Critique & Humanism


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14 September 2010

Democracy "live"

The marketization of the media combines with digital media technology to create a political order determined by public opinion. For political decision-making, the question whether opinion is right or wrong becomes secondary to its legitimacy as a form of feedback.

Is accepting the Foucaultian claim that the subject is constituted by power tantamount to denying the possibility of emancipatory resistance? Not necessarily argues Amy Allen, taking a Habermasian detour to articulate a politics of opposition to gender subordination that is both individual and collective.

Feminist critical theorist Nancy Fraser outlines in interview her concept of “parity of participation”, or the representation of women in institutional structures. The concept, she argues, bridged the traditional leftwing theoretical dichotomy between distribution and recognition and in turn raises the question: who determines who is to be represented? Here Fraser emphasizes the centrality of the politics of interpretation in any dialogue about justice, such as that between western feminism and Islam.

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Advertising in Bulgaria has always been tied to the national. In the late nineteenth century, it capitalized on the concern about the rapid invasion of western goods; during socialism, advertising took on the role of educator of the new socialist citizen; and since the 1990s, economic patriotism has attached itself to national mythology. Nevertheless, writes Milla Mineva, in Bulgarian political discourse, to talk of the nation means to talk non-politically. Advertising makes visible this depoliticization of the national.