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Totalizing institutions, critique and resistance

MacKenzie, Iain, Porter, Robert (2019) Totalizing institutions, critique and resistance. Contemporary Political Theory, . ISSN 1470-8914. (doi:10.1057/s41296-019-00336-w) (KAR id:74202)

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Drawing on Deleuze’s ‘Postscript on Control Societies’, our initial focus in this article will be on the role of institutions within societies of control, an analysis which brings Deleuze into the orbit of Ervin Goffman’s famous ethnographic work on total institutions. This cross-comparative analysis of Deleuze and Goffman (also montaged with Foucault’s important work on disciplinary institutions) will allow us to show how institutions of control function by sequencing dividuals across institutional domains in a continual process of totalization. Inspired by James Williams’s recent work on the ‘process philosophy of signs’, we then argue that a critique of totalizing institutions can be positively articulated as a process oriented challenge to algorithmic technologies and as a counter-sequencing of institutional control. We conclude with some reflections upon the emergent modes of resistance that challenge both institutional and technological control and we will proffer criteria for assessing such practices in relation to the two-sided nature of critique they enact, both processual and counter-sequential.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/s41296-019-00336-w
Uncontrolled keywords: societies of control, totalizing institutions, critique, resistance, Deleuze, Goffman, Foucault
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Iain MacKenzie
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 12:59 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
MacKenzie, Iain:
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