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CeMoRe Seminar - The Cosmic Society

Date: 20 January 2009 Time: 4.15 - 6.00pm

Cosmic Society. Towards a Sociology of the Universe.

Peter Dickens

Venue: Bowland North SR 25

All societies have been 'cosmic', the cosmos forming an important part of their culture, politics and spiritual life. Now society is being made cosmic in a different way; nearby outer-space is increasingly humanised by satellites, space tourists and landings on planets and asteroids. Yet sociology has so far largely failed to look upwards.

For much of human history the cosmos has been something to be feared. Occupied by gods and promised heavens, it was used by the socially-powerful as a means of subjecting humanity and stabilising the social order. But now the cosmos is being widely construed as an object; one to be explored and used as a source of materials and resources. Yet old images of the cosmos are also being revived. The socially-powerful are again using the cosmos as a means of surveillance, capital-accumulation and the exercise of cultural and military authority.

Yet these modern developments are now encountering globally-organised resistance. Other kinds of space-humanisation are possible.

The presentation will be based on P.Dickens, J.Ormrod Cosmic Society. Towards a Sociology of the Universe


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Geography, Lancaster Environment Centre, Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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