Friday, 8 June 2018

Sociology and Politics Reading List

They don't come harder than this. You can't tell a book by its cover, but seeing this gaggle of bastards edge on shows they mean business. Newly minted and almost pristine, their homes on the book shelf are getting prepped. But tomes, especially these are not ornaments. Inside are some of the most explosive ideas, mind boggling arguments and, if you want Roger Scruton's opinion, unreadable nonsense. As time commitments, the question haunting these purchases is "when?". When will they get read? You see, I'm not joking when I say I have a to-read list. It's this evening's blog filler. Every time something new lands in the library or catches the eye, or I'm reminded of an old one I never got round to reading, it goes on the list. Thing is, this an incomplete list. As books read drop off new ones are added. No matter how long I live, it will never be seen through in its entirety. Unless boredom breaks books for me and reading is traded in for chess, embroidery, or motivational speaking. And, it's incomplete now. Missing is the wee pile of books on my desk, the Massumi and Bradotti knocking around my house, and the three volumes of Capital that stare at me every time I glance over at the shelf. MIA also are the academic papers on the Conservative Party I'll shortly begin working through.

Do you keep a reading list?

Michael Bloch, Closet Queens: Some 20th Century British Politicians (Abacus 2016)
Rosi Braidotti, Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics (Polity 2006)
Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Polity 2013)
Rosi Braidotti, Posthuman Feminism (Polity 2017)
Claudio Celis, The Attention Economy: Labour, Time and Power in Cognitive Capitalism 
       (Rowman & Littlefield International 2016)
Nick Cohen, What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way (Harper Perennial 2007)
David Cole, Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed (Basic Books 2017)
Aeron Davis, Reckless Opportunists: Elites at the End of the Establishment (Manchester 
       University Press 2018)
Jodi Dean, The Communist Horizon (Verso Books 2012)
Jodi Dean, Crowds and Party (Verso Books 2016)
Dhruv Jai (ed), Deleuze and Marx (Edinburgh University Press 2010)
Peter Dorey, British Conservatism: The Politics and Philosophy of Inequality (I.B. Tauris 
Kareem Estefan, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich (eds), Assuming Boycott: Resistance, 
       Agency and Cultural Production (OR Books 2017)
Mike Featherstone et al, The Body (Sage 1991)
Rob Ford and Matthew Goodwin, Revolt on the Right (Routledge 2014)
Anthony Giddens, The Nation State and Violence (Polity 1985)
Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies (Indiana Uni Press 1994)
Donna J Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulhucene (Duke 
       University Press 2016)
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Assembly (Harvard 2017)
Bob Jessop, State Power (Polity 2007)
Lois McNay, The Misguided Search for the Political (Polity 2014)
Tom Mills, The BBC: Myth of a Public Service (Verso Books 2016)
Johanna Montgomerie (ed), Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy (Routledge 
Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies (Zero Books 2017)
Kieron O'Hara, After Blair: David Cameron and the Conservative Tradition (Icon Books 
Camille Paglia, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism (Canongate Canons 2018)
R A W Rhodes and Paul T Hart (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Leadership (OUP 
Tim Ross and Tom McTague, Betting the House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election  
      (Biteback 2017)
Mike Savage, Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican 2015)
Roger Scruton, Thinkers of the New Left (Longman 1985)
Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic 2016)
Max Tegmark, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (Allen Lane 2017)
Mariano Zukerfeld, Knowledge in the Age of Digital Capitalism: An Introduction to Cognitive
        Materialism (University of Westminster Press 2017)


A Friend said...

Hey, you seem to be preparing yourself for a Deleuzian-turn? D&G’s Notes Towards a Minor Literature and Nicholas Thoburn’s, application of this to the social, Minor Politics are well worth a read. If I recall, Thoburn has a chapter about the relationship between Deleuze and Marx as well as an analysis on the Wobblies.

asquith said...

Simon Jenkins, Thatcher & Sons

Anonymous said...

Claudio Celis, The Attention Economy: Labour, Time and Power in Cognitive Capitalism
(Rowman & Littlefield International 2016)

This one looks like the place to start.

Phil said...

Only a Deleuzian turn of sorts. I'm interested because, well, his work is interesting. Very useful I think for thinking through politics and its relationship to capitalism (in conjunction with Marx, obvs)

Jon Hegerty said...

I've read the Guy Standing. It's a quick read. I would counterpoint it with Kevin Doogan's "New Capitalism" which has a completely different analysis of the precariat.

And the Grundrisse is bloody hard going...

Keir said...

Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus are the kind of books that really lend themselves to reading groups. Especially when you are aiming to read them in relation to your own lives and current political problems. Reading groups on Capital and a Thousand Plateaus formed my politics more than any other reading.

Part of the difficulty in engaging with Deleuze and Guattari is the Deleuze studies industry that sprang up in the 2000s continued the 80s and 90s Anglo reception of French theory as tools for liberals to attack or ignore Marx. Which was why Guattari has been pushed into the background.

I don't know if you've read much Lazarrato but he is probably closest to the spirit of D&G's actually political project today. He is also a useful companion/counterpoint to the weaker parts of H&N's immaterial labour/social production theories (although I still find these very useful). In a recently interview he critiques his own engagement with the immaterial labour thesis because, in comparison with earlier class composition analysis it is too sociological and not understood from the perspective of rupture in the way that the mass worker was understood from the perspective of the refusal of work, for instance.

Phil said...

Cheers for that. Didn't know Lazarrato's stuff, so it will be placed on order!