Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam > Blaise Pascal Instituut > Girard Studiekring > COV&R 2007 > Abstracts Papers
Identity and resentment in the society of uncertainties
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Our society is ever more competitive and individualistic, offering social actors many choices, but often without promoting the conditions of equal opportunity necessary for them to fulfill their increasingly inflated desires. Social interactions come to be pervaded by frustration and resentment. In the modern era this resentment was traditionally channeled against various scapegoats, both external - enemy nation-states - or internal: rival social classes; ethnic, religious and cultural minorities.
Late-modern society has seen the emergence of additional modalities for the sublimation of resentment, which tends to turn back on itself, taking the shape of consumerism, religious fundamentalism or individual psychoses. In the face of a rising tide of resentment, it is still possible to identify new avenues for social coexistence. To live in an egalitarian society and
to experience the freedom that comes with it forces us to learn important lessons about social injustices and to imagine new ways to establish stronger social bonds.