Dr. Nitzan Rothem- "Negotiating the Human Agent: Suicide and Commitment in Late-Modernity"

Dr. Nitzan Rothem- "Negotiating the Human Agent: Suicide and Commitment in Late-Modernity"
Activity Date: 
Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014

The social bond and the mutual relationship between the individual and society are the focus of my academic interest. I try to understand the main rhetoric and practices that sustain the assumption that society supports the prosperity of the individual and that individuals engage in a common good. Suicide (and in particular military suicide) holds the possibility of a detached individual, who has no interest in society's values and institutions, and the possibility of a detached society, which lacks attitudes of care and concern for its members. Social institutions and cultural representations answer suicide's threat. They domesticate suicide and drive it back into society's arms. While doing so, they frame the individual (as passive or active human-being) and frame society’s commitments towards this individual. Thus, we encounter modes of domestication such as "the invention of suicidality", "organizational failure" and "martyrdom", and modes of commitment such as "the rhetoric of containment" and "the ethos of self-sacrifice". These are the topics of my presentation today.