City Research Online

Towards an Ontology of Contemporary Reality?

Susen, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-0643-1891 (2023). Towards an Ontology of Contemporary Reality?. Theory, Culture & Society, 40(7-8), pp. 33-55. doi: 10.1177/02632764221143943


The main purpose of this paper is to provide a critical overview of the key contributions made by Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre in Qu’est-ce que l’actualité politique? Événements et opinions aux XXIe siècle. Whereas Enrichment: A Critique of Commodities is essentially a study in economic sociology, Boltanski and Esquerre’s latest book reflects a shift in emphasis towards political sociology. As demonstrated in this paper, their inquiry into the ontologie de l’actualité – that is, the ontology of contemporary reality – contains valuable insights into the relationship between the production, circulation, and consumption of news, on the one hand, and the emergence of processes of politicization, on the other. The first half of this paper comprises a summary of the central arguments developed in Boltanski and Esquerre’s investigation, before moving, in the second half, to an assessment of its most significant limitations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page ( © The Author(s) 2023.
Publisher Keywords: actualité, Luc Boltanski, Arnaud Esquerre, news, ontology, politicization, reality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Susen Simon (2023) 'Towards an Ontology of Contemporary Reality' Theory Culture  Society 40(7-8) 33-55.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (417kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login