Beyond the Practical Dilemmas and Conceptual Reductions: the Emergence of an ‘Accommodative Consciousness’ in the Alternative Globalization Movement

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Seyed Abdolhamed Hosseini


This paper attempts to show the emergence of a new ideological trend within the global field of resistance against the corporate-led globalization. This ideological trend, coined here the alter-globalization trend, is ideal-typically constructed in terms of its associated mode of social thought. The newly developed perspectives and cognitive transformations inside the global field of resistance convey a new mode of in-praxis thought, named here accommodative cognition. This heralds the formation of alternative principles for creating emancipatory knowledges and flexible solidarities. The paper draws on certain discursive evidence from the alter-globalization trend to show that the complexity of globalizing society and contemporary collective action is realized through the open spaces of dialogue and dispute introduced by the movement. This has resulted in the emergence of intellectual demands for transcending contradictions that are rooted in the post-1970s disputes between modernist and post-modernist, and materialist and post-materialist thoughts. Two other features of this new mode of cognition are: (1) a growing inclination to cut across incompatible conceptions of social polarities (i.e. around issues like class, gender, race, cultural identity, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation) in establishing a flexible solidarity based on accommodating the Other’s interest and identity into the process of affirming the Self; and (2) understanding the complexities of globalization in terms of its structural unevenness, contradictions and multidimensionality.

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Author Biography

Seyed Abdolhamed Hosseini, ANU

Seyed AbdolHamed Hosseini is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Australian National University. He completed his B.S. with honors (1993) in Electronic Engineering at Shiraz University, Iran, and his M.A. in ‘Research in Social Sciences’ (1999) at the Ferdowsi University of Mashad, Iran. In his research since 2002, he has been investigating the ideological trends and new modes of solidarity and thought developed in the global field of resistance against the neoliberal, corporate led globalization. He is currently in the final stage of his research. His research interests lie in the social movement studies, sociology of knowledge, social philosophy, sociology of global complexities, Islamic conservatism, and democracy and development in the context of Iran. He has published articles and presented conference papers on Sociology of Cognition (2003), Counter-globalist Solidarities (2003), Rural and Regional Development in Iran (1999), Sociology of Conservatism and New Conservatism (2000), Ali Shariati’s Critical School of Thought (2000), and Wandering-Absorption Theory: the challenges between theory and practice in Iran (1999).