For years, the critique of capitalism was lost from public discourse; the very word “capitalism” sounded like a throwback to another era. Nothing could be further from the truth today. In this new intellectual atmosphere, Sociology, Capitalism, Critique is a contribution to the renewal of critical sociology, founded on an empirically grounded diagnosis of society’s ills. The authors, Germany’s leading critical sociologists—Klaus Dörre, Stephan Lessenich, and Hartmut Rosa—share a conviction that ours is a pivotal period of renewal, in which the collective endeavour of academics can amount to an act of intellectual resistance, working to prevent any regressive development that might return us to neoliberal domination.
The authors discuss key issues, such as questions of accumulation and expropriation; discipline and freedom; and the powerful new concepts of activation and acceleration. Their politically committed sociology, which takes the side of the losers in the current crisis, places society’s future well-being at the centre of their research.
Their collective approach to this project is a conscious effort to avoid co-optation in the institutional practices of the academy. These three differing but complementary perspectives serve as an insightful introduction to the contemporary themes of radical sociology in capitalism’s post-crisis phase.
“‘Wherever you look these days,’ wrote the German sociologists Klaus Dörre, Stephan Lessenich and Hartmut Rosa, ‘the critique of capitalism has become quite fashionable.’ Their book Sociology, Capitalism, Critique is not just fashionable: instead it resuscitates critical theory for new times, and takes the side of the losers in the financial crisis.”
“An original triptych of German sociological critiques of current capitalism which deserves to be read in the anglophone world.”
“Here is the eagerly awaited translation of Dörre, Lessenich and Rosa’s original diagnosis of the destructive dynamics of contemporary capitalism and its legitimation crises. Rejuvenating the great German tradition of critical theory, they offer a brilliant three-way debate that reignites both sociology and Marxism.”