Dienstag, 05. April 2016, 17:00 - 19:30 iCal

Eight Hypothesis Concerning the Social Formation

Or: A Prolegomenon to any Future Critical Theory . IPW Lecture by Samuel A. Chambers (Johns Hopkins University Balitmore)

Konferenzraum IPW (A222), NIG, 2. Stock
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien


In theorizing the social formation I attempt to heed Marx’s advice to always “bear society in mind”; to do so is consistently to insist that all theoretical, philosophical, or conceptual work goes on against an institutional, material, and political background. “Social formation” is a name for “society” that takes this process seriously; it indicates the way in which the fabric of “society” – of the social and political orders that we live in – is made up by threads that are simultaneously economic, social, political, and cultural.In this talk, based on my recent book, I will make the case for the theoretical importance and political necessity of the concept of the social formation, yet I will also demonstrate that “social formation” proves to be a very particular and peculiar type of “concept” – it is not a reflection or model of the world, but is definitively and concretely bound up with and constitutive of the world. To theorize the social formation (and the politics thereof) means to embed one’s very activity of theorizing deeply within the context being studied; knowledge of the social formation is therefore always a part of the social formation.


Institut für Politikwissenschaft


Miriam Haselbacher
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
+43 1 4277-49446