The ideology of post-industrial societies has heavily relied on the idea that everyone can make it, that success is just a matter of right choices and that one is individually guilty for one’s failures. In a paradoxical way, the poor have identified with this ideology of choice. In the last years, however, we have witnessed eruptions of violence (London riots, for example) where we do not see a critique of the dominant ideology but rather an intense identification with the ideals of consumerist society. The lecture looks at how a paradoxical form of complementarity is emerging between the rich and the poor through new types of identifications and how both violence and denial are essential supports of these identifications.
Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Recurring Visiting Professor at Cardozo School of Law in New York, Birkbeck College in London and the London School of Economics. She was also Fellow of Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and Remarque Fellow at New York University. She is the author of The Spoils of Freedom (Routledge 1994), (Per)versions of Love and Hate (Verso 1998), On Anxiety (Routledge 2004), and Tyranny of Choice (Profile Books 2010). Her books have been translated into ten languages. She is also writing commentaries for the leading daily newspaper Delo in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In 2010, she was named Slovenian Woman Scientist of the Year and in 2011, Slovenian women magazine Ona named her Woman of the Year.
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