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Agon Culture: Competition, Conflict and the Problem of DominationAgon Cultue: Competition, Conflict and the Problem of Domination

By Claudio Colaguori
York University

ISBN 13: 978-1-897160-63-3

Pub date: Jan 2012
Advance copy available
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Courses: Social Theory | Critical Theory | Conflict Studies | Upper level courses in Sociology

After over 100 years of technological progress, human societies are trapped in a perpetual dynamic of conflict and crisis, with modernization at a standstill. Agon Culture offers an analysis of the human conditions through an examination of the way in which the cultural ideology of competition operates as a mode of rationality that underpins the order of domination. By combining insights from Theodor Adorno's critical theory with a reconstruction of the philosophy of the agon, the author has formulated a novel critical theory of cultural domination that offers insights into our "winner-loser" culture and a renewed intensity of its social Darwinist tendencies. Contrary to current evolutionary thinkers who understand competition as a biological drive, Agon Culture posits that competition is a powerful force that has a largely unrecognized and dangerous underside in its promotion of interpersonal conflict, war and cyclical domination.

Dr. Claudio Colaguori is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Equity Studies, York University. He teaches in the Human Rights and Criminology Programs at York University. Dr. Colaguori has twice earned the John O’Neill Award for Teaching Excellence and has been nominated for Television Ontario’s Best Lecturer Award. His research is based on Critical Theory and covers issues ranging from social control in the post 9/11 era to social constructions of human culture and the critique of domination.


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