You seem to be implying that you believe that entirely different
philosophical and cultural positions can be simply merged on the basis of
a percieved similarity. Is that what you mean ? or are you arguing that
there is a genuine similarity between the sociology of 'moral panic', with
it's later development of 'subcultures' and the restricted and almost
sub-Situationist concern with the media, and the philosophical perspective
which produces a notion of the 'bare life'.
For what it's worth we in the UK are now into our third moral panic of the
year - 'hoodies...' not a bare life i think merely the endless cycle of
misrepresented young working class people.
As to your question - Todorov's humanist account of the camps might be
worth considering as a way of producing a critique of the 'bare life'. But
I'll ask around and see if anyone can think of something more along the
lines you are thinking of... I'm making the assumption that the Foucault
and other Foucauldian work has already been considered - is that a safe
> hi list,
> I am researching modified-car culture and I have come to a particular
> junction in my thinking. I was hoping the list might be able to help me
> by pointing me in the direction of any research on similar situations
> or whatever.
> My specific problem is that I have been dealing with what in Australia
> we call 'hoons' (in the UK and NZ they are called 'boy racers' in the
> US it is sometimes the more traditional 'hot rodder'). Basically
> the 'hoon' is an iconic cultural figure: a loud and aggressive young
> man, driving a loud and aggressive car in a loud and aggressive way
> (often playing loud and aggressive music on a booming car stereo;).
> Anyway, the problem is that I can see there is a shift across three
> phases in the power relations from the 'normative' governance of the
> system of automobility (ala Jeremy Packer's essay on road safety)
> through general anxieties about the 'at risk' group labelled 'young
> drivers' to the moral panics that have recently emerged in Australia
> around this figure of the hoon.
> What I am interested in finding out is if anyone on the list had come
> across any work that attempts to reconcile a Foucaultian
> governmentality methodology with traditional moral panic theory. My
> problem is in the way power relations operate differently in the two
> situations. I have been thinking Agamben's work on the state of
> exception may be a useful way to think about how moral panics are the
> expression of a kind of localised state of exception within the
> institutionalised cultural formations of a given society. By 'localised
> state of exception' I mean organised around a particular social problem
> and discursively constructed around a necessarily problematic figure,
> such as the hoon. This would be thinking about folk devils as some way
> equivalent to Agamben's conception of homo sacer, and, well, generally
> offering a specific (but I think productive) misreading of Agamben.
> These things can be worked around. However it becomes very problematic
> when Agamben and Foucault's respective approaches are thought alongside
> the neo-Gramscian approaches of the British cultural studies tradition,
> specifically the work of Hall and others on the 'Exceptional State' and
> the 'Law and Order Society'.
> Hmmm, I may just leave it as an unresolved, but productive tension in
> my thesis. But if someone has come across some work or has some
> thoughts on how to think through this tension I would love to discuss
> it with them.
> PhD Candidate
> Centre for Cultural Research
> University of Western Sydney
> Read my rants: http://glenfuller.blogspot.com/
> Foucault-L mailing list