Geography Reference
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This is a stark antihumanist vision in which docile subjects and vectors of privilege
canbefabricatedbysettingupformsofrelationsandmaterialities—rerouting, rewiring,
and renetworking the pipes and cables of affect—that channel human conduct and gov-
ern participation in social life.
Reconnecting Affect and Thought
on emotional assemblages. Steve Pile (2010) suggests that “Affectual geography radic-
ally splits affect from thought … construct[ing] affect as the pure non-representational
object: it cannot be known, grasped or made intelligible” (16). This creates a logical
problem. How can affect be “consciously and deliberately engineered” when it cannot
emotional subjectivities” (Thien 2005, 450). The challenge, as we see it, is to somehow
link this architecture of affect to everyday emotional subjectivities—the thoughts and
feelings of individual people in ordinary situations—without reverting to a discredited
humanist account of the subject that “conjures up a vision of emotional authenticity”
(McCormack 2006, 331).
Discursive social psychology may assist with this project because it already has a
well-developed theory of meaning making that is relational, fluid, and embedded in
practice (Billig 1996; Edwards 1997; Potter 1996). Against this backdrop, Wetherell
logy of affect” precisely because it splits affect from thought:
human affect is inextricably linked with meaning making and with the semiotic
(broadly defined) and the discursive … the main things that an affective practice
folds or composes are bodies and meaning making. (20)
are affectively meaningful for individuals on whose participation they depend for their
hind the doings and sayings of people in everyday life. Rather, it is a discursive activity
that deploys the shared resources of language in rhetorical contexts where the meaning
of mind and world are at stake (Wetherell 1998; Edwards 2003).
ings and emotions and as they reflect on their lives. For example, when Emma, the wo-
man interviewed by Anderson (2006, 744), described her depression as “a sort of flat-
ness and a sort of … lack of animation … and a lack of any sort of sharp feelings,” she
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