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David Miller

moral arithmetic. In principle, it may be justifiable to inflict harm on a small number of people for the greater good of a much larger number – even to kill the few to save many more lives, if there is no alternative (Thomas is neither a strict deontologist nor a strict consequentialist). But the terrorists made no attempt to carry out this calculation. If they had, they would have seen immediately that the end they sought did not justify the means. The same is true of the Western response to terrorism: Western governments have never seriously tried to show that

in ‘War on terror’
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

decide’ – which is everywhere articulated in anthropomorphic terms as a mythic power – ‘the Markets reacted badly today to news of renewed protests in Greece’; ‘the further stimulus package approved by Congress has pleased the Markets’. The first commandment in the political theology of neoliberal Market fundamentalism is monotheism: ‘There Is No Alternative.’ As it is questioned, the truth of the Market is proclaimed even more sternly. This is the political theology of authoritarian neoliberalism. To begin to imagine an alternative to authoritarian neoliberalism and

in The domestic, moral and political economies of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Acceptance, critique and the bigger picture
Anne B. Ryan

. How Was It For You? The first study, reported in How Was It For You? Exploring Couples’ Experiences of the First Year of Marriage, was commissioned by a marriage and relationship education and counselling organisation, and the participants were all under forty, married and based in Dublin.4 From this study, two broad groups emerge. One group’s themes concern the demands of jobs, coping with constant tiredness, a lack of time for family and friends, and a feeling of being constantly over-pressed. I call them the TINA (‘there is no alternative’) group. Most of this

in The end of Irish history?
Christy Kulz

obliterate dreams, but encourages and inculcates an expansive belief in dreams through its training. However these future imaginaries are narrow and individualised. Dreams of a successful self who enacts normative values becomes the only dream possible or worth having. As Massey described, neoliberalism effectively alters the ‘scaffolding of our imagination’ by changing the way we perceive ourselves Remaking inequalities in the neoliberal institution173 and what it is possible to do and to be. The idea that there is no alternative to this format is powerfully evidenced

in Factories for learning
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A sociologist of hope or a prophet of gloom?
Ali Rattansi

Finland, Utrecht and Ontario becomes available. The idea is also being discussed by Labour parties in Britain and New Zealand. Bauman’s pessimism and the poverty of alternatives to TINA At the same time as Bauman raged against TINA (‘there is no alternative’), it is only too obvious that he seldom offered any concrete alternatives to the present. In what sense could his be a sociology of hope? How could he claim to be defamiliarising a taken-forgranted, reified, naturalised world when he felt that consumerist delusion had seeped so deeply into culture and personality

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
A new church for the unhoused
Michael Cronin

’s different faith traditions (more particularly, the dominant faith traditions). In this Punch and Judy show of the Ancients and the Moderns, the enemy is alternatively the godless or the God-​fearing Other. The effect of this false dichotomy is to conceal the very considerable overlap in concerns and values between believers and progressive secularists; notably, the mortal danger posed to both by what might be termed market totalitarianism. To contend that there is no alternative to the Market is to argue, in effect, that democracy is meaningless. Democracy, if it is to

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
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Ali Rattansi

political slogan, ‘there is no alternative’), although he not only claimed to be a socialist but argued that ‘this world of ours needs socialists more than at any other time, and … this need has become much more poignant and urgent yet after the fall of the Berlin Wall’ (Bauman and Tester 2001: 153). And Bauman certainly had more than a streak of utopianism in his thinking (Jacobsen 2008). There is also what Mark Davis (2008: 107) has called Bauman’s ‘will to dualism’, which results in abstract and unhelpful dualities such as ‘modernity’ and ‘postmodernity’, ‘solid’ and

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
What a thought experiment about race-colour change makes us see
Margaret P. Battin

it is not clear that making use of an alternative choice is indefensible as well. Enhancing status Closely related, a person might want to ‘dip’ into a different skin colour to enhance his or her status, whether social status in general or status within specific institutions or spheres. Doing so counteracts generalised racial prejudice, as distinct from the individual racial prejudice of the professor in the previous case; but unlike the previous case there is no alternative in avoiding the prejudice, analogous to dropping the class, other than removing oneself

in From reason to practice in bioethics
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Anthony King

verification – humans can mutually verify their own experience of the world with other members of their social group. That is, other members can affirm or reject the individual’s experience as valid. Other people provide the external reference which is lacking for the lone individual: ‘The transcendental-empirical doubling of relation to the self is only unavoidable so long as there is no alternative to this observer-perspective … As soon as linguistically generated intersubjectivity gains primacy, this alternative no longer applies’ (Habermas, 1987a: 297). Group members

in Human agents and social structures
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Alan Warde, Jessica Paddock and Jennifer Whillans

very sensible, always nice. Were these men to be made responsible for cooking at home they might be more eager to eat out. For example, neither Crispin nor Isaac (both in their forties), who cook simple meals at home occasionally, feel any imperative to feed their children home-cooked food when their partners are not available. They prefer to take their children out under such circumstances, cooking at home only when there is no alternative. The most conservative and disengaged men tend to be older. Younger cohorts of men and women come to different forms

in The social significance of dining out