The Administration of Suffering in the United States — FRANCES FOX PIVEN, LOIC WACQUANT AND FOUCAULT

Social activist and theorist, FRANCES FOX PIVEN (CUNY, Graduate Center) will join the SERIOUS TIMES LECTURE SERIES at CRITICAL THEORY AND THE ARTS to discuss the situation of the impoverished in the United States.

How is a kind of social peace maintained in a country where almost 50 million Americans live in households suffering extreme social precariousness and food insecurity? How is social conflict neutralized here and kept from developing?

Fox Piven sought to understand this situation in her and Richard Cloward’s important, Regulating the Poor (1971). At CRITICAL THEORY AND THE ARTS, she will discuss her work in relation to the recently published contrasting theory of social manipulation in UCLA sociologist Loic Wacquant’s Punishing the Poor, who has himself commented importantly on Foucault’s theory of social control in Discipline and Punish.

Can contemporary art address this reality?