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The Principle of Disruption. A Figure Reflecting Complex Societies (Disruption)
Start date: Jan 1, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"""Disruption"" is presented as a starting point for the analysis of formulas of societal self-description. Since the increasing susceptibility of complex societies to disruption cannot be managed solely by technology and the social sciences, it is necessary to develop a new form of cultural criticism which critically reflects on the interaction of societal sub-systems. Therefore, the objects to be studied are strongly repercussive narratives which construct political and socio-cultural coherence through the symbolic reintegration of disruptive incidents - e.g. terrorist attacks, rampage shootings, technical accidents, new diseases. The analysis of this poetics of social normalisation is intended to contribute to resolving the - for complex societies - constitutive problem of self-interpretation. The project is innovative in that it frees the concept of disruption from its restrictive use in media theory, reformulates it culturally and narratologically, and facilitates a correlation of hitherto unrelated subject areas, within the interdisciplinary framework of literary and media studies, the history of ideas and the sociology of culture. Thus, the diagnostic potential of literature, film and TV series in the perception and processing of disruption will be re-defined. These fictional-narrative art forms are conceptualised as cultural scripts, in which one can discern the fear-laden scenarios of disruption that shape the outlook of Western societies. The project also examines the calculated mise-en-scène of disruption using the example of contemporary art, which because it interrupts routines of perception and communication, especially when an artwork provokes a scandal, questions formulas of societal self-description. By focusing on narrativity and performance, the project generates - via the principle of disruption - a figure of reflection that traverses disciplinary boundaries, enhancing the capability of cultural studies to comprehend processes of social integration."

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