Strecker - Chapter 14 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Strecker - Chapter 14

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Future Imperfect

Imagining Rhetorical Culture Theory

Surely there are good reasons, even evolutionary wisdom, behind the social discipline that censures excessive expenditure and excessive consumption. Yet there clearly are strong motives for visibly excessive social display, which has survived and may even paradoxically enhance species survival. In modern societies, which experience both unprecedented levels of affluence and distinctive probabilities for catastrophe, excess may acquire additional significance. Let me suggest two corollary claims: First, excess is scandalous because it reveals in hyperbolic form the social order and thereby destabilizes social authority. Second, the aversion to excess has influenced the human sciences to an extent that they misrecognize their subject. That is, in order to understand culture, art, religion, democratic politics, and other signifying practices, one has to understand how they depend on excessive social practices and at times on the display of excess.

Future ImperfectImagining Rhetorical Culture TheoryRobert HarimanSurely there are good reasons, even evolutionary wisdom, behind the social discipline that censures excessive expenditure and excessive consumption. Yet there clearly are strong moti
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