Pol001
Rethinking class: from utopia to reality and back

Convenors:
Sanja Potkonjak (University of Zagreb)
Mislav Zitko (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)
Stream:
History, politics and urban studies
Location:
A106
Start time:
22 June, 2015 at 10:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

By placing the concept of social class on historical continuum between utopia and reality we seek to develop an analytical inquiry into the nature of post-socialism. The aim of the panel is to address categories upon which new explanation of the social world could arise.

Long abstract:

The post-socialist period has been marked by a profound change of social and cultural landscape and, at the same time, by various attempts to find novel categories upon which new explanation and justification of the social world could arise. Consolidation of capitalist relation brought about a peculiar combination of disregard and contempt for the traditional concept of social class which, allegedly, has lost all its analytic potential and explanatory power. Caught between the rise of nationalist discourse and the proliferation of "postmodern "identities, social class was represented by both right-wing and (neo)liberal discourse as a superfluous decoration, at best. Thus, it became increasingly more difficult not just to analyze emergent capitalist varieties in Eastern Europe, but also to assess properly the ambivalent and puzzling class structure of the socialist period. By placing the concept of social class on a continuum between utopia and reality we seek to simultaneously tackle the uneasy questions of the socialist history and to develop a tool for analytically effective inquiry into the nature of post-socialism. We invite papers that will engage in discussing the purpose and scope of class, as well as papers that will address social and cultural issues of stratification and formation of class identity in any particular point in time. We especially welcome theoretical and empirical works which are set to combine insights of different social sciences (in an interdisciplinary manner) that will aim at bridging disparate empirical and conceptual landscapes of their respective disciplines.