CCS Workshop ~ Spring 2021

Please note: Workshop readings are automatically available to current participants only and require authentication (password). Off- campus CCS Fellows should contact the CCS Administrator to gain access as needed.

The CCS Workshop for the Spring 2021 semester will be held via ZOOM on Fridays from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  

CCS Workshop Spring 2021

Anne TaylorWorkshop 2/5: Anne Taylor

Yale University ~ CCS Junior Fellow

Harry Potter and the Death-of-the-Actor: Imagined Actors in Social Performance

Jose Petez AgoteWorkshop 2/12: José Perez Agote

Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain 

Trauma and sacrifice in divided communities: The cultural construction of the victims of terrorism in Spain

Nick ObaldistonWorkshop 2/19: Nick Osbaldiston

James Cook University, Australia

The View of Lifestyle Migration: a Brief Exploration of the Ethics of Seeking a Better Way of Life

Vanessa BittnerWorkshop 2/26: Vanessa Bittner

Yale University ~ CCS Junior Fellow

Catalysts of Polarization: Controversial Icons as Proxy Battlegrounds for Opposing Audiences

Willa SachsWorkshop 3/5: Willa Sachs

Yale University ~ CCS Junior Fellow

Victory as Resource: A New Perspective on Social Movements

Jessie DongWorkshop 3/12: Jessie Dong

Yale University ~ CCS Junior Fellow

The Performative Power of Cinema: Bridging the Gap Between Cinematic and Social Reality

Amy SingerWorkshop 3/19: Amy Singer

Franklin and Marshall College

“JUST USE IT LIKE YOU NORMALLY WOULD”: Pronomial homologies, symbolic boundaries, and marketplace affinities

Giselinde KuipersWorkshop 3/26: Giselinde Kuipers

KU Leuven, Belgium

The expanding beauty regime, or: why it has become so important to look good

Matthew HayesWorkshop 4/2: Matthew Hayes

St. Thomas University, Canada

Coloniality and Retirement Migration to the Global South

This chapter looks at an ideal-type cultural narrative of global inequality and cultural difference from the perspective of lifestyle retirement migrants to Essaouira, Morocco. One way that retirees from Europe make sense of global-scale inequalities in their everyday lives in Essaouira is by switching between cultural codes that refer to material inequality and hardship on the one hand, and essentialized cultures of work and consumerism on the other. By accounting for material inequalities through narratives about culture, lifestyle migrants mark distance between themselves and other global migrants. The effect is to reproduce a form of epistemic coloniality, which helps to stabilize global hierarchies that might otherwise be challenged through a relational sociology.

Carlo TognatoWorkshop 4/9: Carlo Tognato

George Mason University ~ CCS Faculty Fellow

Civil, ma non troppo: On Mimicry in Times of Civil Degradation 

Abstract:  In Alexander’s civil sphere theory civil translation is the process by which members of society recast their particularistic interests in general terms for the purpose of eliciting the solidarity of their fellow-members. To that end, they tap into the civil codes of liberty and repression that make up civil discourse by attaching to their own motives, relations, and institutions the positive attributes of the civil and by bestowing upon those of their adversaries the attributes of the anti-civil. Occasionally, though, some members of a civil community may selectively designate the very same motives, relations, and institutions as civil when they relate to them and as anti-civil when they refer to their adversaries, while resorting to alternative non-civil binaries to determine who stands with them or against them. At times, when public spheres are highly compartmentalized, some may also hide, misrepresent, manipulate, or lie in ways that would be hardly possible if they could be held by their adversaries to a symmetric standard of truthfulness, accountability and transparency and, yet, they still tap into civil discourse and put on a civil face before their own audiences while at it. Such an asymmetric use of civil discourse and its deployment just as an ad hoc appendage on alternative non-civil conceptions of social life markedly depart from the practice of civil translation by which civil communities weave the solidary fabric that binds their members together. Most importantly, though, it defies one crucial function of civil translation, which is to transform antagonistic understandings of conflict that are rooted in non-civil conceptions of social life into agonistic and pluralistic ones that are necessary to support civil interactions. Such a practice constitutes an instance of civil mimicry and works as a conduit through which non-civil understandings of social life may be injected into the cultural fabric of civil communities. Where civil life is robust and vibrant, civil mimicry is just a residual practice. When society, instead, walks down the path of civil degradation, civil mimicry tends to become increasingly more frequent and systematic. In this paper, I will discuss the practice of civil mimicry in Trump’s America. 

Jason MastWorkshop 4/16: Jason Mast

CCS Visiting Faculty Fellow

The Making of Candidate Trump: American success myth, culture warrior, and skilled actor

This paper details the making of Donald Trump’s public persona. It identifies the meaning structures assembled about him over the course of his four decades in and out of regional and national spotlights. It identifies the myths and narratives that constituted him as a public figure, and which were in place at the opening of the campaign season in 2015. A few symbolic forms combined to constitute Trump’s persona on the eve of the 2016 presidential campaign season. However imperfectly, the American success myth, adorned with gunslinger and urban gangster imagery, structured public representations of the figure for much of his early career in the public spotlight. During the decade preceding his campaign launch, the reality television show The Apprentice repackaged his image by producing atop his tabloid genre excesses a veneer of the “celebrity entrepreneur,” a figure defined by authority, decisiveness, seasoned instincts, and quasi-magical skills. Finally, in the five years leading up to his campaign launch, Trump cultivated the representation of being a fighter for the interests of the nation’s core publics and a protector of its cultural and geographic integrity. This is key. These two symbolic domains combined to create something greater than the sum of their parts. To the extent that Trump was constituted as a hero of the success myth, his authority to classify certain publics as either deserving or undeserving grew amongst his supporters.

Celso VillegasWorkshop 4/30: Celso Villegas

Kenyon College ~ CCS Faculty Fellow

The Civil Sphere and Social Class