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Journal Cover Theory, Culture & Society
   [180 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 0263-2764 - ISSN (Online) 1460-3616
     Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [743 journals]   [SJR: 1.233]   [H-I: 44]
  • Toward a New Theory of Waste: From 'Matter out of Place' to Signs of Life
    • Authors: Reno; J. O.
      Pages: 3 - 27
      Abstract: This paper offers a counterpoint to the prevailing account of waste in the human sciences. This account identifies waste, firstly, as the anomalous product of arbitrary social categorizations, or ‘matter out of place’, and, secondly, as a distinctly human way of leaving behind and interpreting traces, or a mirror of culture. Together, these positions reflect a more or less constructivist and anthropocentric approach. Most commonly, waste is placed within a framework that privileges considerations of meaning over materiality and the threat of death over the perpetuity of life processes. For an alternative I turn to bio-semiotics and cross-species scholarship around the question of the animal. Specifically, the paper asks what theories of waste would look like if instead of taking ‘dirt’ as their starting point, they began with trans-species encounters with animal scat. Following bio-semiotics and efforts to deconstruct the animal/human binary, it is suggested that the objectual forms commonly referred to as ‘waste’ are not arbitrarily classified but purposefully expended, and thus symptomatic of life’s spatio-temporal continuation. Waste matter, therefore, is best construed not as anthropocentric but as semi-biotic: a sign of the form of life to which it once belonged. This alternative perspective has implications for how approaches to industrial forms of mass waste can be reconceived.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276413500999|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276413500999
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • Race, Time and Folded Objects: The HeLa Error
    • Authors: M'charek; A.
      Pages: 29 - 56
      Abstract: Given their commitment to practices, science studies have bestowed considerable attention upon objects. We have the boundary object, the standardized package, the network object, the immutable mobile, the fluid object, even a fire object has entered the scene. However, these objects do not provide us with a way of understanding their historicity. They are timeless, motionless pictures rather than things that change over time, and while enacting ‘historical moments’ they do not make visible the histories they contain within them. What kind of object could embody history and make that history visible? Inspired by Michel Serres, I suggest the folded object is a way to attend to the temporality and spatiality of objects. In this article I explore this new object by unravelling the history of a DNA reference sequence. I show how, ever since it was produced in the early 1980s, attempts have been made to filter race out of the sequence. That effort has failed due to what one could call ‘political noise’. Making and remaking the sequence have left traces that cannot be erased.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276413501704|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276413501704
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • Lazzarato and the Micro-Politics of Invention
    • Authors: Muldoon; J.
      Pages: 57 - 76
      Abstract: Drawing from the writings of Deleuze and Foucault, various forms of political vitalism have emerged as one of the most dominant approaches to radical politics today. However, there has been considerable disagreement over the terms on which a debate over vitalism’s perceived utility should be carried out. This has allowed for a great confusion over what is at stake in the vitalist controversy. This article argues that an analysis of the most recent works of Maurizio Lazzarato, one of the most prominent contemporary political vitalists, assists in clarifying the terms of the debate and provides a rebuttal of several of the most common criticisms of political vitalist thought. Through his engagement with the work of French sociologist Gabriel Tarde, Lazzarato has developed a distinct variety of neo-monadology that analyses the world in terms of micro-psychic forces. On the basis of this ontology, Lazzarato constructs a politics of multiplicity consisting of open strategies of experimentation and creation, which he argues offers the best form of resistance to neo-liberal capitalism. It is argued that Lazzarato is able to provide an answer to the three common charges that vitalism is a mysticism, suffers from a lack of normative foundations, and has an incoherent political programme. The article concludes with a reflection on the extent to which political vitalism is still haunted by a failure to give an account of and come to terms with the role of negativity in politics.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276413514118|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276413514118
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Spectropolitics and Immigration
    • Authors: Romeyn; E.
      Pages: 77 - 101
      Abstract: In the context of the Dutch immigration debate, tributes to the Holocaust and the memory of Europe’s dead Jews increasingly serve to dismantle multiculturalism as a failed paradigm and to drive a wedge between a revitalized, redeemed, color-blind, post-racial Europe and disenfranchized immigrant, minority and Muslim populations. Embedded in these invocations of the Holocaust and its moral imperatives is a ‘spectropolitics’ of tolerance, in which tolerance, staged as an essential touchstone of Dutch identity, supplies a differential norm that measures the civilizational and racial disjuncture between Europeans, minorities, and Muslims, and validates the new dual paradigm of Dutch citizenship and immigration policy: securitization and disciplinary integration. The centrality of the Holocaust as paradigmatic of Dutch and European racial history meanwhile sidelines the colonial past as constitutive of European identity; displaces an alternative understanding of race as (bio- and necro-political) instruments of colonial rule; and disavows the continued application of these instruments of racial rule in Dutch and European post-colonial societies.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276413519482|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276413519482
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • Beyond Justification: Habermas, Rorty and the Politics of Cultural Change
    • Authors: Kim; K.-M.
      Pages: 103 - 123
      Abstract: Although Jürgen Habermas and Richard Rorty both reject the traditional picture of cultural change in which intellectuals are supposed to have the ‘last word’ on cultural issues and envisage cultural changes as the result of ‘dialogue’ or ‘conversation’ between them and the lay public, they nevertheless end up espousing different pictures of cultural change because of their totally different conception of the role and function of language, truth and rationality in such dialogue. In the first two sections of this article, I will recount Habermas’s critique of Rorty’s neo-pragmatism and the latter’s responses to it so that they can reveal the core issues of the debate. In the third section, I will argue that, as a ‘sociologized version’ of Rorty’s philosophy, Jeffrey Alexander’s theory of social performance provides us with a sociological framework that makes possible a wide range of empirical studies of cultural change.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276414533999|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276414533999
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • The Politics of Real-time: A Device Perspective on Social Media Platforms
           and Search Engines
    • Authors: Weltevrede, E; Helmond, A, Gerlitz, C.
      Pages: 125 - 150
      Abstract: This paper enquires into the politics of real-time in online media. It suggests that real-time cannot be accounted for as a universal temporal frame in which events happen, but explores the making of real-time from a device perspective focusing on the temporalities of platforms. Based on an empirical study exploring the pace at which various online media produce new content, we trace the different rhythms, patterns or tempos created by the interplay of devices, users’ web activities and issues. What emerges are distinct forms of ‘realtimeness’ which are not external from but specific to devices, organized through socio-technical arrangements and practices of use. Realtimeness thus unflattens more general accounts of the real-time web and research, and draws attention to the agencies built into specific platform temporalities and the political economies of making real-time.
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276414537318|hwp:master-id:sptcs;0263276414537318
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore
    • Authors: Boyne; R.
      Pages: 151 - 155
      PubDate: 2014-09-23T21:46:18-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276414536236|hwp:resource-id:sptcs;31/6/151
      Issue No: Vol. 31, No. 6 (2014)
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