Radical Relevances: Linking the Unlinked, Thinking the Unthought
Radical Relevances is a transdisciplinary forum of what is genuinely important – radically relevant – for people in their life-world.
Life-world is a world that is lived and experienced – it is as much corporeal, sensed, imagined, as it is epistemological and rational.
Peer reviewed Radical Relevances Journal aims to open such a broad research field into cross-disciplinary focus.
Studying what is relevant requires, from the outset, research transcending the narrow disciplinary frontiers, simply because peoples’ life-world does not know such frontiers. In contemporary academia one objective is to promote trans- and interdisciplinary research. However, those researchers who truly are engaged in crossing and transcending disciplinary borders and whose work straddles several scientific traditions tend to fall through the cracks of academic accreditation systems. There is a lack of peer-reviewed journals that are committed to evaluation, appreciation and publication of such transdisciplinary work. There is also a lack of journals that are committed to specifically seek out research that would be valuable to transdisciplinary work for others. Radical Relevance is committed to catering to both of these needs, and also thrives to establish a common language between disciplines as well as between them and the non-academic spheres.
The world is changing fast through real and observable large-scale and long-term processes such as financialization, virtualization, gamification, continuing expansion of the extractive frontier, population growth, global migration, accumulation of various types of pollution in the atmosphere, watersheds and landscapes, growing local and global inequality, increase of corporate power in national and international policymaking, and peoples’ alienation from the natural environment. Yet, such insidious developments taking place in the world are most often little more than an intellectual issue void of pragmatic relevance for the ordinary urban people. Such phenomena cannot be directly experienced because they involve spatial and temporal dimensions incommensurate with the pragmatics of the everyday life: they are slow enough to be normalized even though they increasingly impact the structures of the life-worlds. The proliferation of telecommunication devices in the daily life, for instance, takes place rather uneventfully and yet has a massive impact in the life-worlds. It has become clear that inundating people with information of climate change and imposing scientists’ relevances to the masses through various media is not enough nor adequate, for instance, in order to radically mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions.
A pertinent undercurrent of the journal to understand and unmask such broad insidious processes in contemporary world is to see these processes through the eyes of the common, yet distinctly located people in different parts of the world. What are these issues and events like in the experience of a person during everyday life, while on the street, in the office, or home? In general, how important, how relevant are different material and immaterial events, things and courses of action in the activity of daily life? What has been and yet is largely neglected in social scientific inquiries are the direct experiences, feelings and other nonrational and non-linguistic issues of life that, in spite of the neglect, form an essential category of phenomena to be understood. Radical Relevances proposes to go beyond the rational or rationalized to the actual relevances underlying human activity. Such a focus requires not only more attention to the life-worlds, but also novel methodologies and research designs. How to study the relevances of certain objective development that escape the sensory equipment of the individual in the lived world of an individual?
Having better understood the unconscious, the pragmatic and the habitual, we can start to think how to communicate objectively relevant ideas to people so that they become relevant in their life-world. While in natural and life sciences results of research percolate relatively well from the academic peer-reviewed journals to the practitioners (e.g., engineers, medical doctors) this is not so in the social sciences, results of which have to compete even with the most shallow populist arguments in mass medias and social medias alike. With notable exceptions of economics and administrative sciences, a structural issue within social sciences is that there are no well-defined groups of practitioners. A major target audience is the heterogeneous groups of the general public that have seldom willingness or capability to absorb and assimilate the results of social scientific research, even though such results would involve relevant issues in terms of the structures of their life-worlds. The radically different relevances of social scientist and the ordinary citizens have to be acknowledged in order to attempt to bridge such gap.
Against such a backdrop, the purpose of the journal is to offer a genuinely interdisciplinary discourse arena for urgent and radically important contemporary problems for social and natural scientists, artists, philosophers and activists. While the journal aims at serious denormalization of the status quo, even more important will be to seek and theorize answers and resolutions to the urgent and massive problems that humanity faces. We provide space both for conventional textual presentations, that is, peer-reviewed articles, but as well audiovisual materials – upon request as peer-reviewed publications – and organize symposiums, exhibitions and performances that help to see both the most ordinary and the most extraordinary. An underlying aim of the journal is to translate ancient wisdoms and alternative practices of production, distribution, re-distribution, recycling, and organization of social relations, emotional and spiritual forces, needs and urges, identification and affectivities through research into pragmatic action, spanning from more conventional policy implications to actual organizing for transformations needed in the contemporary era.