bourgeois-academic discourse

ebrahim

Senior Member
Persian
"Verification of the facts, nuance, decorum, and “criteria of humanitarianism and beauty”—in other words, all the guiding values of cultivated, bourgeois-academic discourse—are deemed irrelevant, consigned to a self-satisfied world apart, and subjected to ridicule."

On Hitler's Mein Kampf, Albrecht Koschorke

Hello,
The whole sentence being vague and incomprehensible to me, I especially do not understand 'bourgeois-academic discourse'. Would you please share your understanding?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Discourse" broadly describes that which is debated or discussed: Here, it is the topics, ideas, conventions, and even mores of bourgeois academics.
    Not "bourgeois academics", I think. The hyphen suggests to me that it is discourse of both academics and members of the bourgeoisie, a pejorative term whose precise meaning depends on who is saying it. It could well simply mean the middle classes.
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I have to make the point that it is 'academic' not 'academics'. I see you both are talking about academics, so it may change the way you see it.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Not "bourgeois academics", I think. The hyphen suggests to me that it is discourse of both academics and members of the bourgeoisie, a pejorative term whose precise meaning depends on who is saying it. It could well simply mean the middle classes.
    That is a highly plausible interpretation that may better fit the hyphenated construction.

    I did catch myself wondering why the upper-class academics were being ignored.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have to make the point that it is 'academic' not 'academics'. I see you both are talking about academics, so it may change the way you see it.
    Not in my case. "Bourgeois-academic" functions as an adjective, clearly referring to people since you need people to have a discourse. You need to convert the term (or each term) into the appropriate plural noun.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This is starting to get into definitions of ideas espoused by different political movements which could fill whole books. As Uncle Jack says, "it is...a pejorative term whose precise meaning depends on who is saying it."

    But I think, broadly speaking, he is referring to a particular segment of society that tends to be educated and reasonably wealthy and has "good manners" and their discourse is the concerns they have and which they discuss amongst themselves that relate to being in that socioeconomic level of society. They don't necessarily know or think about the problems of other, especially poorer and less educated, members of society and would even look down on them as inferior for being less educated and not as refined. You could say he thinks people like that are living in a type of bubble that is cut off from the rest of humanity.

    In English we have a phrase for academics who don't seem to understand or relate to regular people. We say they are living in an ivory tower (i.e. in a separate world).

    Hitler was saying that he considers these people irrelevant to the future he envisions. In his future they won't have the power and their concerns won't be the main concerns of society like they are now. It's a roundabout way of saying he doesn't value politeness and good manners but other, in his mind, more fundamental things instead.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top