The disappearance of rituals – Byung-Chul Han

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ISBN: 9781509542765 Category: Tags: ,

Description

Untrammelled neoliberalism and the inexorable force of production have produced a 21st century crisis of community: a narcissistic cult of authenticity and mass turning-inward are among the pathologies engendered by it. We are individuals afloat in an atomised society, where the loss of the symbolic structures inherent in ritual behaviour has led to overdependence on the contingent to steer identity. Avoiding saccharine nostalgia for the rituals of the past, Han provides a genealogy of their disappearance as a means of diagnosing the pathologies of the present. He juxtaposes a community without communication – where the intensity of togetherness in silent recognition provides structure and meaning – to today’s communication without community, which does away with collective feelings and leaves individuals exposed to exploitation and manipulation by neoliberal psycho-politics.