CFP: Shifting Social Norms in the Twenty-First Century (deadline: none stated)

We are currently welcoming chapter contributions for a collection of essays on shifting social norms in the twenty-first century.

The central thesis of the project is that in the twenty-first century, public discourse has become more strategic and less communicative (see Jurgen Habermas). The strategic, goal oriented model has several identifiable features, including but not limited to:

1. Emphasis on outcomes rather than shared understanding or consensus building.

2. Acceptance that the personal is the political.

3. Ascendancy of a consumer ethos, that assesses social interactions based on personal satisfaction, rather than appeals to more universal values such as the greater good.

4. Appeal to third party authority to guarantee outcomes: what Adorno might have called an administered world, or what Weber called an iron cage.

Social movements that demonstrate this paradigm shift include, but are not limited to: 

  • zero-tolerance policies in punishment (primarily with grade school children),
  • changes in sexual consent standards and sexual harassment policies,
  • relaxing limits on concealed firearms,
  • regulation of bathroom use,
  • free speech policies on college campuses,
  • the polarization of the news media,
  • removal of confederate monuments,
  • restrictions on public and private art,
  • and the expansion of religious rights to include corporations.

Contributors are invited to comment on changes in particular aspects of culture and/or offer a more general explanation for this phenomenon. Agreement with the central premise of the book is not necessary, but contributions must engage the premise. We are particularly interested in contributions concerning 21st Century mass media and social media.         

If interested, please contact:

Jack Simmons
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Georgia Southern University

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