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The genealogy of mass society and its possible spaces of liberty

Grant number: 15/25277-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2016
Effective date (End): February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Ethics
Principal Investigator:Yara Adario Frateschi
Grantee:Nathalia Rodrigues da Costa
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This master's project is a continuation and completion of our undergraduate research concerning Arendt's concepts of singularity, plurality, political action and freedom. This project, entitled "The impossibility of political and the mass society" and funded by FAPESP, prioritized a research on critical of Hannah Arendt to tendency of mass society to make the construction of a field for politics not viable. This project had as central bibliography The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951 and The Human Condition, 1958.At this time, the project we propose to master has basically two goals. The first goal is to understand the genealogy of mass society, that is, understanding it not only with respect to their characteristics and peculiarities, but as a phenomenon which is inserted on what Arendt calls "the advent of the social" in "The Human Condition". In other words, we aim to understand the phenomenon of mass society as a modern world phenomenon that has its roots in the modern era. To do so, we must (1) to understand what are the elements of the modern era that contributed to the formation of mass society in the twentieth century, (2) to understand the criticism that she does to the advent of social, which requires, in turn, (3) to understand the nature of change that this advent entails for the political sphere, that is, to the transformation of hierarchy among the activities that compose the active life. Our second objective, related to the first one, is to try to understand which spaces of freedom that still exist in mass society. Although Arendt says that this kind of society tends to be apolitical, or it creates barriers to the establishment of the politics, yet this society can not be said completely apolitical. Although scarce, there are spaces of freedom within the mass society, that is, it is still possible to find ways by which the activity of action can be effective. The aim is, therefore, to understand in what extent and extension the action is possible within the mass society. We assume that, for this second goal, it will be need to investigate the Arendt's works of the 1960s, such as "Civil Disobedience" and "On Violence", in which Arendt turns more explicitly to the moments in which citizens can effectively organize themselves and enter to public sphere in order to be seen and heard, that is, in order to acquire reality in the political sphere through its claims. (AU)