The Politics of Framing and the Framing of Politics: A Modest Plea for Grand Narratives

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Sergio Mas Diaz, UAB, Barcelona, Spain


    My paper will be a combination of analysis and political program: the goal is to explore the link between what we (the academy research and the experience of social movements) have learned about the neoliberal globalization as a multi-faceted process and what is to be done. The success of the neoliberal project is to be analyzed at three levels because it has involved changes in the production system, in institutional arrangements (at state and supra-state level) and at the ideological level. A change in the organization of production and a new accumulation regime, the post-fordist system has been used to reduce the power of the working class in the center of the system and increase the benefits of the financial elite but the analysis must explain also the success of neoliberal project is (the building of a new “common sense” (in the gramscian sense).As an example of this discursive mechanisms we will examine the discourse on privatization, de-politicization and the individualization of the costs of the crisis in terms of being framed as personal failure. One of the most destructive side effects of postmodernism was the renunciation to grand narratives. Our thesis is that to throw away the very idea of a grand narrative (articulating the description of the social reality with a prescriptive, utopian moment) was disarming for the working class who was left without referents to read the new realities that were evolving after the attack on Keynesianism and the free flow of capitals. Knowing who you are and what your role in history is are a necessary step if we want workers to recover agency (subjectivity means the power of writing your own life by making it not daydreaming about what is seen as out of control).
    Examples of the way theory and praxis can link again will be mentioned (campaigns against foreclosures in Spain, against privatization of water in Italy) My methodology will be a combination of Bourdieu and neogramscian insights.