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Measured lives - psychology in an era of accelaration: Preface

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This first volume of the International Review of Theoretical Psychologies(divided into Issues 1 and 2), share the subtitle: “Measured Lives -Theoretical Psychology in an Era of Acceleration”, pointing back at the Copenhagen 2019 theme. We decided upon this topic for the 18thbiennial conference at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University in 2018. At that time, the world was on full speed moving in all kinds of directions, but particularly moving fast in terms of technologies of measuring and monitoring. Our aim was to stimulate critical debate and reflection regarding these dominant forces in contemporary capitalist societies: the conception of humanity as something measurable and the constant quest for acceleration, efficiency, and optimization. We thus open a call to contribute theorizing the psychological implications of the acceleration and measurement of life and experience. Who would have believed that a global pandemic, COVID-19, should interfere with this fast-moving accelerated world with such a sudden and in itself accelerated force? Whole industries—which prior to this crisis were regarded as unstoppable economic and cultural necessities—have come to a standstill (to paraphrase a keynote paper authored by Pablo Oyarzun, in issue 1). The consequences of this pandemic are unfathomable—manifold and complex—and still unfolding. In many places of the world it is tearing communities apart, causing grief, anxiety, vast unemployment, poverty, and a glooming and uncertain future. In almost every place of the world, itdisrupts plans for a future, crushes dreams and alters our usual ways of working, socializing, commuting and our habits of doing so, prompting for new, “more hygienic” cultural practices. In any case, the pandemic has only proven the centrality of the topic of measuring and acceleration, relevant in even more pertinent ways; yet none we had foreseen. Measuring and calculating are tools of immense value and profound human consequence during the pandemic. The accelerated race between pharmaceutical companies serve us well, and each break of a new chain of infection can save lives, and restrictions as well as their abolition rest upon mathematical calculations of risk and projected infection rates, compared up against hospital capacity, vaccination speed, etc. Yet, it is likely that the pandemic was itself largely caused by accelerated agricultural production and spread by intensified traffic; it is possible that the commercial structure of ‘big pharma’ obstructs disease control at a global level, and we are in more need than ever of a: “social epidemiology in alliance with the vulnerable and marginalized ”to paraphrase a plea presented by keynote Uffe Juul Jensen (issue 2). So, measuring and accelerating continuously plays an enormous role in both, the suffering and the potential overcoming of our agony during this pandemic, as keynote Dorte Marie Søndergaard (issue 1) and keynote Ann Phoenix (issue 2)point out—these technologies are not neutral tools of application, but part of the thinking technologies that intra-act for better and for worse
Bidragets oversatte titelmålte liv: psykologi i accelerationens tidsalder
TidsskriftInternational Review of Theoretical Psychologies
Sider (fra-til)1-4
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - maj 2021
BegivenhedMeasured Lives-Psychology in an Era of Acceleration - Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 19 aug. 201923 aug. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 18


KonferenceMeasured Lives-Psychology in an Era of Acceleration
LokationDanish School of Education, Aarhus University

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