Deleuze and the Social

Deleuze and the Social

Martin Fuglsang
Bent Meier Sørensen
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 256
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Deleuze and the Social
    Book Description:

    This is the first book to focus on the implications of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's thinking on the social sciences and organisation.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-2708-0
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction: Deleuze and the Social: Is there a D-function?
    (pp. 1-18)
    Martin Fuglsang and Bent Meier Sørensen

    In the midst of the delirium of Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari calmly inform us that we ‘always make love with worlds’ (1984: 294). This marks their final transgression of the repressive segmentation of contemporary critique: the segmentation of the libidinal economy and the political economy, desire production and social production, Freud and Marx. In the Oedipal triangle and its double bind, desire was forever betrayed and political critique was forever kept from connecting with the real processes of production. This impasse is still with us: contemporary sociology makes love with no worlds we are aware of; social and...

  5. I. Order and Organisation
    • Chapter 1 Order, Exteriority and Flat Multiplicities in the Social
      (pp. 21-38)
      Paul Patton

      In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari suggest that all thinking is a way of bringing order out of chaos, whether it takes place in the form of art, philosophy or science. Each of these distinct ways of thinking imposes its own kind of order in accordance with the different materials and methods it brings to the task: percepts and affects in the case of art, concepts in the case of philosophy, functions in the case of science. Order is what protects us from chaos. It enables us to recognise ourselves, each other and the world in which we live....

    • Chapter 2 The Trembling Organisation: Order, Change and the Philosophy of the Virtual
      (pp. 39-57)
      Torkild Thanem and Stephen Linstead

      Deleuze has argued that with a few exceptions such as Bergson, philosophers, despite their concern with concepts, have neglected the concept of philosophy itself. If so, then this is even more true for organisation theorists, who have been obsessed with what organisations do, but have taken the concept of organisation largely for granted. Again with few exceptions (e.g. Cooper 1986; Cooper and Burrell 1988) they have rarely asked what organisation is, or questioned the ontological status of organisation. Yet although much of Deleuze’s work, especially that with Guattari, is about organisation, especially the economic organisation of capital and the conditions...

    • Chapter 3 The Others of Hierarchy: Rhizomatics of Organising
      (pp. 58-74)
      Martin Kornberger, Carl Rhodes and René ten Bos

      In his preface to Anti-Oedipus, Michel Foucault suggests that Deleuze and Guattari answer questions less concerned with why things might be so, and more concerned with how to proceed. The procession that he identifies is the employment of desire in political action against (at least) the ‘fascism in all of us, in our heads and in our everyday behaviour, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us’ (Foucault 1983: xiii).

      Fascism comes in many incarnations. As Deleuze and Guattari (1987) enumerate, this includes ‘[r]ural fascism and city or neighbourhood fascism,...

  6. II. Subjectivity and Transformation
    • Chapter 4 In the Mean Time: Vitalism, Affects and Metamorphosis in Organisational Change
      (pp. 77-95)
      Peter Lohmann and Chris Steyaert

      We begin within a specific social field constituted by a process of organisational change, which was initiated by the current policy of deregulating the electricity industry in Europe. As we join the story, the quiet days of monopoly are coming to an end at ELEC, a Danish utilities provider. We focus on how employees are produced as subjects in such a context, how they become subjects. We have followed developments at ELEC during a three-year period; we have approached them from the perspective of the emotions, frustrations and struggles, the comments and hesitations of its casualties, which crowd the really...

    • Chapter 5 I Knew there were Kisses in the Air
      (pp. 96-111)
      Thomas Bay

      How do we regain the lost place of our life? Perhaps, as Artaud’s own life suggests, by incessantly searching for it, again and again experimenting with our capacities, trying to find out what our body is capable of, capable of encountering, capable of experiencing — its ‘capacity to be affected’ (Deleuze 1992: 217). Perhaps this is precisely what living is all about, continuously searching for places that offer new ways of living. And perhaps we even have to lose ourselves first, our bearings, our lives, in order to find new dwellings where we can come into full possession of our power...

    • Chapter 6 Becoming-Cyborg: Changing the Subject of the Social?
      (pp. 112-132)
      Chris Land

      In 1960 Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline coined the term cyborg to refer to (nothing less than) an ‘exogenously extended organisational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously’ (Clynes and Kline 1995 [1960]: 30–1). In so doing, they simultaneously heralded at least four decades of speculation on the post-human, and sought to close down this potentiality to effectuate a homeostaticrepetition of Homo sapiens. The exogenous extension of which Clynes and Kline spoke was the technological extension of a biological organism to enable its continued survival in the hostile environ of space. Whilst their first experiments involved...

  7. III. Art and the Outside
    • Chapter 7 Practical Deleuzism and Postmodern Space
      (pp. 135-150)
      Ian Buchanan

      ‘We pay a heavy price for capitalising on our basic animal mobility’ writes Edward Casey and that price is ‘the loss of places that can serve as lasting scenes of experience and reflection and memory’ (Casey 1993: xiii). This loss is usually blamed on the proliferation of generic spaces – or, ‘non-places’, to use Marc Augé’s (1995) phrase – like malls, airports, freeways, office parks, and so forth, which prioritise cost and function over look and feel. Even so, Casey still wants to argue that transitory spaces like airports retain a certain ‘placial’ quality that gives meaning to contemporary existence. In contrast,...

    • Chapter 8 Anti-Oedipus – Thirty Years On (Between Art and Politics)
      (pp. 151-168)
      Éric Alliez

      The title of this chapter was suggested to me some time ago by my best enemy – or my best fiend, to paraphrase Werner Herzog – who also happens to be a very good friend: Alain Badiou. The idea was to use the occasion to pursue our dispute – or chicane, to use a favourite expression of his – a dispute instigated by the publication in 1997 of Badiou’s Deleuze: The Clamor of Being (1999).

      Let it be noted in passing that this dispute prolonged a problematic that I had previously examined in a book-intervention entitled Of the Impossibility of Phenomenology: On Contemporary French...

  8. IV. Capitalism and Resistance
    • Chapter 9 The Concepts of Life and the Living in the Societies of Control
      (pp. 171-190)
      Maurizio Lazzarato

      We have left behind the epoch of discipline to enter that of control. Gilles Deleuze described in a concise but effective way this passage from disciplinary societies to the societies of control (Deleuze 1990). He provided us with this historical reconstruction by setting out from the dynamics of difference and repetition, thereby generating new interpretations of the birth and development of capitalism. One of his most important theoretical innovations concerns the question of multiplicity: individuals and classes are nothing but the capture, integration and differentiation of multiplicity.

      It is not only the phenomenological description of this evolution which interests me...

    • Chapter 10 Nomad Citizenship and Global Democracy
      (pp. 191-206)
      Eugene W. Holland

      The concept of nomad citizenship developed here derives from the concepts of nomadism and nomadology expounded by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus (Deleuze and Guattari 1987). As I have explained elsewhere, this concept of nomadism should not be understood primarily in reference to nomadic peoples, despite the familiar connotations of the term. Rather, nomadism as Deleuze and Guattari understand it can refer to a wide range of activities, including ‘building bridges or cathedrals or rendering judgments or making music or instituting a science, a technology’ (ibid.: 366). In the same vein, I will in what follows discuss nomad...

    • Chapter 11 Deleuze, Change, History
      (pp. 207-228)
      Jussi Vähämäki and Akseli Virtanen

      Gilles Deleuze is a philosopher of revolution and may even be a revolutionary thinker. Revolution is certainly the milieu of his thinking, where he breaks things open.

      Whatever their target, his critiques have nothing to do with understanding, nor with attentive or thoughtful action. Instead, Deleuze misunderstands things and these misunderstandings have rules – that is, they repeat. Repetition sets things in motion, transforming them, and Deleuze’s metaphysics is constructed for this virtual context of movement and change.

      Here understanding offers only a weak mode of thought because understanding is always bound to its historical contingencies. The concept of change, by...

  9. V. Social Constitution and Ontology
    • Chapter 12 Society with/out Organs
      (pp. 231-249)
      Niels Albertsen and Bülent Diken

      The aim of this chapter is threefold. First we wish to explicate our understanding of the Deleuzian understanding of ‘the social’. Then we employ our explication in an experimental mapping of the field of social theories by means of a diagram based on two orthogonal axes: a vertical continuum between order and chaos and a horizontal continuum between purity and heterogeneity. The result of this mapping is a mobile perspective on ‘the social’ and on social theories showing a dynamic field of ‘forces’ that strive to push social theories across their pre-established boundaries and to pull them back. Finally we...

    • Chapter 13 Deleuzian Social Ontology and Assemblage Theory
      (pp. 250-266)
      Manuel DeLanda

      The most critical question which a philosophical analysis of social ontology must answer is the linkage between the micro and the macro. Whether one conceives of these levels as ‘the individual and society’ or as ‘agency and structure’ or even as ‘choice and order’, an answer to the question of their mutual relations basically determines the kinds of social entities whose existence one is committed to believe. One family of solutions to the micro–macro problem relies on a reductionist strategy, either reducing the macro to the micro (microreductionism) or vice versa, reducing the micro to the macro (macroreductionism). The...

  10. Notes on contributors
    (pp. 267-273)
  11. Index
    (pp. 274-280)