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If it is not mysterious, it is not social theory
Marcel Stoetzle

bit of prestige for that, but at the same time it is looked at with some suspicion. Theorists are seen as hard-working scholars only about as much as chess players are seen as hard-working sportspeople: not quite, really. No sweat there, like in an honest game of rugby or a good old feast of data-crunching. The hard-working contemporary university tends to think of a more than cursory acquaintance with the big, theoretical questions as a luxury that should not distract from the steady production of ‘deliverables’: concrete, quantifiable ‘outputs’. Asking conceptual

in Beginning classical social theory
Marcel Stoetzle

much more puzzling, sometimes irritating ‘negative dialectics’ (the title of his most important theoretical work), which refuses to satisfy or to instruct. The text is designed to be a strange, awkward thing that provides food for thought more than ‘instruction’ (quite like a modern artwork, or perhaps a prose poem). An essay by Adorno would be marked down seriously if it was handed in by a student at a contemporary university: no introduction that sets out clearly what he is about to do, no section headings that make it nice and easy to follow the steps of the

in Beginning classical social theory