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Michael Krätke - "The Meaning of Crisis: How to make sense of a world in turmoil"

Date: 14 May 2009 Time: 6.30pm

Inaugural Lecture of Professor Michael R Krätke, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies and Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University

6.30pm in Meeting Rooms 2 & 3, in the IAS Building. Followed by a reception at 7.45pm in the IAS Foyer.

All Welcome!

Nearly everyone is now growing aware that we are heading into the greatest world crisis for 80 years and many realise that there might be no way back to the status quo ante. Crises have always been a major concern for the social sciences.They have always been considered as periods of critique when the very structure of the economy and society were put to trial. Crisis and critique are closely connected in the European tradition of social theory. Ever since the recurrent crises have become the hallmark of modernity, the struggle of ideas was on and has shaped the development of what was to become the realm of the social sciences. Whether the social world was thrown into turmoil again and again by mere accident or by some evil forces destabilizing an otherwise inherently stable social order, or whether the recurrence of ever larger and more devastating crises was inevitable and due to the very nature of that social order, became the core issue for the social sciences in the making. Until this very day, social scientists have been fascinated by the ambiguity and ambivalence of periods of crisis - by the same token destructive and devastating, and the starting point of smaller and larger transformations. Crises and social changes, even revolutions, seemed to be interlinked from the very beginning of modern times. At thispointin time, we have to deal not with one crisis but with multiple crises at the same time. Hence, a variety of social transformations, of rapid changes, will be triggered by a series of crises combining their forces to one Great Crisis. Such a crisis might bring us near another Great Transformation, a radical change of the worlds of capitalism, bourgeois society, (post)modern culture and the state systems as we know them.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Michael R. Kräetke

Organising departments and research centres: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Institute for Advanced Studies, 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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