February 14, 2020
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Haines 279

Roi Livne is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, and the title of his paper is "Toward a Sociology of Finitude: Life, Death, and the Question of Limits".

Progressing beyond the given has been a key modern tendency. Yet modern societies are currently facing the problem of how to delineate limits on progress, expansion, and growth, live within them, and preserve (rather than transcend) the present. Drawing on economic sociology scholarship on valuation and morality in economic life, this article develops and applies the term economization to analyze the enactment of limits on progress. The question of end-of-life care, which manifests in attempts to determine when medical efforts to prolong life, postpone death, and advance the scientific frontier should stop, serves me as an illustrative empirical case that sheds light on the setting of limits and economization processes in general.