Social life as collective struggle: closure theory and the problem of solidarity

Jürgen Mackert

In recent years, all over the globe we have seen intensifying economic exploitation,

political disenfranchisement, social marginalization and cultural repression in all

kinds of political regimes, from liberal democratic to authoritarian and dictatorial.

Although the strategies vary with regard to regime and context, in all of them we observe

that while a growing number of social groups are speaking out and rising against

them, a presumably much higher number of groups do not. In this article, I argue that

all these processes can be conceived as aspects of ongoing closure struggles in social

life. However, in order to understand why some social groups are able to fight against

closure strategies while others are not, closure theory in its current state of elaboration

is not of any help. While it operates with the term solidarization, it does not offer any

explanation of how such acting in solidarity may become possible in closure struggles.

The article is a mainly theoretical contribution of how to solve this problem.

Keywords: social closure, struggle, solidarization, democracy

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18753/2297-8224-174


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