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Tzanelli, R (2012) Ressentiment. In: The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell . ISBN 1405188243


The term ressentiment originates in Friedrich Nietzsche's (Leipzig, 1969/1887) historical analysis of morals and describes a constraining sociocultural condition that brews a feeling directed against powerful agents. Nietzsche's French terminology reflects the context in which he developed his theory (nineteenth-century European concerns about civilization decline, and the nationalization of Franco–German political conflict). The German and French models of habitus rationalization served as an ideal type in Elias's Civilising Process (1982) that forms part of the history of European modernity. Ressentiment combines an awareness of powerlessness vis-à-vis hierarchical power with the hope of an imaginary vengeance to compensate for this impotence. The latter allows space for “transvaluation” to happen, as resentful subjects convince themselves that the desired values of those they resent are worthless. Nietzsche used the example of the Palestinian Jewish rabbis whose “divine role” clashed with the political and physical power of their Roman conquerors. To compensate for this status dissonance, the Jewish nobility constructed their own spiritual values as superior to the material power of their Roman masters.

Item Type: Book Section
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 10:47
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 13:02
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9780470670590
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Identification Number: 10.1002/9780470670590
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43391

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