He moved to Sydney in , aged His maternal grandparents and mother had previously lived in, and were citizens of, Australia. He was at the University of Sydney from before moving to the University of Melbourne. He suffers from deafness , possibly due to a bomb explosion in Beirut in his teenage years, and had one cochlear implant in and another in He also researches and writes in social theory, particularly the work of Pierre Bourdieu. He has been a high-profile contributor to debates on multiculturalism in Australia and has published widely on the topic.
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While I find it as ridiculous as any of my facebook friends, it actually brought home to me how While I find it as ridiculous as any of my facebook friends, it actually brought home to me how scholastic so many intellectual reactions to Islamophobia and other things produced by politicians, including those like Pauline Hanson in Australia, Trump in the US, etc Indeed I think that scholasticism is increasing, especially among intellectuals, today.
It is a way of escaping a reality that is hard to fathom, a reality where we come to terms with how desperately politically inefficient at convincing and mobilising those who disagree with us we intellectuals have become. To use Bourdieu again, we project into the object our particular relation to the object. We take the way a statement presents itself to us as intellectuals ie, as an object of intellectual inquiry as the way it presents itself to everyone in the world.
So, while its fine to make fun of what the French PM says, or what Trump says, etc What are the conditions of political efficiency of statements like this? I happen to think that the French PM statement is an exceptionally powerful and skilful political statements. I have written before how so many western values today are being redeployed in a phallic manner. Instead of enjoying their jokes they enjoy showing off that their sense of humour and capacity to be irreverent towards religious symbols is so superior to that of the other.
And now, in this latest installment, some French people want to show off the naked breast of their women in a phallic manner. It is a masculine appropriation of the feminine for warring purposes and it is very efficient. We can ridicule what we have come to here, and maybe we should do so between us to comfort each other, but we need to always remember that we intellectuals, or intellectually savvy people, ridiculing something has not political efficiency whatsoever, Indeed, it even works at making it what we are ridiculing more efficient.
Especially we intellectuals, should not shy away from confronting the fact that we have no political authority whatsoever today among those who are mobilised in such a phallic way.
Enough to drive anyone into the comforting refuge of scholasticism. Research Interests:.