Aestheticization and democratic political culture

“Aestheticization” denotes the tendency in contemporary society that the physical framing as well as the social relations and identities of everyday life are increasingly being profiled as designed and equipped with experiential appeals.

This project investigates the tendency towards aesteticization as it unfolds in contemporary political life in the light of critical sociology and cultural theory.
Through theory-based analyses of present examples of the public processing of socio-political issues and experiences of conflict, the project will examine in which way the tendency towards aestheticization changes the conditions of democratic opinion formation, including how the political judgement of the citizens and the democratic political culture of society are being affected by the enhanced appeals to senses and emotions represented by aestheticization.

A main thesis of the project is that we should distinguish between a variety of types of aestheticization, and that the reciprocal relationship of dominance between these is crucial for the developmental perspectives of democratic political culture under the auspices of aestheticization.