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In this book, the author draws on Karl Marx’s writings on alienation and Erich Fromm’s conception of necrophilia in order to understand these aspects of contemporary culture as expressions of the domination of the living by the dead under capitalism. Necroculture is the ideological reflection and material manifestation of this basic feature of capitalism: the rule of dead capital over living labor. The author argues that necroculture represents the subsumption of the world by vampire capital.
'Watching the president's Christmas message produces this necropolar, white-mass sensation. Seeing the video broadcast of the Christmas service in the cathedral itself, with these pathetic screens and the young worshippers slumped around them here and there, you tell yourself that God and religion deserved better. Deserved to die, yes, but not this. However, watching the presidential figure and his sonorous inanity, you tell yourself that here at least you got what you deserved. Chirac is useless – that goes without saying – but so are we all ... Uselessness of this kind has no origin: it exists immediately, reciprocally; like a shared secret, you savour it implicitly – with its warm bitterness – particularly in these cold snaps, as the very essence of the social bond. Sanctioned by that other interactive uselessness – the uselessness of the screen.' World-renowned for his lively and often iconoclastic reading of contemporary culture and thought, Jean Baudrillard here turns his hand to topical political debates and issues. In this stimulating collection of journalistic essays Baudrillard addresses subjects ranging from those already established as his trademark (virtual reality, Disney, television) to more unusual topics such as the Western intervention in Bosnia, children's rights, Holocaust revisionism, AIDS, the Rushdie fatwa, Formula One racing, mad cow disease, genetic cloning, and the uselessness of Chirac. These are coruscating and intriguing articles, not least because they show that Baudrillard is – pace his critics – still susceptible and alert to influences from social movements and the world beyond the hyperreal.
This book presents recent efforts and new approaches to improve our understanding of the evolution of health and mortality in urban environments in the long run, looking at transformation and adaptations during the process of rapid population growth. In a world characterized by large and rapidly evolving urban environments, the past and present challenges cities face is one of the key topics in our society. Cities are a world of differences and, consequently, of inequalities. At the same time cities remain, above all, the spaces of interactions among a variety of social groups, the places where poor, middle-class, and wealthy people, as well as elites, have coexisted in harmony or tension. Urban areas also form specific epidemiological environments since they are characterized by population concentration and density, and a high variety of social spaces from wealthy neighborhoods to slums. Inversely and coherently, cities develop answers in terms of sanitary policies and health infrastructures. This balance between risk and protective factors is, however, not at all constant across time and space and is especially endangered in periods of massive demographic growth, particularly periods of urbanization mainly led by immigration flows that transform both the socioeconomic and demographic composition of urban populations and the morphological nature of urban environments. Therefore this book is an unique contribution in which present day and past socio-demographic and health challenges confronted by big urban environments are combined.
This book analyzes how the socio-demographic and cultural diversity of societies affect the social interactions and attitudes of individuals and groups within them. Focusing on Germany, where in some cities more than one third of the population are first or second-generation immigrants, it examines how this phenomenon impacts on the ways in which urban residents interact, form friendships, and come to trust or resent each other. The authors, a distinguished team of sociologists, political scientists, social psychologists, anthropologists and geographers, present the results of their wide-ranging empirical research, which combines a 3-wave-panel survey, qualitative fieldwork, area explorations and analysis of official data. In doing so, they offer representative findings and deeper insights into how residents experience different neighbourhood contexts. Their conclusions are a significant contribution to our understanding of the implications of immigration and diversity, and of the conditions and consequences of intergroup interaction. This ground-breaking work will appeal to scholars across the Social Sciences.
In this sophisticated study of power and resistance, Jean Comaroff analyzes the changing predicament of the Barolong boo Ratshidi, a people on the margins of the South African state. Like others on the fringes of the modern world system, the Tshidi struggle to construct a viable order of signs and practices through which they act upon the forces that engulf them. Their dissenting Churches of Zion have provided an effective medium for reconstructing a sense of history and identity, one that protests the terms of colonial and post-colonial society and culture.

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