Advertisement

Subjectivity

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 385–410 | Cite as

Refrains and assemblages: Exploring market negotiations and green subjectivity with Guattari

  • Andrew GoffeyEmail author
  • Lynne Pettinger
Original Article

Abstract

This article uses the philosophy of Félix Guattari to explore subjectivity among environmental consultants. Drawing on his exploration of processes of enunciation in the context of a critical appraisal of ‘assemblage theory’, it looks at how one environmental consultant operates and makes senses of her world, how she understands her practices and beliefs, and how the world around her shapes her existence. In experimenting with refrains that are teased out of fieldwork material, it argues that Guattari’s examination of the production of subjectivity, his insistence on the variable relations between the material and the semiotic and the role that refrains have in disclosing complex territorial relations offer a useful counter to the homogeneous and abstracted register of meaning production that is presumed in much interpretation of qualitative interview data. The case of environmental consultants is developed as an example of the complex and contingent qualities of market action, contesting a view of the ‘market actor’ as the profit-hungry, value-free agent imagined by commentators on the nature of capitalism. Our Guattarian reading leads us to recognise the complexity of subjectivities formed at interstices of ‘markets’ and ‘nature’.

Keywords

Guattari assemblages market actor environmental work refrains 

References

  1. Allen, J. (2003) A question of language. In: M. Pryke, G. Rose and S. Whatmore (eds.) Using Social Theory: Thinking Through Research. London; Thousand Oaks; New Delhi: Sage, pp. 11–27.Google Scholar
  2. Alliez, E. and Goffey, A. (2011) The Guattari Effect. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, B., Kearnes, M., McFarlane, C. and Swanton, D. (2012) On assemblages and geography. Dialogues in Human Geography 2 (2): 171–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barad, K. (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett, J. (2010) Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Blackman, L., Cromby, J., Hook, D., Papadopoulos, D. and Walkerdine, V. (2008) Creating subjectivities. Subjectivity 22: 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Çalışkan, K. and Callon, M. (2009) Economisation, part 1: Shifting attention from the economy towards processes of economization. Economy and Society 38 (3): 369–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Çalışkan, K. and Callon, M. (2010) Economisation, part 2: A research programme for the study of markets. Economy and Society 39 (1): 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Callon, M. (2007) What does it mean to say that economics is performative? In: D. Mackenzie, F. Muniesa and L. Siu (eds.) Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press pp. 311–357.Google Scholar
  10. Callon, M., Méadel, C. and Rabeharisoa, V. (2002) The economy of qualities Economy and Society 31 (2): 194–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DeLanda, M. (2006) A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  12. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1984) Anti-Oedipus. Translated by R. Hurley, M. Seem and H. Lame. London: Athlone.Google Scholar
  13. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2004 [1987]) A Thousand Plateaus. Translated by B. Massumi. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  14. Dittmer, J. (2013) Geopolitical assemblages and complexity. Progress in Human Geography 38 (3): 1–17.Google Scholar
  15. Fournier, V. (1999) The appeal to ‘Professionalism’ as a disciplinary mechanism. Social Review 47 (2): 280–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fraser, M. (2009) Experiencing sociology. European Journal of Social Theory 12 (1): 63–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Genosko, G. (2002) Felix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction. London: Athlonee.Google Scholar
  18. Guattari, F. (1995) Chaosmosis. Translated by. P. Bains and J. Pefanis. Sydney, Australia: Power Institute.Google Scholar
  19. Guattari, F. (2000 [1989]) The Three Ecologies. Translated by I. Pindar and P. Sutton. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  20. Guattari, F. (2004 [1974]) Psychanalyse et transversalité. Paris, France: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  21. Guattari, F. (2012) Schizoanalytic Cartographies. Translated by A. Goffey. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  22. Guattari, T. (2009) Les Années d’hiver: 1980–1985. Paris, France: Editions Les Prairies Ordinaires.Google Scholar
  23. Harman, G. (2008) DeLanda’s ontology: Assemblage and realism. Continental Philosophy Review 41 (3): 367–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Knights, D. and Willmott, H. (1989) Power and subjectivity at work: From degradation to subjugation in social relations. Sociology 23 (4): 535–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Latour, B. (1987) Science in Action: How to follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Law, J. (2004) After Method: Mess in Social Science Research. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Leopold, A. (1970) Sand County Almanac. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  28. Letherby, G. (2003) Feminist Research in Theory and Practice. Buckingham, UK: Open University.Google Scholar
  29. Li, T.M. (2007) Practices of assemblage and community forest management. Economy and Society 36 (2): 263–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mackenzie, D. and Millo, Y. (2003) Constructing a market, performing theory: The historical sociology of a financial derivatives exchange. American Journal of Sociology. 109 (1): 107–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mackenzie, D., Muniesa, F. and Siu, L. (2007) Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Maguire, J.S. (2008) Leisure and the obligation of self‐work: An examination of the fitness field. Leisure Studies 27: 59–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mallard, A. (2007) Performance testing: Dissection of a consumerist experiment. In: M. Callon, Y. Millo and F. Muniesa (eds.) Market Devices. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 152–172.Google Scholar
  34. Martin, W.K. (1976) The Concise British Flora in Colour. 3rd edn. London: Ebury Press and Michael Joseph.Google Scholar
  35. Mol, A. (2002) The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice. Durham; London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mol, A. (2008) I eat an apple: On theorizing subjectivities. Subjectivity 22 (1): 28–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sayer, A. (2013) Looking forward to new realist debates. Dialogues in Human Geography 3 (1): 22–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sherman, R. (2010) The production of distinctions: Class, gender, and taste work in the lifestyle management industry. Qualitative Sociology 34: 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stengers, I. (2008) Experimenting with refrains: Subjectivity and he challenge of escaping modern dualism. Subjectivity 22: 38–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stengers, I. (2011) Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Savage Creation of Concepts. Translated by M. Chase. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Stengers, I. (2012) Cosmopolitics. Vol. 2. Translated by M. Bonono. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Strangleman, T. (2007) The nostalgia for permanence at work? The end of work and its commentators. The Sociological Review 55 (1): 81–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Strangleman, T. (2004) Work Identity at the End of the Line? Privatisation and Culture Change in the Uk Railway industry. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  44. Todorov, T. (1970) Freud sur l’énonciation. Langages 17 (5): 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Venn, C. (2006) A note on assemblage. Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2–3): 107–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Watson, J. (2011) Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing between Lacan and Deleuze. London: Continuum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CultureFilm and Media, University of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations