Hartmut Rosa (born August 15, 1965) is a German sociologist and political scientist, most well known for his theory of resonance and temporal sociology of social acceleration.

Hartmut Rosa
Rosa in 2015
BornAugust 15, 1965
Academic background
EducationHumboldt University of Berlin (PhD, 1997)
Doctoral advisorAxel Honneth
InfluencesCharles Taylor,[1][2] Erich Fromm[3]
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Jena
Notable worksSocial Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity (2013), Resonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World (2016)

Life edit

Hartmut Rosa was born in Lörrach. He grew up in Grafenhausen in the Black Forest, where he spoke the local Alemannic dialect and played the organ in the Protestant parish. After graduating from high school (Hochrhein-Gymnasium Waldshut) in 1985 and completing his civilian service, he began studying political science, philosophy and German studies at the University of Freiburg in 1986, which he graduated with honours in 1993. In 1997, he graduated summa cum laude from the Humboldt University of Berlin and received his Ph.D. for his dissertation on political philosophy according to Charles Taylor. He was awarded the title of Dr. rer. Soc (doctor rerum socialium; Ph.D. in Social sciences).

He worked as a research assistant at the chair of Political Science III at the University of Mannheim (1996–1997) and as a research assistant at the Institute for Sociology at the University of Jena (1997–1999). There, he habilitated with his study Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity in the fields of Sociology and Political Science. During the summer semester of 2004, he held the deputy chair of Political Science/Political Theory at the University of Duisburg-Essen. During the winter semester 2004–2005 and the summer semester 2005, respectively, he held the deputy chair of political science at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the University of Augsburg.[4] In 2005, Hartmut Rosa was appointed professor for General and Theoretical Sociology at the University of Jena.

In the winter of 1988–1989, he spent one semester with a scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He visited the US for study purposes several times, including as a research assistant at the Department of Government/Center of European Studies at Harvard University. He received the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his work as a visiting professor at the New School University in New York City in 2001–2002. He has been associated with the New School University as a visiting professor since 2002.

Research edit

Rosa's research is focused on the areas of sociological diagnosis of time and the analysis of modernity, normative and empirical foundations of social criticism, subject and identity theories, sociology of time and theory of acceleration, as well as what he calls the "sociology of world relations".[5] His books are received internationally and have been translated into 15 languages.[6]

Social Acceleration edit

Rosa's sociological work on time appears most prominently in his habilitation thesis “Social Acceleration: The Change in Temporal Structures”.[7] Rosa argues that a “technically or economically” induced acceleration is evidenced in the rapid development of technology in the 19th and 20th centuries and the acceleration of social change. Through this work, Rosa argues that the history of modernity is simultaneously the history of accelerating change. The time-saving nature of technical progress leads to a time shortage rather than a gain of time. According to Rosa, the multitude of possibilities leads to the fact that a person can no longer exhaust the possibilities given to them in the course of their life. The "rate of increase exceeds the rate of acceleration", which leads to the fact that what has just been experienced is no longer up to date and individuals have no chance of dying "satisfied with life". Rosa uses the "slippery slope phenomenon" as a sociological counterpart to the biological Red Queen hypothesis: According to this, human beings must never – or rather can never – rest or be satisfied, because otherwise they would have to reckon with a loss or disadvantage. Rosa no longer sees any possibilities for humanity to control life, since the pace of acceleration has taken on a life of its own. Most recently, he has dealt in particular with the topos of desynchronisation, i.e. the increasing divergence of the time structures of various social sub-areas such as politics and the economy.[8]

Resonance Theory edit

With his monograph on resonance theory, Rosa presents an alternative concept to the omnipresence of alienation. Drafted within the framework of a "sociology of world relations", resonance theory elevates everyday experiences of successful, "resonant" connections to our world, and uses those as a critical groundwork. Rosa sees himself as continuing in the critical theory traditions of Erich Fromm.[3] Although resonance is not something which can be strictly attained in a controlled, unidirectional or commodified sense, Rosa argues for a medio-passive approach, in which resonance is not actively sought, but where systems are proactive in creating the conditions for resonance.[9]

Dignity of Labour edit

In response to the "communitarianism debate": Rosa particularly advocates the "dignity of labour" and its social orientation and benefits for the common good, especially in reference to the topic of socio-ecological degrowth.[10] He has further written several (introductory) texts on communitarian political and democratic theory, including his dissertation on the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor.[1][2]

Resource Mobilization edit

Rosa's research on resource mobilization is based upon the question which mobilisation resources of civic engagement are resultant from the general development of modern society. He also analyses which political views are more likely to result in voluntary or civic engagement. According to Rosa, identification with the state ("my country") generates a moral obligation to ensure that this state acts accordingly. In order to be able to guarantee this, the individual must commit themselves to their personal socio-political engagement.[11]

Metatheory of the social sciences edit

The metatheory of the social sciences from a history of ideas perspective: In doing so, Rosa emphasises the merits of the so-called Cambridge School, whose members have, in his eyes, "sharpened the awareness of methodological questions and theoretical presuppositions in dealing with the history of ideas and, in the process, opened up a fruitful methodological discussion". Rosa calls for a questioning of political theories with regard to their content and impact. This intends examining the contexts of tradition and discourse as well as normative or ideological implications, in which he sees the central concern of a critical conceptual history. This research focus combines his previous thematic fields. Rosa seeks new connections between current social theory (through time-diagnostic analysis) and a normative, critical social philosophy, whose foundations he sees in the nexus of "considerations of politics, identity and modernity theory".[12]

Reception edit

Rosa's work has gathered significant attention from a diverse range of influential scholars. As of 2023 there is a growing secondary literature engaged with his publications.[13]

Literary theorist Rita Felski, one of the leading scholars of the postcritique movement, has advocated for resonance theory as a rubric for education which would allow practitioners to celebrate both aesthetic appreciation and critical theory as powerful sources of resonance, rather than diametrically opposed approaches to analysis.[14][15] Felski argues that the idea of resonance “pushes back against regimes of accounting in the contemporary university: the ubiquitous rhetoric of metrics, impact factors, and citation indexes”, all areas which overlook the act of learning as something with is self-transformative and brings together “cognition and emotional, analysis and affect” whose “outcomes cannot be known in advance.”[14]

Psychologist Svend Brinkmann has stated that Rosa's sociology of world relations invites us not to “reduce our relationship to the world to one of active agents that use passive resources as this easily mirrors the experiences of alienation in modernity.”[16] Brinkmann proposes that cultural psychology should do more to take patients’ accounts of world relations and resonance more seriously.

However, Rosa's critics have questioned Rosa's optimistic turn away from Theodor Adorno's work on the perpetuity of alienation, which they argue is a major departure from the central aims of critical theory.[17] Micha Brumlik questions the specificity of concepts such as resonance and sees in it the end of a critical theory founded on “looking coldly at society.”[18] Rosa notes how some have described resonance as having reactionary tendencies, though he reports “it’s very clear they are not ... because I don’t try to preserve any tradition, and I certainly don’t want to say something has to be [that way] because it was like that in the past."[19]

Awards edit

  • 2006: research award by State of Thuringia
  • 2016: Tractatus Award
  • 2018: Erich Fromm Prize[20]
  • 2018: Paul Watzlawick Ring of Honor (German: Paul-Watzlawick-Ehrenring)[21]
  • 2019: Honorary degree Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht [22]
  • 2019: Patronage of the UNESCO chair "Pratiques de la philosophie avec les enfants" as successor to Michel Serres at the Université de Nantes
  • 2020: Werner Heisenberg Medal by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation[23]
  • 2020: Rob Rhoads Global Citizenship Education Award from the University of California[24]
  • 2020: member of the Academia Europaea[25]
  • 2021: together with Klaus Dörre and Stephan Lessenich the Thuringian Research Prize in the category basic research[26]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Hartmut Rosa; Ulf Bohmann (2015), André Brodocz; Gary Schaal (eds.), "Die politische Theorie des Kommunitarismus: Charles Taylor", Politische Theorien der Gegenwart (in German), vol. II (4 ed.), Stuttgart: UTB, pp. 65–102
  2. ^ a b Ulf Bohmann; Hartmut Rosa (2012), Oliver Lembcke; Claudia Ritzi, Gary Schaal (eds.), "Das Gute und das Rechte. Die kommunitaristischen Demokratietheorien", Zeitgenössische Demokratietheorie (in German), vol. 1, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 127–155
  3. ^ a b Die Quelle aller Angst und die Nabelschnur zum Leben: Erich Fromms Philosophie aus resonanztheoretischer Sicht. Erich-Fromm-Lecture anlässlich der Erich-Fromm-Preisverleihung 2018 an Hartmut Rosa, Fromm Society. YouTube, (Video 58:42 min.), 27 March 2018.
  4. ^ Hartmut Rosa at the University of Hagen
  5. ^ "Hartmut Rosa's research areas at the University of Jena". Archived from the original on 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  6. ^ translation of Hartmut Rosa's books by Surhkamp Publishing House
  7. ^ Rosa, Hartmut (2013-12-31). Social Acceleration. doi:10.7312/rosa14834. ISBN 9780231519885.
  8. ^ Ulf Bohmann; Henning Laux; Hartmut Rosa (2018), "Desynchronisation und Populismus. Ein zeitsoziologischer Versuch über die Demokratiekrise am Beispiel der Finanzmarktregulierung", Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (in German), vol. 70, pp. 195–226, doi:10.1007/s11577-018-0544-8, S2CID 149489775
  9. ^ Rosa, Hartmut (2019), "Resonanz als Schlüsselbegriff der Sozialtheorie", Resonanz, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, pp. 9–30, doi:10.5771/9783845288734-9, ISBN 9783845288734, S2CID 186714454, retrieved 2023-07-20
  10. ^ Hartmut Rosa, Christoph Henning, ed. (2018), The Good Life Beyond Growth: New Perspectives (in German), New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-138-68788-2
  11. ^ Michael Beetz; Michael Corsten; Hartmut Rosa; Torsten Winkler (2014), Was bewegt Deutschland? Sozialmoralische Landkarten engagierter und distanzierter Bürger in Ost- und Westdeutschland (in German), Weinheim: Beltz Juventa, ISBN 978-3-7799-2920-8
  12. ^ Hartmut Rosa (1994), "Ideengeschichte und Gesellschaftstheorie. Der Beitrag der 'Cambridge School' zur Metatheorie", Politische Vierteljahresschrift (in German), vol. 35, pp. 197–223
  13. ^ Susen, Simon (April 2023). "Lessons from Reckwitz and Rosa: Towards a Constructive Dialogue between Critical Analytics and Critical Theory". Social Epistemology. 37 (5): 545–591. doi:10.1080/02691728.2023.2201578. S2CID 259849947.
  14. ^ a b Felski, Rita (December 2020). "Resonance and Education". On Education. Journal for Research and Debate. 3 (9). doi:10.17899/on_ed.2020.9.2. ISSN 2571-7855.
  15. ^ Felski, Rita (July 2022). "Sociological writing as resonant writing". The Sociological Review. 70 (4): 656–665. doi:10.1177/00380261221106521. ISSN 0038-0261. S2CID 251954361.
  16. ^ Brinkmann, Svend (2021-05-11). "Resources and resonance: Notes on patiency as world relation". Culture & Psychology. 27 (4): 562–576. doi:10.1177/1354067x211017306. ISSN 1354-067X. S2CID 236550304.
  17. ^ König, Helmut (2016-06-08). "Wenn die Welt zum Resonanzraum wird". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in Swiss High German). ISSN 0376-6829. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  18. ^ "Resonanz oder: Das Ende der kritischen Theorie | Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik". www.blaetter.de. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  19. ^ The World After: Bruno Latour and Hartmut Rosa on the consequences of the coronavirus crisis (2020), retrieved 2023-07-26. Minute 43.
  20. ^ "Erich-Fromm-Preis für Hartmut Rosa". Süddeutsche Zeitung. December 2017.
  21. ^ "Homepage des Preises der Wiener Ärztekammer". Watzlawick Ehrenring (in German).
  22. ^ "Universität Utrecht verleiht Hartmut Rosa die Ehrendoktorwürde". uni-erfurt.de. 28 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Werner Heisenberg-Medaille für Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa". uni-erfurt.de. 10 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Rob Rhoads Global Citizenship Education Award für Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa". uni-erfurt.de. 10 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Academia Europaea beruft Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa". uni-erfurt.de. 8 October 2020.Rob Rhoads Global Citizenship Education Award für Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa, Meldung 10 March 2020 auf uni-erfurt.de.
  26. ^ Preisträgerliste des Thüringer Forschungspreises, retrieved 14 April 2021.