According to Kristeva (1982), entities which transgress the psycho-cultural boundaries between subject and object, particularly those which appear simultaneously part of the living body-subject and yet not, inhabit a ‘space of abjection’ and generate an uncanny unease for those who encounter them. From this perspective, which seeks to yoke Mary Douglas’s ‘matter out of place’ (1966) to Lacanian theory, the psychic repulsion experienced with regard to the ambivalent and fetishized object prompts efforts to ‘cast it out’ from the self, in order to more firmly establish oneself as fully within the symbolic order.
Another consequence of the assumption that individuals materialize society through their behavior lies in the hypothesis that structural problems of society (e.g., excessive differentiation without sufficient integration, or contradictions in the structures and behavioral expectations of society) manifest themselves in deviant individual behavior and can be empirically ascertained in such behavior.
Any sign of moral didacticism ruins art, if art is understood as its own autonomous social system. Art, in this sense, cannot be the servant of religion, education, philosophy, science any other kind of communication. These other systems can only use art parasitically.
Every attempt to specify causalities engenders ever greater difficulties. What will happen never depends on a single event. It is always a concatenation of circumstances, so that uncertainty multiplies in proportion to the rigour of the analysis. (Risk: A Sociological Theory, 41)
There is no irritation in the system’s environment and there is no transfer of irritation from the environment into the system. It is always a construct of the system itself, always self-irritation–albeit occasioned by environmental effects.
This is a draft of a paper I will present at the University of East Anglia this week. My aim in this paper is to