Chapter

Getting a Fix on Fragmentation

Jonathan Rieder

in The Fractious Nation?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520220430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220430.003.0002
Getting a Fix on Fragmentation

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This chapter offers a methodological prelude that recommends skepticism about the polemic on breakdown, in both its left and right versions. It takes up elemental themes such as the vertigo of change, the difficulty of construing the fractious events that provoke the label fragmentation, the ever-present danger of error and illusion—and pursues them in their intricate variations. It notes that three kinds of interpretive mistakes provide the focus of this analysis: The first set of errors involves dynamics both of mind and the senses; The second category of errors originates at some remove from sensuous experience and involves the dangerous trap of language; The final set of interpretive errors derives from the absence of what might be called an “institutionalist heuristic”.

Keywords: polemic on breakdown; vertigo of change; fragmentation; error and illusion; mind; senses; language; institutionalist heuristic

Chapter.  17316 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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