The new sensibility, intersectionality, and democratic attunement
the future of critical theory and humanity
Herbert Marcuse believed that the development of a society that is free of oppression, domination, and surplus repression required the development of a "new sensibility". That is, he believed that the human instinctual structure would have to be radically modified. This is possible insofar as the human instinctual or drive structure often reflects the present organization of society. This chapter explores the possibility of developing this new sensibility by rethinking it through the lenses of intersectionality and democratic attunement. The theory of intersectionality discloses the ways in which multiple forms of oppression are intertwined and how they coexist in one and the same individual. Intersectionality opens up a space for the deconstruction of identities that have been formed within oppressive social structures. This deconstruction allows for the possibility of what the author calls democratic attunement. The chapter claims that Marcuse's concept of the new sensibility can be developed by engaging the theory of intersectionality and democratic attunement.
Farr, (2017)., The new sensibility, intersectionality, and democratic attunement: the future of critical theory and humanity, in , The Palgrave handbook of critical theory, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 697-715.
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