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Cave! Hic Everyday Life: Repetition, Hegemony and the Social

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Abstract

The article aspires to bring everyday life and social repetition under the spotlight of political theorising and examine their emancipatory potential. To do so it engages with two competing understandings of hegemony in radical political theory: one based on transcendence and social antagonisms and the other based on immanence and everyday life. The main thesis of the article is that in order to understand the ontological foundations of social hegemony we need to shift our focus from social antagonisms and hegemonic representations to social repetition. The article starts with an exposition of Laclau's radical theory of hegemony and its limitations. It then develops a counter ontological reading, an ‘ontology of social repetition’, based on the work of Maurice Blanchot and Gilles Deleuze. The article concludes by examining what kinds of agency are present in social repetition, and how these can be translated into social action and strategies for social change.

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