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Fragile movements and social media

This thoughtful essay by Richard Seymour offers a great summary of what I’ve written about as fragile movements, as part of a really interesting reflection on why Black Lives Matter hasn’t exhibited the same fragility: In recent years, political movements and trends have come (and sometimes gone) with unprecedented speed. […]

Showing up, standing, breathing, moving

From Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly, from pg 17: Asserting that a group of people is still existing, taking up space and obdurately living, is already an expressive action, a politically significant event, and that can happen wordlessly in the course of an unpredictable and transitory […]

The overaffectation of the crowd

From pg 163 of Material Participation by Noortje Marres: Among concepts of the community of the affected we could also include theories of affective politics developed in recent cultural theory (Thrift, 2008; Terranova, 2007; Blackman, 2008). Such ‘post-emotive’ conceptions of the public propose to understand the mobilization of publics in […]

Professionalisation as capture 

From Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything pg 203: These are the tough tools with which the environmental movement won its greatest string of victories. But with that success came some rather significant changes. For a great many groups, the work of environmentalism stopped being about organizing protests and teach-ins and […]

Towards a neo-Khaldunian digital sociology: @morteza_hm on the Bedouins of Silicon Valley

My notes on Hashemi, M. (2019). Bedouins of Silicon Valley: A neo-Khaldunian approach to sociology of technology. The Sociological Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026118822823  This hugely original paper seeks to counteract what Morteza Hashemi sees as an excessive focus on technological development in accounts of Silicon Valley, looking beyond this macro-social (often Schumpeterian) approach to […]

The Political Ontology of Platforms

These notes are for the fifth and final week of the CPGJ platform capitalism intensive reading group. One of the themes running through the readings over the five weeks has been the political valence of platforms and its relationship to our analysis of them. My own instinct is that valorising […]

The notion of a ‘playbook’

In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself using the term ‘playbook’ in a number of contexts. It’s typically defined as “a book containing a sports team’s strategies and plays, especially in American football” but I’m not quite sure where I picked up the phrase from as someone who hasn’t […]

on fragile movements

The notion of fragile movements is an integral part of my new project. I’ve tried to explain it at various points on the blog, as well as in a book chapter which will be published as part of the Centre for Social Ontology’s annual Social Morphogenesis series. But I just encountered a […]