Categories
Keeping Score

Martyrdom

The secularisation of martyrdom is often overlooked as a by-product of modernisation, but sufficient evidence of its existence can quite easily be found across the public and private domains of modern life. It is in the workplace though that martyrdom finds, while not exactly a natural home, a functional space within which its psychodramas can […]

Categories
Saving Face

Always Be Closing

David Mamet’s Glengarry Glenross could be the poster boy for Dirty Looks. The story of four real estate salesmen with jobs on the line if they don’t close their deals, the play/movie reveals a working life immersed in self-pity, backstabbing, disrespect, misplaced pride and humiliation. An emotional car crash right in the heart of the […]

Categories
Knowing Your Place

A Sense of Belonging

For such a deeply personal concern, it’s odd how everybody yearns for a sense of belonging, a sense frustratingly just outside our grasp. The desire to belong is a defining characteristic of the nomadic individual (another nail in the philosophy of consciousness right there). Having the sense that you are not on your own, that […]

Categories
Knowing Your Place

What Lies Beneath

Earlier this year a study was carried out on women and their first impressions of other women. It turns out that the first thing women notice about other women is how fat they are (closely followed by how much make up, dress sense, hair style … the usual suspects). The report was carried out by […]

Categories
Uncategorized

The Location of Shame

A welcome tendency in recent research on social class is to place significance on the affective domain – as Hebson puts it, ‘feelings of guilt, fear and shame are now on the class agenda’. Numerous authors have explored the emotional lives of people working and studying in classed positions, echoing the earlier work of Sennet […]

Categories
Knowing Your Place

Fat is a Relational Issue

Which celebrities are fat? Who has lost/gained weight? Are your friends fat? Are your children fat? Do people think you’re fat? A societal canary in the coalmine, the strange and disturbing obsession with weight should ring more alarm bells than it currently does. The obsession has created its own industry, an industry devoted to weight […]

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Uncategorized

Space Invaders

Travel to exotic locations tends to upset one’s sense of ‘personal space’. It’s not that other cultures have no sense of personal space, just that their definitions are different. But what does ‘personal space’ mean? People are ready to accept that something called ‘personal space’ exists, and it’s not surprising when people try to define […]

Categories
Saving Face

Retrospective Disrespect

The case of Anton Ferdinand v. John Terry (Who said what: How the Loftus Road flashpoint escalated) must count as one of the strangest incidents to occur in football (and that’s saying something). On August 23rd, Queens Park Rangers played Chelsea in an English Premier League game. A London derby match, and a dormant one […]

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Uncategorized

The Resistance to Recognition

  Axel Honneth, a key influence on Dirty Looks, has had a mixed reception in academic and intellectual circles. His position as Head of the Institute for Social Research (still known to some as the Frankfurt School), guarantees him some prestige and authority, but still many aren’t comfortable with his core ideas – specifically his […]

Categories
Politics The Family

The Worst Betrayal

In politics, personality does matter, but not for the usual reasons described. Many believe personality politics is the style to policy’s substance, a minor but necessary sideshow in the realpolitiking of modern governance. But this assumption neglects to take seriously the public’s concern over personality; i.e., with the substance of the person who wishes to lead […]