Bjørn Schiermer

Bjørn Schiermer
University of Oslo · Department of Sociology and human Geography

Professor

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37
Publications
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134
Citations

Publications

Publications (37)
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This introduction investigates why and how the tradition of youth culture studies has pushed collectivity and collective phenomena to the margins – and how these phenomena have nevertheless asserted themselves inside this tradition. It delivers a brief sketch of the field and its major ‘schools’, contouring theoretical backgrounds and epistemic shi...
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The paper investigates the wide spectrum of affects characteristic of creative practice. It is centred on an empirical case study of the different creative phases that characterize the work of a group of professional newspaper cartoonists. The study explores the analytical possibilities of an object-oriented and affect theoretical approach to creat...
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The dominant approaches to individualisation, for all their necessity and acuity, is not conducive to engagement with concrete collectivity. In this collection, we complicate the individualisation scenario by paying attention to forms of collective engagement. The book adds up to the claim that young people, even if they are uncertain and anxious,...
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The present paper aims to unearth the rudiments of an alternative theory of action in Weber. Centring on salient descriptions of scientific practice found in Weber, I argue that one finds so-called “relational” impulses in these instances, which are at odds with the Kantian, subject-centred and dualist perspectives pervading much of Weber’s thought...
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Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was a German materialist historian, literary critic, and critical theorist. He counts among the main figures of the (early) Frankfurt School. Benjamin worked on the Arcades Project during the last 13 years of his life. The book, which remained unfinished in Benjamin's lifetime, is considered by many to be his major achie...
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The paper seeks to promote a sociological understanding of the current wave of nostalgic expressions haunting late-modern Western culture and to re-evaluate the predominantly negative assessment of nostalgia. Filling two gaps in the existing research on nostalgia, the authors wish (1) to reintegrate into the phenomenon its experiential and collecti...
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This paper defends the concept of 'fetishism' as an explanatory parameter in sociological theorizing on Durkheimian grounds, while at the same time paying due attention to important insights regarding the role of objects in social life, originating from Actor-Network Theory (ANT). It critically assesses the current critique of the concept of fetish...
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The article attempts to uncover non-intentional impulses in Weber’s sociology that are at odds with his ‘official’ theory of action and with textbook understandings of ‘interpretative’ Weberian sociology. In the first part of the article, I critically sketch what I take to be central dogmas in Weberian thought and in the literature blocking for new...
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The article seeks to develop a new conceptual framework suitable for analysing the ageing processes of objects in modern culture. The basic intuition is that object experience cannot be analysed separately from collective participation. The article focuses on the question of the ‘timeless’ nature of modernist design and seeks to understand why mode...
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This paper addresses the relation between the social and the temporal. Its goal is to investigate the ways in which collective embeddedness interferes with the experience of time. To address this relation, I engage the concept of actuality in the work of Walter Benjamin. On the one hand, Benjamin's work offers a wealth of inspiring, intriguing, and...
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Through analysis of key texts, I seek to demonstrate the explanative potential of Durkheim’s sociology of religion in the present context. I critically readdress the idea, found in his early work, that modernity is characterized by a rupture with pre-modern forms of solidarity. First, I investigate the ways in which Durkheim sets up a stark distinc...
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This article attempts to put forward new perspectives on solidarity in Durkheim's work, useful for an understanding of contemporary reality. First, it sketches why his modern 'cult of man' should be understood as an instance of mechanical solidarity, and discusses how to generalize this scenario and move beyond the idea of the 'cult of man' as mech...
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This paper presents a reading of Walter Benjamin's much-read essay ‘The artwork in the age of mechanical reproduction'. Drawing on a Durkheimian conception of the relationship between the cult and its cult objects, I seek to differentiate (better than Benjamin himself) the notions of ‘aura' and of ‘cult value'. Thereby, I hope to contour a theoreti...
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The article deals with the cultural significance of a new figure in late-modern Western culture: the hipster. The current hipster culture, so I argue, can be used as a magnifying glass that makes impending changes to our conception of culture and of cultural development visible. It ushers in broader cultural and social changes: different relations...
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Often taste is understood as more or less fixed preferences guiding the choice of certain objects or stemming from a predilection for certain aesthetical genres or themes. This essay proposes another and more dynamic concept of taste : Taste as a capacity that allows us to react spontaneous and adequately in complex contexts or situations. This def...
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This article attempts to rehabilitate the concept of fetishism and to contribute to the debate on the social role of objects as well as to fashion theory. Extrapolating from Michel Serres’ theory of the quasi-objects, I distinguish two phenomenologies possessing almost opposite characteristics. These two phenomenologies are, so I argue, essential t...
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Zusammenfassung Dieser Artikel handelt vom Begriff der Mode aus systemtheoretischer Sicht. Er ist von der Idee getragen, dass das Verhältnis zwischen Mode und Bewusstsein einen Schlüssel anbietet sowohl für ein Verständnis des Phänomens der Mode als auch für die Relation zwischen Mode und Kommunikation. Er thematisiert den imitationellen Pol der Mo...
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This article discusses the popular notion of the “fashion victim.” It conceives of the notion of fashion victimization as an integral part of existence in modern individualized society. 1) Through analyzing different accounts of fashion victimization, I aim to distil a common phenomenological core extant in these experiences. As we will see, these...
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Artiklen ønsker at undersøge, hvorledes kulturelle dynamikker udgør en faktor bag humorens historiske forandringer. Dens ambition er at levere en kulturdiagnostisk undersøgelse af nye populære sensibilitets- og socialitetsformer. Artiklen forsøger at gøre indsigter fra humorens filosofi hos S. Kierkegaard, J. P. Sartre og H. Bergson tilgængelige fo...
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This article attempts to create a framework for understanding modern fashion phenomena on the basis of Durkheim's sociology of religion. It focuses on Durkheim's conception of the relation between the cult and the sacred object, on his notion of ‘exteri-orisation’, and on his theory of the social symbol in an attempt to describe the peculiar attrac...
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This article deals with the phenomenon of fashion in an epistemological perspective. It approaches fashion phenomenologically in the attempt to reach a better understanding of fashion in general and of contemporary fashion in particular. 1) Based on a phenomenological investigation of the unfashionable, it undertakes to render manifest the experien...
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This article is centered on the popular notion of “fashion victim”. Through different accounts of fashion victimisation, we try to distil a common phenomenological core to these experiences. As we will see these experiences tell us a great deal about the individualising and desindividualising dynamics of fashion. This analysis can be used, so we ar...

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