Dean Mathiowetz: “Haptic Hierarchy: Luxury as Political Affect”

Dean Mathiowetz: “Haptic Hierarchy: Luxury as Political Affect”

This talk explores luxury as one way that hierarchy, social distance, and subordination are felt affectively by bodies in consumption-oriented societies. The project seeks to upend a tradition of social thought that interprets luxury consumption as an other-directed, visually-mediated, and easily-subverted “language” of hierarchy and class. Professor Mathiowetz is a political theorist and the author of Appeals to Interest: Language, Contestation, and Political Agency (Penn State, 2011).

Dean Mathiowetz is Associate Professor of Politics at UCSC.