Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Anthony Giddens' keyword pg.1 of 2
18 OCTOBER 2016

HyperNormalisation: our retreat into a simplified version of the world

"The documentary is inspired by the unpredictable events of recent times – from the rise of Donald Trump to Brexit, the war in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It seeks to explain both why these chaotic events are happening, and why we and our leaders can't understand them. Curtis's theory is that Westerners - politicians, journalists, experts and members of the public alike - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all-encompassing, we accept it as normal.

HyperNormalisation explores this hollow world by looking back at 40 years of events, and profiling a diverse cast of characters such as: the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters and suicide bombers."

(Holly Barrett, 22nd September 2016, Royal Television Society)



20169/11 • Acid Phreak (pseudonym) • Adam CurtisAfghanistan • AirBnB • Alexei Yurchak • Anthony GiddensArab Spring • Arkady Strugatsky • BBC documentary • BBC iPlayer • Boris Strugatsky • Brexit • British filmmaker • British National Front • Carl Rogers • cartoon villain • chaos • chaotic events • chatbot • civil rights movement • Corrupt (pseudonym) • cyber activism • cyberspace • Damascus • David Frost • Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace • delusion • digital rightsdisruptive innovationdocumentaryDonald Trump • Eli Ladopoulos • ELIZA (natural language processing) • fakeness • functioning society • Gulf War • HAC (pseudonym) • Hafez al-Assad • Henry Kissinger • hippies • hypernormalisation • HyperNormalisation (2016) • intelligent machines • internet utopianismIraq • John Barlow • John Lee • Joseph Weizenbaum • Judea Pearl • Julio Fernandez • late communist period • Lester Coleman • liability theory • Lionel Ritchie • machine fetishisation • Mark Abene • Martha Rosler • Masters of Deception (MOD) • migrant crisis • Muammar Gaddafi • Muslim Brotherhood • New YorkNigel FarageOccupy Wall Street • Outlaw (pseudonym) • paradoxPatti Smith • Paul Stira • performance artists • Phiber Optik (pseudonym) • powerlesspretence • random bomb attacks • retreat into simplified views of the world • Roadside Picnic (1972) • Ronald Reagan • Royal Television Society • Scorpion (pseudonym) • self-absorbed baby boomers • self-fulfilling prophecy • Soviet UnionStalker (1979)suicide bombersSyria • Tahir Square • techno-panic • techno-utopiaterrorism • time of great uncertainty • Timothy LearyTron • Uber • Vladimir PutinVladislav Surkov • War in Syria • Yakuza


Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2015

Sexed up: theorizing the sexualization of culture

"This paper reviews and examines emerging academic approaches to the study of ‘sexualized culture’; an examination made necessary by contemporary preoccupations with sexual values, practices and identities, the emergence of new forms of sexual experience and the apparent breakdown of rules, categories and regulations designed to keep the obscene at bay. The paper maps out some key themes and preoccupations in recent academic writing on sex and sexuality, especially those relating to the contemporary or emerging characteristics of sexual discourse. The key issues of pornographication and democratization, taste formations, postmodern sex and intimacy, and sexual citizenship are explored in detail."

(Feona Attwood, 2006)

ATTWOOD, F. (2006). Sexed up: theorizing the sexualization of culture. Sexualities, 9 (1), 77-94.


2006Anthony Giddens • attitudes to sex • auto-eroticism • Brian McNair • Brigid Costello • casual sex • Catharine Lumby • commercial sex services • consumption spectacle • contemporary sexual discourse • cybersex • David Bell • David Buckingham • David Evans • Debbie Stoller • Dennis Altman • diverse sexual identities • Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim • email affairs • erotic life • Eva Illouz • excitation • female sexualityfemininity • Feona Attwood • gender relations • hedonism • Hilary Radner • Imelda Whelehan • intimate relations • Jane Arthurs • Jane Juffer • Jeffrey Weeks • Jon Binnie • Joseph Bristow • Juniper Wiley • Kenneth Plummer • liquid love • literature review • Mandy Merck • Marcelle Karp • Marj Kibby • Mark Jancovich • Michel Foucault • Natasha Forrest • obscenityonline datingpersonal life • personal relationships • phone sex • physical pleasure • physical sensation • plastic sexuality • pornographication • postmodern sex • radical sexual politics • renewable pleasures • romantic encounters • romantic relationships • Rosalind Gill • Rosalind Given-Wilson • Sara Bragg • sex and commitment • sex and reproduction • sex toysexismsexual behaviour • sexual citizenship • sexual commodification • sexual democratisation • sexual desire • sexual discourse • sexual encounter • sexual experience • sexual fitness • sexual identities • sexual intimacy • sexual meaning • sexual objectification • sexual obscenity • sexual practices • sexual preoccupation • sexual propriety • sexual regulation • sexual representation • sexual sensibilities • sexual subjectification • sexual values • sexualised culture • sexualised depictionssexuality • sexualization • sexually explicit texts • Sheffield Hallam University • SHURA • Simon Hardy • Stacy Gillis • taste formations • transient pleasures • Ulrich Beck • Walter Kendrick • William Simon • Zygmunt Bauman


Simon Perkins
12 JUNE 2014

Interpreting the theory-practice relationship

"Theory provides ways of interpreting practical knowledge. Practical knowledge–the basis of our ability to perform successfully as participants in a social practice–is largely tacit and unconscious (Schön, 1983). Imagine trying to explain to someone everything you know that enables you to carry on a successful conversation with another person. Although you might come up with a few general rules (use eye contact, listen, be relevant), no amount of explanation could more than scratch the surface of the complex habits, skills, background information, and situational awareness that even a simple conversation requires, much of which cannot be articulated verbally. As every novice user of cookbooks or computer manuals knows, even the most explicit instructions can be useless to someone who lacks the skills and background knowledge required to follow them. No theory can tell us every– thing–or, in a sense, anything–we need to know to participate in a practical activity. Practical knowledge comes only with the accumulation of direct experience.

Is theory, therefore, useless? The largely tacit nature of practical knowledge does limit the role of theory to some extent; however, it does not warrant the extreme conclusion that theory and practice are unrelated (see Craig, 1996a, in reply to Sandelands, 1990). Theory contributes to 'discursive consciousness' (Giddens, 1984), our conscious awareness of social practices and ability to discuss them knowledgeably. Discursive consciousness enables activities such as reflection, criticism, and explicit planning, thereby shaping practical conduct. A theory of a practice provides a particular way of interpreting practical knowledge, a way of focusing attention on important details of a situation and weaving them into a web of concepts that can give the experience a new layer of meaning, reveal previously unnoticed connections, and suggest new lines of action. Classroom communication, for example, can be discussed in terms of information processing, group dynamics, or ritual, among other theories. Each theory illuminates a different aspect of the situation and suggests a different approach to practical problems."

(Robert Craig, 2006)


2006Anthony Giddens • background knowledge • classroom communication • communication theory • computer manual • connectionsconscious awarenessconversationcookbookcritical reflectioncriticismdirect experience • discursive consciousness • Donald Schon • explicit instructions • explicit planning • focusing attention • general rules • group dynamics • important details • information processing • interpreting practical knowledge • lines of action • Lloyd Sandelands • practical activity • practical conduct • practical knowledge • practical problems • ritual • Robert Craig • social practicestacit knowledgetheorytheory and practice • theory of practice • unconscious understanding • web of concepts


Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2013

Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A development in culturalist theorizing

"This article works out the main characteristics of 'practice theory', a type of social theory which has been sketched by such authors as Bourdieu, Giddens, Taylor, late Foucault and others. Practice theory is presented as a conceptual alternative to other forms of social and cultural theory, above all to culturalist mentalism, textualism and intersubjectivism. The article shows how practice theory and the three other cultural–theoretical vocabularies differ in their localization of the social and in their conceptualization of the body, mind, things, knowledge, discourse, structure/process and the agent."

(Andreas Reckwitz, 2002)

Andreas Reckwitz (2002). "Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A Development in Culturalist Theorizing", European Journal of Social Theory; Vol.5, No.2; pp. 243–263 DOI: 10.1177/13684310222225432 []


2002 • Andreas Reckwitz • Anthony Giddens • background practices • bodily engagementbodyCharles Taylor • conceptual alternative • conceptualisation • cultural-theoretical vocabularies • culturalist mentalism • culturediscoursediscourse and practice • European Journal of Social Theory • interpersonal interactions • intersubjectivism • knowledge • mental representations • Michel Foucaultmind • mind and body • Pierre Bourdieu • practice theory • shared understandingsocial agency • social and cultural life • social and cultural theory • social theory • textualism • theory of things • things


Simon Perkins

Mediated environments: we must learn to write themselves into being

"In everyday interactions, the body serves as a critical site of identity performance. In conveying who we are to other people, we use our bodies to project information about ourselves.[32] This is done through movement, clothes, speech, and facial expressions. What we put forward is our best effort at what we want to say about who we are. Yet while we intend to convey one impression, our performance is not always interpreted as we might expect. Through learning to make sense of others' responses to our behavior, we can assess how well we have conveyed what we intended. We can then alter our performance accordingly. This process of performance, interpretation, and adjustment is what Erving Goffman calls impression management,[33] and is briefly discussed in the introduction to this volume. Impression management is a part of a larger process where people seek to define a situation[34] through their behavior. People seek to define social situations by using contextual cues from the environment around them. Social norms emerge out of situational definitions, as people learn to read cues from the environment and the people present to understand what is appropriate behavior.

Learning how to manage impressions is a critical social skill that is honed through experience. Over time, we learn how to make meaning out of a situation, others' reactions, and what we are projecting of ourselves. As children, we learn that actions on our part prompt reactions by adults; as we grow older, we learn to interpret these reactions and adjust our behavior. Diverse social environments help people develop these skills because they force individuals to reevaluate the signals they take for granted.

The process of learning to read social cues and react accordingly is core to being socialized into a society. While the process itself begins at home for young children, it is critical for young people to engage in broader social settings to develop these skills. Of course, how children are taught about situations and impression management varies greatly by culture,[35] but these processes are regularly seen as part of coming of age. While no one is ever a true master of impression management, the teenage years are ripe with opportunities to develop these skills.

In mediated environments, bodies are not immediately visible and the skills people need to interpret situations and manage impressions are different. As Jenny Sundén argues, people must learn to write themselves into being.[36] Doing so makes visible how much we take the body for granted. While text, images, audio, and video all provide valuable means for developing a virtual presence, the act of articulation differs from how we convey meaningful information through our bodies. This process also makes explicit the self–reflexivity that Giddens argues is necessary for identity formation, but the choices individuals make in crafting a digital body highlight the self–monitoring that Foucault describes.[37]

In some sense, people have more control online–they are able to carefully choose what information to put forward, thereby eliminating visceral reactions that might have seeped out in everyday communication. At the same time, these digital bodies are fundamentally coarser, making it far easier to misinterpret what someone is expressing. Furthermore, as Amy Bruckman shows, key information about a person's body is often present online, even when that person is trying to act deceptively; for example, people are relatively good at detecting when someone is a man even when they profess to be a woman online.[38] Yet because mediated environments reveal different signals, the mechanisms of deception differ.[39] "

(Danah Boyd 2008, p.128–129)

[32] Fred Davis, Fashion, Culture and Identity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

[33] Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, 1956).

[34] Erving Goffman, Behavior in Public Places (New York: The Free Press, 1963).

[35] Jean Briggs, Inuit Morality Play: The Emotional Education of a Three–Year–Old (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999).

[36] Jenny Sundén, Material Virtualities (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2003).

[37] See David Buckingham's introduction to this volume for a greater discussion of this.

[38] Joshua Berman and Amy Bruckman, The Turing Game: Exploring Identity in an Online Environment, Convergence 7, no. 3 (2001): 83–102.

[39] Judith Donath, Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community, Communities in Cyberspace, eds. Marc Smith and Peter Kollock (London: Routledge, 1999).

1). Boyd, D. (2008). Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life. Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. D. Buckingham. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press: 119–142.



Simon Perkins

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