The Force of Habits and their Roles in Critical Theory

Fr14JunGanztägigSa15The Force of Habits and their Roles in Critical TheoryVeranstaltungsartWorkshop


Habits have been repeatedly targeted by critical theories as the medium of domination
and of voluntary servitude. “Habit is a great deadener”, in Becketts words, or “second
nature”, in Lukács understanding, in that it embodies the patterns of social unfreedom
and naturalizes them. Habituation appears to be the most pernicious form of
domination, in that it makes bodies functioning and capable, able to fulAill the needs of
capitalist society by entering its deepest tissues and thus blocking transformation from
the bottom. But are habits, precisely because of their embodied dimension, not also a
contested place of domination, one in which more or less visible forms of resistance
emerge or break in? Moreover, habit as itself a form of subjugation proofs not to be the
only relevant perspective for critical theories. What about habits that are considered
“bad” by society? Could they not bear subversive potential? And isn’t social
transformation itself a process of (different) habitualization? Are there not different
forms of habit? Furthermore, under neoliberal conditions and with a perspective on
(post-)colonial and racist forms of domination it becomes visible that the impossibility
of building up habits through precarization or involuntary servitude has been a form of
domination characteristic of capitalism since its formation.
In these different perspectives the conference aims at deepening the understanding of
the roles of habits for critical theories of domination and recalibrating their importance
for a radical critique of capitalism and the question of liberation.

Please register in advance:

Freie Universität Berlin
Altensteinstraße 15
14195 Berlin

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14. Juni 2024 - 15. Juni 2024 (Ganztägig)(GMT+02:00)

Freie Universität Berlin

Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin