The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social

The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social

Book rating: 04 Paperback

Edited by Patricia Ticineto Clough, With Jean Halley, Foreword by Michael Hardt

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  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 234mm x 20mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 25 July 2007
  • Publication City/Country: North Carolina
  • ISBN 10: 0822339250
  • ISBN 13: 9780822339250
  • Sales rank: 128,911

Product description

"The innovative essays in this volume . . . demonstrat[e] the potential of the perspective of the affects in a wide range of fields and with a variety of methodological approaches. Some of the essays . . . use fieldwork to investigate the functions of affects--among organized sex workers, health care workers, and in the modeling industry. Others employ the discourses of microbiology, thermodynamics, information sciences, and cinema studies to rethink the body and the affects in terms of technology. Still others explore the affects of trauma in the context of immigration and war. And throughout all the essays run serious theoretical reflections on the powers of the affects and the political possibilities they pose for research and practice."--Michael Hardt, from the forewordIn the mid-1990s, scholars turned their attention toward the ways that ongoing political, economic, and cultural transformations were changing the realm of the social, specifically that aspect of it described by the notion of affect: pre-individual bodily forces, linked to autonomic responses, which augment or diminish a body's capacity to act or engage with others. This "affective turn" and the new configurations of bodies, technology, and matter that it reveals, is the subject of this collection of essays. Scholars based in sociology, cultural studies, science studies, and women's studies illuminate the movement in thought from a psychoanalytically informed criticism of subject identity, representation, and trauma to an engagement with information and affect; from a privileging of the organic body to an exploration of nonorganic life; and from the presumption of equilibrium-seeking closed systems to an engagement with the complexity of open systems under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Taken together, these essays suggest that attending to the affective turn is necessary to theorizing the social."Contributors." Jamie "Skye" Bianco, Grace M. Cho, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Melissa Ditmore, Ariel Ducey, Deborah Gambs, Karen Wendy Gilbert, Greg Goldberg, Jean Halley, Hosu Kim, David Staples, Craig Willse, Elizabeth Wissinger, Jonathan R. Wynn

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Author information

Patricia Ticineto Clough is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College of the City University of New York. She is the author of "Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology";" The End(s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism"; and "Feminist Thought: Desire, Power and Academic Discourse."Jean Halley is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wagner College in New York City. She is the author of "The Boundaries of Touch: Social Power, Parenting, and Adult-Child Intimacy" (forthcoming).

Customer reviews

By margaret crean 07 Mar 2011 4

a book not for a relaxing read as it is pretty heavy - suited for someone studying the field of feminism or sociology and has a background already. it is a good book for those in the feld as the chapter approach means that you get a new view and style of writing each time. well recommended

Review quote

"The innovative essays in this volume ... demonstrat[e] the potential of the perspective of the affects in a wide range of fields and with a variety of methodological approaches. Some of the essays ... use fieldwork to investigate the functions of affects--among organized sex workers, health care workers, and in the modeling industry. Others employ the discourses of microbiology, thermodynamics, information sciences, and cinema studies to rethink the body and the affects in terms of technology. Still others explore the affects of trauma in the context of immigration and war. And throughout all the essays run serious theoretical reflections on the powers of the affects and the political possibilities they pose for research and practice."--Michael Hardt, from the foreword "From the trauma of cultural displacement to the political economy of affective labor, the essays brought together here examine the many facets of affect, focusing on its consequences for theories of the social and well-informed by recent rethinkings of power. Expertly framed by Patricia Clough's introduction, the volume presents a diversity of voices engaged in a shared exploration of the conceptual landscape stretching beyond the bend of 'the affective turn.'"--Brian Massumi, author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation "Framed by Patricia Ticineto Clough's stunning essay, this collection weaves together many of the most profound changes that have characterized not only critical scholarship in the human sciences for the last thirty-five years or so but the social, political, and economic changes that describe the world as 'glocal'--the entwined and so-fast linking of the stubborn and material 'hereness' of life as lived and breathed, on the one hand, and an array of forces and practices spanning place and time marked by terms such as technoscience, telecommunications, flexible accumulation, and molecularization, on the other."--Joseph Schneider, author of Donna Haraway: Live Theory

Back cover copy

"From the trauma of cultural displacement to the political economy of affective labor, the essays brought together here examine the many facets of affect, focusing on its consequences for theories of the social and well-informed by recent rethinkings of power. Expertly framed by Patricia Clough's introduction, the volume presents a diversity of voices engaged in a shared exploration of the conceptual landscape stretching beyond the bend of 'the affective turn.'"--Brian Massumi, author of "Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation"