New Age: A Modus of Hegemony

Thinking Beyond Capitalism, Conference Proceedings, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade, ISBN 978-86-80484-00-6, 2016

24 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

To understand fully the contemporary imposition of capitalist class power, we need to consider not only social relations and neoliberal economic doctrines, but also academic and vernacular cultural contexts, including social critique, within which neoliberalism has been ideologically tailored and practically applied. Among the vernacular cultural contexts, religion – related to deepest human identifications, feelings and ideas about the nature of reality – certainly represents such an unavoidable political resource, inseparable from secular ideologies of a given social world. Taking this into account, we will try to show how neoliberalism was built in a specific context, developing governmental approaches relative to elements of progressive critique, and has eventually succeeded to legitimize new mechanisms of capitalist accumulation, linking them, among other things, to specific religious “externalities.” We will suggest that the satisfactory explanation of profound changes in the contemporary religious life, referred to as the emergence of “New Age spirituality,” is only possible if we understand them as an integral part of the processes of neoliberalization. This does not mean that we are trying to reduce a complex multitude of contemporary spiritual practices to a simple one-dimensional reflex of neoliberalization, but rather to suggest that only such an approach can complement the omissions and correct the misconceptions of various inquiries that analyze New Age spirituality using the frameworks of postmodern culture and/or consumer society. By doing this, we wil discuss not only countercultural spirituality, but also neoliberal social epistemology and different critical approaches to understanding it.

Keywords: neoliberalism, New Age spirituality, social epistemology, counterculture, critical theory, contemporary capitalism, postmodernity, guilt

JEL Classification: B00, B15, B19, B10, B14, B59, B53, B52, B50, B51, H60, H63, H80, H89, I39, J58, J59, J79, J80, L53

Suggested Citation

Kauzlarić, Goran, New Age: A Modus of Hegemony (2015). Thinking Beyond Capitalism, Conference Proceedings, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade, ISBN 978-86-80484-00-6, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3125740

Goran Kauzlarić (Contact Author)

University of Belgrade ( email )

Studentski trg 1
Jove Ilića 165
Belgrade, 11000
Serbia

HOME PAGE: http://www.fpn.bg.ac.rs/en/

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