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Capitalism at the Age of Anthropocene. Are we looking for another great transformation?

Updated: May 29, 2020

Prof. Emanuela Ferreri, second Team Leader of La Sapienza University and lecturer of the CSB Pilot Course opened the Learning Mobility in Rome (24-30 March 2019) with a speech aiming at giving to the other Team Leaders of the 5 university partners important guidelines to start together the learning process of our common Erasmus Plus K203 project "Cultural Studies in Business".


The present proposal intends to correspond to a line of critical reflection concerning the 'transformative visions' that challenge the systems of domination that today are considered rooted in capitalist social relations.

The main purpose of the paper is to grasp some of the problems that in recent years have continued to induce the sociological debate to be interested in the interdisciplinary definition of the Anthropocene, or rather the era of the most significant human impact on the Planet. The general objective will be adequate to elaborate some arguments of sociological critique of capitalism; or rather the sociological understanding of capitalism as the dominant structure of modern society, or the representation of the capitalism as an ideological force characterizing contemporary society. Because of these two elements (system or structure, and cultural ideological vision), capitalism can be defined in socio-anthropological terms as"global". The specific aim of the work is to trace an insistent and distinct critical vision, characterized today by the relevance of the socio-anthropological perspective involved, as well as by the evidence of high impact cross-cultural contents and public cultural factors (environmental risk, universal rights and social justice, techniques and technologies, public information). The same critical direction seems to move in the direction of a cultural transformative will of capitalism itself if not more; that is of the ethics of the dominant society, towards a different and sociologically plausible future. The essay will cross the theoretical and critical inputs of reflexive modernization and of the so-called risk sociology (A. Giddens; N. Lhumann); anthropology of contemporary modernity (A. Appadurai, J. Friedmann, M. Sahlins), tracing the socio-anthropological consideration of a possible ethical evolution of contemporary societies (P. Berger, J. Habermas, D. Graeber).

Written by

Prof. Emanuela Ferreri, Lecturer at the Communication and Social Research Department - Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). Participant in the Training Week in Rome (24-30 March 2019) for the Cultural Studies in Business project in the field of Erasmus Plus.

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