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碎片化的世界:如何把握一个流动的社会

——2018年欧洲学术剪影

 

马惠娣

 

欧洲,每年的夏季,学术集中绽放的季节——研讨、对话、交流、反思、批判、质疑——每一个主题都那么锐利、鲜活、丰富——真可谓百花齐放,百家争鸣会议是一个很好的公共空间,既是乌托邦,也是异托邦;时间在这里终止,也在这里重新开始。是福柯另类空间的一部分。

正因为如此,夏季各种主题和各种类型的会议暑期学校游学旅行成为欧洲最绚丽的风景。

在各类会议讯息中,我与生活在流动的社会中Living in a Liquid Society我们正处在凝聚与分裂之间的社会变革中The Social Transformations We Live in: Between Cohesion and Fragmentation)两个主题一见钟情

 

 

生活在流动的社会中,蒂米什瓦拉、罗马尼亚

Living in a Liquid Society Timisoara, Romania

 

  英国著名社会学家齐格蒙特·鲍曼曾出版过《流动的生活》和《流动的时代》等多部著述,指出当代社会是充满变数、缺乏稳定性的生活,生活于流动的现代社会中的人们不得不应对诸多挑战。而创造性毁灭是流动生活的时尚方式,伴随人的是挥之不去的焦虑……。鲍曼从消费现象切入,对消费带来的新社会关系的重构,对政治社会的消解进行了分析与批判。鲍曼被誉为当代最具原创思想的社会学家之一

罗马尼亚社会学学会第五届国际会议选中生活在流动的社会中Living in a Liquid Society为大会主题,正是对齐格蒙特鲍曼思想的回应。

 

生活在流动的社会开幕式

 

这次会议的宗旨:我们的生活正处在一个流动的社会中,高流动性与永久性正成为社会变革的互动关系模式,仍强而有力地配置在社会结构和社会制度中。坚实的现代性问题仍然伴随着它在时间上的明确定义和稳定的价值观,以其内在的可预测性去发现社会现实的深层含义。但是,流动的社会正在取代它,对现代性提出质疑,流动的社会正在改变传统,寻找新的道路,不停探索替代方案。为了理解这种新的社会空间聚集形式,不仅需要新的方法论工具,而且需要放弃与当代流动性格格不入的某些心理模式。

那么,不久的将来世界会是什么样子?更遥远的未来呢?国家危机和意识形态危机能被克服吗?社区的理念能被重新发现吗?我们能概括人生知道什么是我们不想要的(而不是我们想要的)?我们准备好迎接新经济了吗?中期内移民的影响是什么?高技术化和超级链接会使我们的生活更多的社会化或是更孤僻?我们如何在流动的社会状态中生存?这是通往一个新的社会范式的途径,还是范式本身?对于这些问题,罗马尼亚社会学学者们提出并思考。看了这些问题,不能不让人怦然心动。

在我们的主观理解中,罗马尼亚属于欧洲不发达的国家。但是他们的社会学家却有着敏锐的洞察时代的意识。这也就不难理解在社会发展方面对于节欲贪欲有着不同的理解,以及不同的追求目标。

罗马尼亚社会学协会第五届国际会议2018914-15日蒂米什瓦拉西部大学(West University of Timisoara, Romania)举行。来自全球约几十个国家的学者300余人出席了会议。大家分别从不同的视角和学科背景,围绕着生活在流动的社会中的主题发表了各自的见解。

大会会场邀请了伦敦学院大学戴维·沃斯教授主讲了宗教的衰落,从对多国的调查中得出结论,认为宗教的衰落是全球性的现象,而欧洲的形势尤其严峻。他通过数据统计得出结论说,社会经济发展程度与宗教信仰并不平行。信仰指数高,意味着幸福感高。笔者注意到,在信仰指数的统计表中,菲律宾人的信仰指数最高。在提问环节,我问沃斯教授这是否意味着菲律宾人的幸福感最高,他并没有给出一个清晰和确定的回答。

科隆大学赫尔曼·丢勒米尔教授主讲了社会学调查方法,主要介绍了从变量群中提取共性因子的统计技术方法。

布达佩斯大学考斯玛·如歌海尼丝教授主讲:年龄算法,从心理学的视角观察了老龄化社会的问题。

巴塞罗马大学约瑟卢兹·莫丽纳教授主讲整体的,个人的还是自我中心的网络?我们对个人网络知多少?这为什么是一个问题?依据流动的社会这一概念,对整体的、个体的,以及以自我为中心的网络做了分析,他主张个人网络更适合于对新兴社会结构的研究。

罗马尼亚生活质量研究院研究员道哥丹·沃一库主讲了从双重风险社会到非自由民主的道路——以东欧社会变迁为例,回顾了过去四五十年的社会变化。他认为,目前的情况可能看起来像是一种平衡,但会留下来吗?还是会演变成一个不同的方向?他的答案是,现有的理论及其不断创新的标签可以有效地用于解释现实世界。

会议还有十余个分议题研讨。笔者参与了老龄化社会与流动的社会两个分论坛的讨论,并提交了相关论文和摘要。一篇题目为:流动的生活将把人带向哪里?另一篇题目为中国老龄化社会的现状与面对的挑战。(详细见附件)

蒂米什瓦拉是罗马尼亚西部地区与塞尔维亚接壤的一个小城,说来交通并不便利,即使欧洲过来的人,大多不能直达,何况从其他洋洲过来的人,路上都是花了很长、很费周折地到达。我说这个问题的意思是,欧美人对学术的热情是他们生活方式中的一部分,是建构社会体系的一部分,是他们旅行的目的,甚至不惜费尽周折。

在会场碰见了来自香港中文大学的日本留学生和来自比利时某大学的中国研究生,他们都是获得了学校的资助前来参会。没见到其他亚洲人的面孔。

蒂米什瓦拉是一个不错的小城,老旧城区依然完整地被保留,一条河穿城而过,沿着河两岸是市民休闲度假的场所。市中心标志性的建筑是东正教大教堂。我在这里正好赶上对警察与消防人员的圣戒活动,一睹大主教的神威,聆听了他们演唱天籁般的天堂圣歌。这里也聚集了多所大学,文化底蕴相当醇厚。这里的人很质朴,也很善良,我在这里还结识了一位新女儿安得妮娜——在我乘错车的时候,她一直把我送到酒店。我邀她到房间落座,我们交谈了一个多小时。她的英语很好,管理学硕士研究生毕业,为了照顾曾长期抚养她的外公外婆她放弃了继续求学的念头。大会结束后的那个晚上,她陪伴我浏览了街心公园,欣赏了在那里举行的演唱会,逛了小吃一条街。还告诉我那些极好的建筑都是吉普赛人在百年前买下的。

这些都是会议之外的收获,因而也使得我的旅行体验那么地丰富多彩。不仅收获了学术思想,也体味到了一个城市和城市中的人的美好。

 

蒂米什瓦拉东正教大教堂的神父们

 

 

我们正处在凝聚与分裂之间的社会变革中

新戈里察(Nova Gorica),斯洛文尼亚

 

第二个会议:我们正处在凝聚与分裂之间的社会变革中The Social Transformations We Live in: Between Cohesion and Fragmentation),由欧洲社会学学会(RN26)和联合国教科文组织斯洛文尼亚委员会社会变革项目管委会共同主办,斯洛文尼亚新戈里察高级社会研究学院承办。

新戈里察(Nova Gorica)位于斯洛文尼亚的西部,毗邻意大利城市戈尔齐亚。参会人数不多,总共五十余人,分别来自欧洲十几个国家。人虽不多,但参加讨论的热情很高、专注度也很高。

 

新戈尔察大会会场

 

会议的范围和关注的问题是:我们目睹了我们生活的世界中矛盾和复杂的倾向,它在许多领域变得支离破碎。与此同时,全球市场化、跨国组织形式的不断兴起,以及超国家政治联盟都暗示着统一与同质化。全球趋势越来越使我们的世界相互联系和相互依存。这些相互依赖性要求更大的协调、整合和凝聚力,但它们很难被认为是理所当然的。与此同时,政策议程的主导,扭曲了经济互助的观点,助长了不平等,并破坏了世界各地区的社会稳定。这不仅是社会不同部分之间巨大不平等现象的持续模式,而且是政治制度对遭受当前状况之苦的人民的关切已无动于衷,这越来越令人沮丧。

我们是否生活在一个似乎相互排斥的时代?当第一个(排除)正迅速成为机械地诉诸的例行措施时,内部选择就呈现出更多的惯性力量,这可能涉及社会生活和政治生活的许多方面,并引发许多问题。欧盟在言辞承诺的整合和现实世界行动之间一直处于停顿状态,这表明,在大多数国家看来,政治仍然适当地存在于民族国家内部。大规模移民和相关的跨文化接触可以产生富有成效和互利的跨文化做法;然而,它们可能被用来促进种族隔离、歧视、原教旨主义和极端主义。信息和数字革命在这里难道会成为社会整合或新的社会鸿沟的决定性因素吗?人们如何团结?新出现的分歧是什么?个体化能被看作是凝聚力和团结的基础吗,亦或成为原子化分裂的一个因素?有哪些力量或思想能够确保一个和平与繁荣的社会,并充分整合,使之充满相互合作的精神?东欧和中欧地区的研究可以揭示什么样的变化?它们究竟会导致凝聚力还是碎片化?还是两者兼而有之?我们现在面临基本矛盾是什么?会议希望介绍东西方社会、北半球或南半球,以更广博的视角,通过个别案例研究,应用各种理论,包括定性、定量和混合的研究方法。

与会者们都操着不同口音的英语,听起来十分费力。

有幸结识了英国开放大学艺术与社会科学学院环境地理学系高级讲师皮特·克莱尼敦斯特博士,他作为大会主旨演讲者,做了将人格尊严理念融入教育过程学术报告。他通过对加利福尼亚和斯洛文尼亚两个调查案例说明,青少年在成长过程中接收人格尊严理念的教育对日后人生影响重大,学校发挥着重要作用。他在另一场报告中还讲了自产时蔬home growth food)问题。会后与我谈到:希望与中国学者共同进行这个方面的合作研究。他告诉我,已经对捷克、匈牙利、波兰、克罗地亚做了问卷调查。他认为这个问题涉及到环境保护、静悄悄地可持续发展(quiet sustainability),赞同日常物质环境主义everyday material environmentalism’Schlosberg and Coles 2016)。我们在这些方面取得了共识,也初步达成了合作的意向。

还结识了来自在牛津大学读书的华裔加拿大学生杰西·董,她用布鲁诺·拉图尔的行动者网络理论,并通过对柏林难民游考察,探索了时空对难民的融合问题。说来,很专业,很深奥。也看得出年轻学子对社会学理论在实践中运用的技巧和社会学学者洞察社会的能力。她是会场上唯一一个有亚裔面孔的女孩。在攀谈中得知她出生在加拿大,父母均在九十年初移民加拿大,并给予她非常好的教育,现在在牛津大学读书。遗憾的是她不会讲中文,气质、神态均西方化。她发言结束后我送给她四个英文词:confident, natural, fluent and easiness(自信、自然、流畅、从容)。看得出来她受到了极好的教育,包括家庭教育,以及严格的学术训练,为之塑造出不同的人格魅力和行为举止。

 

牛津大学杰西董在发言

 

有趣的是,我回到家不久,竟收到了来自她的父亲写来的邮件,告知我与他的女儿在会上相遇,并有一个愉快的交流。她的父亲还饶有兴趣地阅读了我的网站(www.chineseleisure.org),并称对休闲研究十分感兴趣。他在邮件中写到:随意点开一篇‘2017欧洲游学杂记,一气读完(差点误了上班时间)……,读来非常享受,谢谢(说老实话,过去的30年中,接触中文读物不多)!

这些会场内、外的花絮很激荡人心。无论是与皮特·克莱尼敦斯特博士的相遇,还是与杰西·董的相识,甚至延伸至与她父亲的神交都充满了美好。显然,在碎片化的世界中,我们每个个体依然可以沟通友谊,相互团结,加强合作。福柯强调的公共空间,其中的意义不就在此吗!

新戈里察是斯洛文尼亚最年轻的城镇,2017年它庆祝了第七十个生日。这是一个气候温和,常年绿树成荫,年轻、活泼,对来自世界各地的游客十分友好的小城。它与意大利的边界城市戈尔齐亚相连,而且相互没有设立边界过境检查,两个城市在各个层面上都生活在巨大的共存中,这是欧洲独特的例子。我在这里租到了自行车,虽然没有带护照,工作人员还是信任地把车租给了我。我骑着那辆红色的自行车漫游了新戈里察全城;还穿越边界到意大利一侧的戈尔齐亚市,在那里的市中心的咖啡馆喝了咖啡。

会议选择在这里召开,别具了一番意味。在这里也意味着世界的凝聚还大有希望!

不得不介绍斯洛文尼亚新戈里察高级社会研究学院,虽然规模很小,名声也不大,但是培养出不少专攻术业的博士。这里鼓励思想创新,鼓励另类或前沿选题。我与在这里读博士的安德烈有一个交谈,得知学术氛围相当自由,课程设置多元。我说小的是美好的(舒马赫)。大家都会心一笑,十分认同。

会议起源于古希腊的集会与公共演讲,目的是发出不同的声音,质疑权威的思想,寻求真理的答案。这个传统在西方保持至今。每年到欧洲来分享,对人生、对事业、对生活都是一种难得的福分。

 

意大利与斯洛文尼亚的边界

 

 

 

附录:马惠娣参会论文摘要

 

Share to session of  EXPLORING AGEING AND OLD AGE IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIESDr. Adriana Teodorescu Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (adriana.teodorescu@gmail.com)Prof.univ.dr. Dan Chiribucă, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (danchiribuca@gmail.com)

 

Aging Society in China: Current Status and Challenges

Ma Huidi

Indeed, Ageing is an extremely diverse, complex and multi-layered process, especially in a liquid social context. It’s only 27 years for China to become an aging society. There are now nearly 250 million people aged over 60 in the country, and that aging population is expected to reach 300 million by 2025. The subsequent 20 years will be more rapid increase.

“Getting old before getting rich” is a prominent feature of today’s Chinese society, which brings all-round challenges to the country. The survey data shows

Among the households of people aged 65 and over, 150 million elderly people suffer from one or more diseases; 51 million are “empty-nesters”; 5.56% suffer from Alzheimer’s disease; more than 1 million families are lone families (elderly people whose only child died before them); more than 47 million are old widows and widowers; and 30.67 million are over 80 years of age, who are long-lived but not healthy.

The elderly population puts a tremendous burden on the Chinese family with the 4:2:1 structure (a unique family structure of four elderly people, a young couple and one child as a result of implementation of one-child policy), creating enormous economic and psychological pressures, then also conflicts with the traditional Chinese principles of “raising children to provide for old age.”

Different elderly groups have different lifestyles, and the common feature is that generally have more free time. But there is a serious shortage of public facilities for the elderly people in recreational activities, and the public services in rural areas are especially inadequate. 

There’s no doubt that the urgent and serious issues of the aging population in China are not only constraining the future economic development of the country, but also cause conflict with the traditional Chinese morals and ethics as well. Two possible solutions to the issue are: 1. the future economy must be tilted toward the aged industry, such as training of the medicare personnel, improving the home-living facilities, establishing community-based rehabilitation system, providing easy access for medical treatment, and balancing the urban and rural elderly care, etc.; 2. measures must be taken such as the establishment of the re-education system for the elderly, re-use of the skills of the relatively younger section of the population, reasonable split and exploitation of the leisure time, re-understanding of the values of the elderly, cultivation of independence awareness for the elderly, and development of healthy living styles. They should all be among top agendas of the government economic policies and development.

Based on demographic analysis, this paper will present the current status of the aging society in China and challenges. In addition, it deliberates on the traditional mode of thinking among elderly population and its negative influence and raises questions on the orientation of the contemporary public opinion propaganda by the media. 

Key wordsaging in China, recent status, challenges, questions

 

 

 

 

Session of  LIVING IN A LIQUID SOCIETY, LIVING IN TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL FIELDS Living in a Liquid Society14th – 15thSeptember 2018, West University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania

 

Where will the liquid life take us?

 

Ma Huidi

 

Abstract

 

The characteristic of a “liquid life” is a life in an uncertain and unstable environment, with no explicit destinations and no specific goals. It comes from multiple forces of social movements in modern society. With the advent of modernity, globalization and integration, the whole world is more and more shaped by rapid expansion of bureaucratic politics, bombardment of overwhelming knowledge and information, ever fading religious beliefs and traditional customs, paradox of increasingly intimate and distant human relationships, fragmentation of time and space, as well as intensifying social mobility. Industrialization, urbanization, bureaucracy, secularization, and elitism have become the bywords of the modern society. On one hand, technology explosion has facilitated the rapid growth and spread of new ideas and thoughts with stunning speed and volume, influencing and overtaking one another; on the other hand, the economy and the fate of the billions of the people in the world have fallen into the hands of oligarchs, political brokers and commercial monstrosities, who account for only one percent of the world’s population as a whole.

Facing this technology empire, people are easily bewildered, like a small boat adrift in a vast sea, knowing not whither to go. While anxiety and fear always loom over the human beings, “beautiful dreams” and opportunities keep popping up, tempting people to constantly seek illusory freedom and imaginary liberation.

Liquid life is a reflection of an objective reality that comes from enormous historical changes. It is a specific life experience that people must undergo on “absolutely modern” terms. At the same time, it is a way for people to savor and be conscious of the intricacies between time and space, self and others, as well as between possibilities & challenges.

Globalization and modernization has become an irreversible trend, with its crisscrossing currents and countercurrents of separation and cooperation, confrontation and reconciliation, confusion and trauma. From west to east, from modern to contemporary times, it spreads in a familial open concept fashion and in the process becomes the focal point of social and individual conflicts and confrontations on many levels. 

Years ago, in many of his books such as Liquid Life and Globalization: The Human Consequences, Zygmunt Bauman made thorough and meticulous observations on and analysis of the present state of the liquid life, voicing his concerns over the future of human beings, which resonated among intellectuals as well as led to debates. People are sympathetic towards his idealistic concepts of the genuine global obligations and the importance of giving up over owning, but question the solutions he has prescribed such as unity, law, regulations, order, and self-education, for they sound anemic and powerless, lacking concrete means of putting them to patn.

This article attempts to explore, against a Chinese background, crisis of humanity behind a seemingly prosperous society, gap between ideology and reality, big divide between intellectual thoughts and ideas and those of common folks, and conflicts between rule of law and rule by ethics. From the perspective of an intellectual, the article will try to answer the questions on the direction and consequences of the liquid life.

The following questions will also be raised: e.g. where will the future human life be? What kind of breakthroughs can we anticipate in terms of cognitive methodology? What contributions will scholars of the humanities be able to make?

 

Key wordsliquid life      future directions   seeking prescription   probing methodology

 

 

 

 

 

The Social Transformations We Live in: Between Cohesion and Fragmentation”

September 20-22, 2018, Nova Gorica, Slovenia

 

“The Belt and Road” in the Fragmented World

 

Ma Huidi

 

Abstract

“The Belt and Road” (B&R) was the cooperation initiative of China’s President Xi Jinping’s “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in 2013. It aims at relying on the existing bilateral and multilateral mechanisms of China and other countries to carry out a form of regional cooperation or economic partnerships with countries along the route to jointly build a community of interests, common interests, community of political mutual trust, economic integration, cultural inclusion and responsibility community.

According to the Data provided by the Chinese Government: since the “Belt and Road” economic zone opened, have applied for accession by 71 countries and 3000 projects were approved. It has passed through 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe by the end of 2017: (Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia). By the end of 2017, 3271 trains were running between China and Europe with 57 lines, and opening cities in China's domestic reached 35 starting stations, for connecting 34 European cities in 12 countries.

Would this "Cooperation Initiative" really achieve the purpose of win-win cooperation, economic mutual benefit, political mutual trust and cultural integration? As far as progress is concerned, the participating countries are full of expectations for economic mutual benefit. However, the suspicion, and even the voice of opposition, has also risen in some participating countries.

Therefore, as a scholar, we must rationally consider some problems, such as: how to assess the role of “B&R “in globalization and free trade? how to look upon the bridging effect of “B&R “on the fragmented world? how to improve the cooperative mechanism of "B&R "and so on. But what are the deep reasons for the fragmented world? And what force can be relied on to solve the fragmented world? This paper will explore these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and also hope to learn from the insights of European scholars.

Key words: The Belt and Road, Cooperation and win-win, the deep reasons for the fragmented world

 

 

 
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