Homo Politicus: On Politics and Passion
MetadataShow full item record
Based on over two year's worth of ethnographic research, this dissertation seeks to identify the specific sensibilities and forms of skillful coping that politicos develop through their immersion in the universe of politics, and which characterize them as competent political agents. Rather than any one thing or set of things that politicos learn, it argues that these competencies exist in the holistic way in which politicos come to engage with or be involved with the political universe and its overarching regularities. More specifically, it argues that in the guise of a high-powered factor analysis there are three basic ground-level preconceptual orientations and/or dynamics that serve as the major axes or vectors which structure politicos' involvement with the universe of politics (1) an orientation towards connecting-with-the-world-out-there (2) an attraction to the oppositional dynamics of the political environment, and (3) an appreciation that their actions are judged not from the perspective of a familiar-few but from the perspective of an unfamiliar-many in-the-world-out-there. Over time, these ground-level orientations come to define politicos' habitual involvement with the universe of politics, and as such, they come to jointly serve as the context or perspective out of which politicos understand or perceive political life. Ultimately, it argues that the skillful coping of politicos is a product of their aiming for and maintenance of maximal grip, as described by Merleau-Ponty, amid this evolving configuration of involvements.