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  1.  16
    A Political‐Economic Theory of Relevance: Explaining Climate Change Inaction.Ryan Gunderson, Diana Stuart & Matthew Houser - 2020 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 50 (1):42-63.
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, EarlyView.
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  2. Problems with the Defetishization Thesis: Ethical Consumerism, Alternative Food Systems, and Commodity Fetishism. [REVIEW]Ryan Gunderson - 2014 - Agriculture and Human Values 31 (1):109-117.
    The defetishization thesis claims alternative markets can lead to a more honest, less mystified relationship with food production and, in turn, strengthen civil society. Drawing from Marxian political economic and environmental sociological theory, I make three general claims: capitalism is inherently ecologically and socially harmful; “ethical” commodities derived from alternative markets cannot fundamentally counteract the pervasiveness and scale of ; and, because of and, ethical consumerism does not defetishize the commodity form, but acts as a new layer of commodity fetishism (...)
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  3.  16
    Nonhuman Animals as Fictitious Commodities: Exploitation and Consequences in Industrial Agriculture.Diana Stuart & Ryan Gunderson - 2020 - Society and Animals 28 (3):291-310.
    This article examines how nonhuman animals, along with land and labor, represent fictitious commodities as described by Karl Polanyi. Animals in agriculture are examined as an extreme example of animal commodification whose use resembles the exploitation of land and labor. Conceptual frameworks developed from Marxist theory, including the subsumption of nature, the second contradiction of capitalism, and alienation, are applied to illustrate how the negative impacts to animals, the environment, and public health associated with animal agriculture are caused by attempts (...)
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  4.  8
    The Mundane Dialectic of Enlightenment: Typification as Everyday Identity Thinking.Ryan Gunderson - 2020 - Human Studies 43 (4):521-543.
    To make Adorno’s difficult notion of “identity thinking” more amendable to sociological research, this project brings his Negative Dialectics into conversation with Schutz’s theory of typification. When revised with Adorno’s attention to political economy and the pathologies of reification, Schutz’s framework allows for an analysis of identity thinking in everyday life. Both theorists argue that categories of thought: automatically subsume objects for pragmatic yet socially conditioned reasons, are socially formed, transferred, and selected, and suppress particularizing characteristics of objects. Their overlapping (...)
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  5.  1
    Must Cognitive Sociology Heed Capitalism? Attention and Marginal Consciousness in Political‐Economic Context.Ryan Gunderson - forthcoming - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.
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  6.  4
    How farmers “repair” the industrial agricultural system.Matthew Houser, Ryan Gunderson, Diana Stuart & Riva C. H. Denny - 2020 - Agriculture and Human Values 37 (4):983-997.
    Scholars are increasingly calling for the environmental issues of the industrial agricultural system to be addressed via eventual agroecological system-level transformation. It is critical to identify the barriers to this transition. Drawing from Henke’s theory of “repair,” we explore how farmers participate in the reproduction of the industrial system through “discursive repair,” or arguing for the continuation of the industrial agriculture system. Our empirical case relates to water pollution from nitrogen fertilizer and draws data from a sample of over 150 (...)
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  7.  2
    How Do Social Structures Become Taken for Granted? Social Reproduction in Calm and Crisis.Ryan Gunderson - 2021 - Human Studies 44 (4):741-762.
    This paper identifies experiential processes through which social structures become taken for granted, termed processes of “structure marginalization”. Passive processes of structure marginalization relegate social structures to the margin of experience without the use of higher-order cognitive acts such as evaluation and reflection. Examples include adapting to social structures via routine and habitual practices, a lack of conscious awareness of the complexity, historical formation, and other details of social structures, and rendering social structures irrelevant when they are unreflectively judged to (...)
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  8.  32
    Horkheimer's Pessimism and Compassion.Ryan Gunderson - 2012 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2012 (160):165-172.
    ExcerptWhat would happiness be that was not measured by the immeasurable grief at what is? For the world is deeply ailing. Theodor Adorno, “Regressions,” Minima Moralia1Unfortunately, for the last half century many critical theorists have disregarded the founder of Critical Theory: Max Horkheimer. In the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse's popularity largely concealed the rest of the Frankfurt School. Today, Horkheimer is seen as a tardy pessimist in the wake of Walter Benjamin2 and, much too often, as a footnote to Theodor Adorno's (...)
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  9.  11
    Environmental Knowledge, Technology, and Values: Reconstructing Max Scheler’s Phenomenological Environmental Sociology.Ryan Gunderson - 2017 - Human Studies 40 (3):401-419.
    In light of research showing that climate change policy opinions and perceptions of climate change are conditioned by pre-held values, Max Scheler’s axiology, conception of ethos, and sociology of knowledge are revisited. Scheler provides a critical analysis of the values surrounding modern technology’s relation to nature, especially in his assessment of the subordination of life to utility, or, the “ethos of industrialism”. The ethos of industrialism is said to influence the modern understanding of the environment as a machine to be (...)
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  10.  2
    Human–Computer Interaction Research Needs a Theory of Social Structure: The Dark Side of Digital Technology Systems Hidden in User Experience.Ryan Gunderson - forthcoming - Human Studies:1-22.
    A sociological revision of Aron Gurwitsch provides a helpful layered theory of conscious experience as a four-domain structure: the theme, the thematic field, the halo, and the social horizon. The social horizon—the totality of the social world that is unknown, vaguely known, taken for granted, or ignored by the subject despite objectively influencing the thoughts and actions of the subject—, helps conceptualize how everyday human–computer interaction can obscure social structures. Two examples illustrate the usefulness of this framework: illuminating new forms (...)
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  11.  10
    Materialized Ideology and Environmental Problems: The Cases of Solar Geoengineering and Agricultural Biotechnology.Brian Petersen, Diana Stuart & Ryan Gunderson - 2020 - European Journal of Social Theory 23 (3):389-410.
    This article expands upon the notion of ideology as a material phenomenon, usually in the form of institutionalized, taken-for-granted practices. It draws on Herbert Marcuse and related thinkers to conceptualize technological solutions to environmental problems as materialized ideological responses to social-ecological contradictions, which, by concealing these contradictions, reproduce existing social conditions. This article outlines a method of technology assessment as ideology critique that draws attention to: the social determinants of the given technology; whether the technology conceals or masks social-ecological contradictions; (...)
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  12.  16
    Sympathetic Introspection as Method and Practice: Cooley's Contributions to Critical Qualitative Inquiry and the Theory of Mind Debate.Ryan Gunderson - 2017 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 47 (4):463-480.
    In the work of Charles H. Cooley, sympathy is a central subject matter of sociology and social psychology, a descriptive and explanatory method similar to “interpretive understanding,” and an evaluative method used for social critique and arguments for social reforms. The latter feature of the value-orienting qualitative method of sympathetic introspection is pertinent in light of discussions regarding the development of a critical qualitative methodology. The uniqueness of Cooley's method, when compared to value-neutral approaches in the interpretive tradition, is its (...)
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  13.  23
    Animal Epistemology and Ethics in Schopenhauerian Metaphysics.Ryan Gunderson - 2013 - Environmental Ethics 35 (3):349-361.
    Within Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimistic philosophy he set aside a special place for animals. Not only did Schopenhauer show great affection for other species and repeatedly criticize Western anthropocentrism, but he also argued that we could know a great deal about animals by intimately knowing ourselves. Although currently underdeveloped, Schopenhauer’s introspective methodology sheds light on how we can begin to mend the epistemic human-animal boundary through his emphasis on immediate, concrete knowledge and intuition. In practice too, Schopenhauer’s metaphysically grounded ethical system (...)
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  14.  2
    Anomie’s Eastern Origins: The Buddha’s Indirect Influence on Durkheim’s Understanding of Desire and Suffering.Ryan Gunderson - 2016 - European Journal of Social Theory 19 (3):355-373.
    Durkheim’s claim in Suicide that humanity’s ‘inextinguishable thirst’ causes suffering was adopted from Arthur Schopenhauer’s argument that the will-to-live’s ‘unquenchable thirst’ causes suffering, which was previously adopted from the Buddha’s argument that ‘ceaselessly recurring thirst’ causes suffering. This article retraces this demonstrable though seemingly unlikely history of ideas and reveals that the philosophical underpinnings of Durkheim’s theory of anomie are rooted, through Schopenhauer, whose thought influenced many thinkers during the Neo-Romantic fin de siècle period, including Durkheim, in the Buddha’s Second (...)
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  15.  1
    Correction to: How Do Social Structures Become Taken for Granted? Social Reproduction in Calm and Crisis.Ryan Gunderson - 2021 - Human Studies 44 (4):763-763.
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