. Thus, patterns of public opinion in the months before the Iraq war are inconsistent with the (...) predictions of Zaller's model. While the RAS model usually accounts for the dynamics of public opinion quite well, the situations in which it fails provide us with critical insights into the limits of elite influence. (shrink)
The sixteen essays in Gender Struggles address a wide range of issues in gender struggles, from the more familiar ones that, for the last thirty years, have been the mainstay of feminist scholarship, such as motherhood, beauty, and sexual violence, to new topics inspired by post-industrialization and multiculturalism, such as the welfare state, cyberspace, hate speech, and queer politics, and finally to topics that traditionally have not been seen as appropriate subjects for philosophizing, such as adoption, care work, and the (...) home. (shrink)
The theory of affective intelligence dichotomizes challenging situations into threatening and risky ones. When people perceive a familiar threat, they tend to be dogmatic and partisan, since they are mobilizing decisive action based on habitual behaviors and nearly instinctual perceptions that have proved their worth in similar situations. When facing a novel risk, however, people tend to become more open‐minded and deliberative, since old solutions do not apply. An experiment with students' reactions to challenges to their opinions about a divisive (...) political issue suggests that, indeed, democratic citizens display the different competencies that are demanded by these two different types of situation. The actual conduct of political campaigns, too, can be expected to reflect the differences between trying to guard against defections from one's side by encouraging the appearance of routine partisan combat, and trying to promote defections from the other side by prompting anxiety, hence open‐minded deliberation. (shrink)
This book offers a re-examination of the evidence about citizens' capacity for self-governance and what it means for the future of democratic politics, from both empirical and normative perspectives. Are ordinary citizens capable of governing themselves? For more than three decades, social scientists have accumulated evidence of the undemocratic propensities of many ordinary citizens. This has caused some to worry about the stability of existing democratic institutions, while others argue that the institutions themselves are the problem: politics needs to be (...) democratized further, giving citizens more opportunities to practice democratic politics and acquire democratic values. The thirty-three contributors to this volume enter this debate with new evidence on citizens' capacity for deliberative politics. They argue that previous methods of investigation significantly underestimate people's ability to govern themselves, and that the prospects for democracy are better than conventional wisdom suggests. Realization of these prospects will depend on citizens grasping the interplay of emotions and reason in political life, creating new opportunities for citizen deliberation, and reinvigorating the institutions of representative government. Theories of democracy in turn will have to accommodate this changing reality as citizens show themselves to be self-determining in their political activities. (shrink)
This article is concerned with the literal and metaphoric senses in which anthropology's accumulation of knowledge through the production of ethnography on the world's peoples can be considered an archive. The relevance of this concept to ethnography has a very different past, present, and emergent associations. The Human Area Relations Files project as visionary science dependent on the making of an archive of ethnography contrasts with the uses of the past ethnographic record in the pursuit of contemporary fieldwork in a (...) so-called postmodern world. (shrink)