(Post)modernism and the Other

No. 2 - Year 1 - 06/2011

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM

Editorial

There is always a good reason to cherish and celebrate a second issue of a journal. In our case it would probably be the fact that in spite of the severe world financial crisis and its repercussions on the academic world we found a way to beat the odds and publish what is hopefully a progressive, intellectually competitive and, at the end of the day, an interesting collection of academic papers. As opposed to the first issue, dedicated to the theme of the endangered "body", the second one functions as a form of proceedings from the conference that was held at the University of Zadar in September 2010. The conference entitled Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences questioned the issue of (Post)modernism and the Other through an extremely wide variety of scientific approaches, creating an atmosphere of highly academic competitiveness surrounded by a distinct Mediterranean ambiance. The second issue of our journal is an intellectual and textual extension of that unique experience. Obviously the papers presented here are merely a fragment of that experience but nevertheless we believe that they will provide the reader with an interesting and challenging insight into the issue of (Post)modernism and the Other. ...

Literature and Culture
Stipe Grgas, University of Zagreb, Croatia:

The following contribution to a discussion that purports to “rethink the humanities” stems from the field of American Studies which has, since its beginnings, challenged and put pressure on disciplinary borders and institutional structures of both the humanities and the social sciences. The approaches it has espoused has led observers to see it as a domain of inquiry where virtually anything goes. One of the explanations that has been put forth to account for the heterogeneity of both the research agendas and the multiplicity of methods within American Studies is the dynamics of demography within the United States and the way that this dynamic has impacted both the enrollment statistics at American universities and the diversifications of its teaching staff. According to this oft-repeated view, the research agenda of American Studies reflects the stages of empowerment of the different groups making up the United States polity. Although one would be hard put not to acknowledge these, di...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.1
Literature and Culture
Gordan Maslov and Atila Lukić:

The dissolution of Yugoslavia was an immensely complex, difficult and violent turmoil, whose full implications, even after a decade and a half, are relatively well known and, at the same time, still in need of further explanation. Thus, when speaking of the collapse of communism, Alain Badiou's term „obscure disaster“ is pertinent as a designating term, a metaphor for the lack of meaning itself, for an absence further exacerbated by specific conditions in which socialism crumbled in former Yugoslavia. This obscurity is only reinvigorated by the latest set of problems with which the South-East European states are faced after the late-2000s global financial crisis. For our present needs it will be enough to state that Yugoslavia’s dissolution affected every aspect of social life; the unprecedented scope of this transformation, as well as its current inscription in ongoing „suspended“ histories of newly founded nation-states certainly adds something to this „obscurity“. Our aim in this pa...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.13
Literature and Culture
Slavica Troskot, University of Zadar, Croatia:

Generally speaking, in the postcolonial literary theory the other is represented as the object of colonization. The O/other is inevitable, essential and important to the defining of the subject identity in both cases – if we deal with the subordinate, marginalized and exploited other, or on the other hand with the Other who is itself the representation of the imperial discourse of power and in whose gaze the subordinate identity is being constructed and exists: In both cases the opposition simply must exist, it is usually the result of a basic distinction between the dominant and subordinate class and it is not rare that in post-colonial texts the process of othering may also become extremely violent. Simply speaking, the Empire by definition colonizes and subjugates the objects of colonization. Political independence of the former colonies did not bring equality to all social groups in the new countries, and the process of subordination continued in some other aspects and distinctions...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.14
Literature and Culture
Yi-Lee Wong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong:

This article seeks to utilise Bourdieu’s conceptual framework published in 1984 to make sense of the educational decision of so-called ‘loser’ students in contemporary Hong Kong. The last few decades have witnessed a continuous expansion of education in many industrial-capitalist societies; yet, it is well documented that a class gap in educational attainment persists (e.g. Shavit and Blossfeld; Schofer and Meyer; see the collections in Torres and Antikainen). Many sociologists are agreed that such persistent class differential in educational attainment could be understood as a result of class-related distortions in the educational process (Marshall et al.). Indeed, a number of concepts have been proposed and many explanations have been advanced to explain the persistence of such a class gap and illustrate how this takes place (cf. Moore). No one would ever doubt the necessity of sociologists’ effort to illustrate how children of an advantaged class (usually labelled as the middle clas...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.10
Literature and Culture
Ljubica Matek, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia:

Richard Yates’s novel Revolutionary Road did not receive much academic attention despite the fact that it is an exceptionally refined and capturing piece of fiction. It was critically acclaimed following its publication in 1961, nominated for the National Book Award in 1962 and then forgotten. Not surprisingly, the novel was “rediscovered” once a movie adaptation was made in 2008. Revolutionary Road is typically read – quite expectedly – as a story of suburban malaise and a critique of the American (suburban) life in the 1950s. However, in an interview, published in Ploughshares in 1972, Yates stated that although he intended the novel to be an indictment of American life in the 1950s because of a general lust for conformity (DeWitt and Clark 66), he never planned the novel to be anti-suburban in any way. On the contrary, he hoped to make it implicit in the text that he is writing about a particular couple, the Wheelers, and what turns out to be specifically “their delusion, their prob...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.11
Literature and Culture
Zlatko Bukač, University of Zadar, Croatia:

The concept of social capital has been used very often in sociological researches over the last two decades. Measuring social capital in civil society, neighborhoods and educational systems is merely a part of its popular usage. Many sociologists tend to use the concept of social capital very freely and therefore expand the definition of social capital. The author’s personal experience indicates that there have been a great number of academic discussions, research planning and public speeches implementing the notion of social capital without taking a detailed consideration of what that concept truly entails. By overviewing the available literature on social capital, it is actually no wonder that both sociologists and the noted concept were in this confusing situation. As Field stated in his book Social Capital (Key Ideas), published in 2008, his work was “the first attempt to provide an extended introduction on increasingly influential concept of social capital” (Field 1). Quibria note...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.1.lc.7