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Non-representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect (International Library of Sociology) [Paperback]

Nigel Thrift
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 Aug 2007

This astonishing book presents a distinctive approach to the politics of everyday life. Ranging across a variety of spaces in which politics and the political unfold, it questions what is meant by perception, representation and practice, with the aim of valuing the fugitive practices that exist on the margins of the known. It revolves around three key functions. It:

  • introduces the rather dispersed discussion of non-representational theory to a wider audience
  • provides the basis for an experimental rather than a representational approach to the social sciences and humanities
  • begins the task of constructing a different kind of political genre.

A groundbreaking and comprehensive introduction to this key topic, Thrift’s outstanding work brings together further writings from a body of work that has come to be known as non-representational theory. This noteworthy book makes a significant contribution to the literature in this area and is essential reading for researchers and postgraduates in the fields of social theory, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies.

Frequently Bought Together

Non-representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect (International Library of Sociology) + Taking-Place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography + Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies)
Price For All Three: 80.98

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (9 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415393213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415393218
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'This is a richly textured book, alert to the criticisms intellectualists will bring against it and encouraging us to broaden the horizons in which we think, act and combine.' - William E. Connolly,  Johns Hopkins University, USA

About the Author

Nigel Thrift, Professor at the University of Warwick, is also Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol. He has authored, co-authored and co-edited more than 35 books and over 200 journal articles. His research includes work on international finance, new forms of capitalism, cities, social and cultural theory, and the history of time

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vacuous 8 Mar 2014
By Reader
A complicated and depressing story remains to be told about how dross like this gets published. The only people who think it is good are people who are threatened by other, more serious areas of scholarship.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affective 2 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best theorisations of the affective turn in theory and excellent book
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11 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars help 14 May 2009
I have read quite a lot of 'theory' and so when I saw this in a bookshop I started reading it. Two hours later I was still trying to understand what it is supposed to be about. I don't think the author really understands either.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-Representational Theory Redux 20 Mar 2008
By magictrick - Published on
This book is the culmination of multifarious studies on political space, time, and affect (not only Thrift but a host of others). The monograph represents a synthesis woven around political theory and space. I don't really want to go into explanations of the analyses contained therein. Instead, I'd like to address the previous reviewer's fascinating comments:
1. Thrift is 59 years old, making him one of the youngest forerunners of the collective "non-representational theory" designation. Most of the "theory" texts presently taught in social sciences/humanities departments everywhere were written by more senior scholars (many unfortunately deceased). Application usually lags behind "theory" by one or two decades.
2. Pierre Bourdieu? Aside from methodology (a big aside, I know), Thrift's work owes more to Merleau-Ponty (Phenomenology of Perception), Foucault, Deleuze, and Serres than Bourdieu. More importantly, this book reflects the influence of Kathleen Stewart more than anyone else...and that is not "old." In fact, that's just about as "new" as one can get. Also a touch of Wolin, eh?
3. The "new age" and "self-help" categories seem to lack concrete definitions in the above review--which engendered skepticism on my part. "Get in touch with nature by meditation?" If the reviewer is writing about affect, then said reviewer should read more on space and perceptions--I'm not sure if perception and behavior is "get in touch with nature by meditation." If not affect, I would venture to guess that the reviewer confused "new age" with the equally vague "postmodern" or "poststructuralist" and "self-help" with "theory for political actors and systems." "New age" is usually associated with spiritual revivalism in music, theology, dance, etc. I do not think any rational human being would classify this work as "new age." If the reviewer meant poststructuralism, the affective turn attempts to transcend the there-is-no-outside-text debate. He or she needs to read more on affect, and then review the book. By the way--why are people tagging "There Will Be Blood" and the new Coen brothers film as "new age"?
4. As for Martin Lindstrom (not exactly the most cited source in the text), the man is COO of British Telecom and the founder of two of the most profitable internet solution companies in the world. Also, the reviewer borrowed the "guru" title from the Chartered Institute of Marketing annoucement. In that context, he's a Fortune 100 entrepeneur and hence "guru" means leader with zealous advocates. What's really fascinating is that the reviewer completely ignores the fact that Thrift provides an analytical framework for facilitating democratic politics in mercantile and industrial capitalist systems. Thus Lindstrom isn't exactly a hero here.
5. Affect attempts to transcend the linguistic turn by incorporating neuroscience and biology into analyses of social interactions, culture, and economy. That is, the study of human social behavior as affected by other human beings, communication, physical constructs, and the environment. Read at least the intro to this book--Nigel Thrift offers a summary. A more cogent critique of space-politics-affect would concentrate on affect and physical science (especially the success or failure of the physical/social science convergence). THAT'S something I'd like to see.
6. If this book is "self-help," then booksellers everywhere should reclassify their history, political science, sociology, and economy sections as "self-help." Most if not all social sciences (and physical sciences) seek to better the present human condition in some manner, regardless of a focus on the present or the past.

I happened upon this review after reading Thrift's book. I've never reviewed anything for Amazon before. I read the initial comments and--quite frankly--grew amazed at the complexity of the arguments. This person demonstrates logical reasoning skills as well as how to obscure key critical signifiers. For example, the "guru" citation (implied as spiritual rather than socioeconomic) provided evidence for the "new age" contention. Either the reviewer inductively constructed his or her arguments from the Lindstrom announcement or deductively searched for a source/tangential evidence that justified his or her position. The signifiers also denote humor/sarcasm which divert attention away from the constitutive mutuality of the assertions. In addition, praise of Thrift's previous work ensures that readers focus on the book (and anyone's positive appraisals thereof) rather than Nigel Thrift. This person obviously knows the power of Amazon, so I'm guessing a younger scholar aiming to diminish Amazon sales or to undermine positive appraisals for whatever motivations. In other words, his or her comments piqued my interest. Fascinating!!!
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