The pace of modern life is undoubtedly speeding up, yet this acceleration does not seem to have made us any happier or more content. If acceleration is the problem, then the solution, argues Hartmut Rosa in this major new work, lies in “resonance.” The quality of a human life cannot be measured simply in terms of resources, options, and moments of happiness; instead, we must consider our relationship to, or resonance with, the world.
Applying his theory of resonance to many domains of human activity, Rosa describes the full spectrum of ways in which we establish our relationship to the world, from the act of breathing to the adoption of culturally distinct worldviews. He then turns to the realms of concrete experience and action – family and politics, work and sports, religion and art – in which we as late modern subjects seek out resonance. This task is proving ever more difficult as modernity’s logic of escalation is both cause and consequence of a distorted relationship to the world, at individual and collective levels. As Rosa shows, all the great crises of modern society – the environmental crisis, the crisis of democracy, the psychological crisis – can also be understood and analyzed in terms of resonance and our broken relationship to the world around us.
Building on his now classic work on acceleration, Rosa’s new book is a major new contribution to the theory of modernity, showing how our problematic relation to the world is at the crux of some of the most pressing issues we face today. This bold renewal of critical theory for our times will be of great interest to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities.
In Lieu of a Foreword: Sociology and the Story of Anna and Hannah 1
I Introduction 17
PART ONE: THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD
II Bodily Relationships to the world 47
III Appropriating World and Experiencing World 83
IV Emotional, Evaluative, abd Cognitive Relationships to the World 110
V Resonance and Alienation as Basic Categories of a Theory of Our Relationship to the World 145
PART TWO: SPHERES AND AXES OF RESONANCE
VI Introduction: Spheres of Resonance, Recognition, and the Axes of Our Relationship to the World 195
VII Horizontal Axes of Resonance 202
VIII Diagonal Axes of Resonance 226
IX Vertical Axes of Resonance 258
PART THREE: FEAR OF THE MUTING OF THE WORLD: A RECONSTRUCTION OF MODERNITY IN TERMS OF RESONANCE THEORY
X Modernity as the History of Catastrophe of Resonance 307
XI Modernity as the History of Increasing Sensitivity to Resonance 357
XII Deserts and Oases of Life: Modern Everyday Practices in Terms of Resonance Theory 367
PART FOUR: A CRITICAL THEORY OF OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD
XIII Social Conditions of Successful and Unsuccessful Relationships to the World 381
XIV Dynamic Stabilization: The Escalatory Logic of Modernity and Its Consequences 404
XV Late Modern Crises of Resonance and the Contours of a Post-Growth Society 425
In Lieu of an Afterword: Defending Resonance Theory against Its Critice -- and Optimism agaibst Skeptics 444