Are We Comparing Yet?

On Standards, Justice, and Incomparability

Debates about the possibility of an open culture – or indeed about the possibility of an open debate about the openness of culture – often turn on questions of standards. But since no benchmark can be absolute, judgement is a proliferation of comparisons.

Through a series of case studies in everyday and academic comparison (literature, history, politics, philosophy), Haun Saussy calls out the typical vices of comparison and proposes ways to unseat them. For however much it is abused, distorted, and manipulated, comparison retains an essential link to the idea of justice.

19,99 € *

27. September 2019, 112 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4977-2

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Haun Saussy

Haun Saussy, University of Chicago, USA

1. Why did you choose this topic?

Comparison is a basic mental operation that we use all the time, consciously or subconsciously. It's simultaneously intellectual, social, aesthetic, political, and moral, and tells us as much about ourselves as about the objects being compared. This book is my attempt to clarify the stakes.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

It examines many recent cultural and social controversies from the point of view of their inbuilt (and often unspoken) comparisons. Resentment, prejudice, and also the aspiration toward justice and equality are seen in a new light.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

Grounded in technical questions of translation and epistemology, it explores social and cultural phenomena from the United States, Germany, Serbia, Rwanda, dynastic China, Byzantium, in order to refine our often unconscious assumptions about what is to be compared with what, and how.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

Marcel Detienne, who suggested it; or Sir Amartya Sen.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

The refusal to compare is the extreme expression of comparison.

Autor_in(nen)
Haun Saussy
Buchtitel
Are We Comparing Yet? On Standards, Justice, and Incomparability
Verlag
transcript Verlag
Seitenanzahl
112
Ausstattung
kart., Klebebindung
ISBN
978-3-8376-4977-2
DOI
10.14361/9783839449776
Warengruppe
1562
BIC-Code
DSB JFC HBTB
BISAC-Code
LIT000000 SOC022000 HIS054000
THEMA-Code
DSB JBCC NHTB
Erscheinungsdatum
27. September 2019
Auflage
1
Themen
Kultur, Literatur
Adressaten
Comparative Literature, History, Ethics, Cultural Studies, Anthropology
Schlagworte
Comparison, Ethics, History, Eurocentrism, Critique, Literature, Culture, General Literature Studies, Cultural Theory, Cultural History, Cultural Studies, Bielefeld University Press

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