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Book part
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Claire Laurier Decoteau

This chapter suggests that moving beyond positivism entails a recognition that the social world is made up of complex phenomena that are heterogeneous, and events are…

Abstract

This chapter suggests that moving beyond positivism entails a recognition that the social world is made up of complex phenomena that are heterogeneous, and events are caused by contingent conjunctures of causal mechanisms. To theorize the social world as heterogeneous is to recognize that social causes, categories, and groups combine different kinds of phenomena and processes at various levels and scales across time. To speak of conjunctural causation implies not only that events are caused by concatenations of multiple, intersecting forces but also that these combinations are historically unique and nonrepeatable. Both the historical materialist conception of the “conjuncture” and the poststructuralist theory of “assemblages” take heterogeneity and multicausality seriously. I compare and contrast these formulations across three dimensions: the structure of the apparatus, causation, and temporality. I argue that these theories offer useful tools to social scientists seeking to engage in complex, multicausal explanations. I end the article with an example of how to use these concepts in analyzing a complex historical case.

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Critical Realism, History, and Philosophy in the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-604-0

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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Florin D. Salajan and Tavis D. Jules

Over the past few years, assemblage theory or assemblage thinking has garnered increasing attention in educational research, but has been used only tangentially in…

Abstract

Over the past few years, assemblage theory or assemblage thinking has garnered increasing attention in educational research, but has been used only tangentially in explications of the nature of comparative and international education (CIE) as a field. This conceptual examination applies an assemblage theory lens to explore the contours of CIE as a scholarly field marked by its rich and interweaved architecture. It does so by first reviewing Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) principles of rhizomatic structures to define the emergence of assemblages. Secondly, it transposes these principles in conceiving the field of CIE as a meta-assemblage of associated and subordinated sub-assemblages of actors driven by varied disciplinary, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary interests. Finally, it interrogates the role of Big Data technologies in exerting (re)territorializing and deterritorializing tendencies on the (re)configuration of CIE. The chapter concludes with reiterating the variable character of CIE as a meta-assemblage and proposes ways to move this conversation forward.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-724-4

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Aimee Dinnin Huff and June Cotte

A growing stream of consumer research has examined the intersection of family dynamics, consumption practices and the marketplace. The purpose of this paper is to make…

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Abstract

Purpose

A growing stream of consumer research has examined the intersection of family dynamics, consumption practices and the marketplace. The purpose of this paper is to make sense of the complex nature of family for senior families (adult children and their elderly parents) who employ the use of elder care services and facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This research analyses data gathered from in-depth interviews with adult siblings and their elderly parents through the lens of assemblage theory.

Findings

This paper advances a conceptulisation of the family as an evolving assemblage of components, including individual members; material possessions and home(s); shared values, goals, memories and practices; prominent familial attributes of love and care; and marketplace resources. Three features of the assemblage come to the fore in senior families: the fluid meaning of independence for the elderly parent, the evolution of shared family practices and the trajectory of the assemblage that is a function of its history and future.

Originality/value

This research focuses on a stage of family life that has been under-theorised; applies assemblage theory to the family collective, demonstrating that a family can be conceptualised as an ever-evolving assemblage of human and non-human components, and this is a useful lens for understanding how senior families “do” family; and argues for a broader notion of family – one that is not household-centric or focused on families with young children, that encompasses members and materiality and that foregrounds the dynamic, evolving nature of family life.

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European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Ömer Torlak, Müjdat Özmen, Muhammet Ali Tiltay, Mahmut Sami İşlek and Ufuk Ay

The purpose of this paper is to theorize and empirically investigate the formation of consumer’s consumption ritual experiences and discourses associated with Feast of Sacrifice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to theorize and empirically investigate the formation of consumer’s consumption ritual experiences and discourses associated with Feast of Sacrifice.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have approached the data from assemblage theory perspective. By use of ethnographic participant observation and in-depth interviews, seven themes are uncovered and discussed: meaning of Qurban, preparation of the ritual, Qurban choice, meat, Qurban ritual, marketplace and framing of discourses.

Findings

This study provides a theoretical development in which it depicts that assemblage theory can be used in the context of religious rituals such as the Feast of Sacrifice. This suggests that parts forming the social phenomena include different meanings and functions in different assemblages to the ritual, which has a structure with a particular process, roles and content scenario. This implies that even the most structured social phenomena as religious rituals can be accepted as social assemblage where every individual experiences his/her own ritual with the parts that have ever-changing material and expressive roles.

Originality/value

This study will contribute to the literature on religious rituals and practices through viewing ritual as an assemblage including material and expressive features as well as human and non-human actors. Besides, this study aims to find out whether there is a constant consumer and the concept of ritual by focusing on buying experiences of consumer in Feast of Sacrifice in Turkey.

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Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Book part
Publication date: 27 June 2016

Jakki J. Mohr, Linda L. Price and Aric Rindfleisch

The purpose of this chapter is fivefold. First, it highlights that, despite apparent progress, business in general, and marketing in particular, has made little impact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is fivefold. First, it highlights that, despite apparent progress, business in general, and marketing in particular, has made little impact upon environmental sustainability. Second, it offers four explanations for the persistent challenges that contribute to this lack of meaningful progress. Third, it presents two theoretical lenses (i.e., assemblage theory and socio-ecological systems theory) for viewing environmental sustainability from new perspectives. Fourth, it offers a mid-range theory, biomimicry, to bridge the gap between these higher-level theories and managerial decisions on the ground. Finally, it offers implications and ideas for future research based on these persistent challenges and new perspectives.

Methodology/approach

Our paper is theoretical in focus. We offer a conceptual analysis of persistent challenges facing business efforts in environmental sustainability and suggest useful lenses to integrate marketing decisions more closely with our natural environment.

Findings

We present biomimicry as an actionable framework that seeks inspiration from nature and also explicitly grounds marketing decisions in the natural world.

Practical Implications

Our paper draws attention to the challenges facing firms seeking to achieve better performance in environmental sustainability. In addition, it offers a set of fresh theoretical perspectives as well as future issues for scholarly research in this domain.

Originality/value

Our work is designed to be provocative; it articulates reasons why business efforts in environmental sustainability do not scale to meaningful impact upon our planet and explores theoretical lenses by which those efforts could be more impactful.

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Book part
Publication date: 2 August 2021

Florin D. Salajan and Tavis D. Jules

Drawing on assemblage theory (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; DeLanda, 2006), this conceptual chapter seeks to provide an analytical lens for examining the power and capacity of…

Abstract

Drawing on assemblage theory (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987; DeLanda, 2006), this conceptual chapter seeks to provide an analytical lens for examining the power and capacity of Big Data analytics to exercise territorializing and deterritorializing effects on compound polities and supranational organizations. More specifically, the modern massive agglomeration of data streams and the accelerated computational power available to sort and channel them in effecting actions, decisions, and reconfigurations in contemporary assemblages, necessitate new exploratory tools to examine the impact of such trends on educational phenomena from a comparative perspective. In the first part, the chapter builds an analytical instrumentarium useful in theoretically elucidating the effects of Big Data on complex assemblages and serves as a methodological extension in investigating the ramifications of these effects on educational systems, spaces, and policyscapes. The second part sets out to illustrate how assemblage theory can explain the tension between the formal use of large official statistical data sets as a type of “regulated” Big Data, and the informal use of social media, as a type of “unregulated” Big Data, to construct or deconstruct, respectively, interlacing/interlocking components of assemblages, such as supranational organizations or compound polities. The European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are taken as examples of complex assemblages in which the long-standing utilization of EU’s Eurostat and CARICOM’s Regional Statistical Database have served as territorializing forces in consolidating policy logics and in legitimizing decision-making at the supranational level, while the emergence of “loose” social networking technologies appears to have deterritorializing effects when employed deliberately to delegitimize or subvert socio-political processes across supranational polities.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2020
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-907-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Kimberly Lenters and Alec Whitford

In this paper, the authors engage with embodied critical literacies through an exploration of the possibilities provided by the use of improvisational comedy (improv) in…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors engage with embodied critical literacies through an exploration of the possibilities provided by the use of improvisational comedy (improv) in the classroom. The purpose of this paper is to extend understandings of critical literacy to consider how embodied critical literacy may be transformative for both individual students and classroom assemblages. The research question asks: how might improv, as an embodied literacy practice, open up spaces for critical literacy as embodied critical encounter in classroom assemblages?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used case study methodology informed by post-qualitative research methods, and in particular, posthuman assemblage theory. Assemblage theory views the world as taking shape through the ever-shifting associations among human and more-than-human members of an assemblage. The case study took place in a sixth-grade classroom with 28 11-year-olds over a four-month period of time. Audio and video recordings provided the empirical materials for analysis. Using Bruno Latour’s three stages for rhizomatic analysis of an assemblage, the authors mapped the movements of participants in an assemblage; noted associations among those participants; and asked questions about the larger meanings of those associations.

Findings

In the sixth-grade classroom, the dynamic and emerging relations of the scene work and post-scene discussion animate some of the ways in which the practice of classroom improv can serve as a pedagogy that involves students in embodied critical literacy. In this paper, the authors are working with an understanding of critical literacy as embodied. In embodied critical literacy, the body becomes a resource for that attunes students to matters of critical importance through encounter. With this embodied attunement, transformation through critical literacy becomes a possibility.

Research limitations/implications

The case study methodology used for this study allowed for a fine-grained analysis of a particular moment in one classroom. Because of this particularity, the findings of this study are not considered to be universally generalizable. However, educators may take the findings of this study and consider their application in their own contexts, whether that be the pedagogical context of a classroom or the context of the empirical study of language and literacy education. The concept of embodied literacies, while advocated in current literacy research, may not be easy to imagine, in terms of classroom practice. This paper provides an example of how embodied critical literacies might look, sound and unfold in a classroom setting. It also provides ideas for classroom teachers considering working with improv in their language arts classrooms.

Practical implications

The concept of embodied literacies, while advocated in current literacy research, may not be easy to imagine, in terms of classroom practice. This paper provides an example of how embodied critical literacies might look, sound and unfold in a classroom setting. It also provides ideas for classroom teachers considering working with improv in their language arts classrooms.

Social implications

The authors argue that providing students with critical encounters is an important enterprise for 21st-century classrooms and improv is one means for doing so. As an embodied literacy practice, improv in the classroom teaches students to listen to/with other players in the improv scene, become attuned to their movements and move responsively with those players and the audience. It opens up spaces for critically reflecting on ways of being and doing, which, in turn, may inform students’ movements in further associations with each other both in class and outside the walls of their school.

Originality/value

In this paper, building on work conducted by Author 1, the authors extend traditional notions of critical literacy. The authors advocate for developing critical learning opportunities, such as classroom improv, which can actively engages students in critical encounter. In this vein, rather than viewing critical literacy as critical framing that requires distancing between the learner and the topic, the posthuman critical literacy the authors put forward engages the learner in connecting with others, reflecting on those relations, and in doing so, being transformed. That is, through critical encounter, rather than only enacting transformation on texts and/or material contexts, learners themselves are transformed.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Jo Bates, Paula Goodale, Yuwei Lin and Penny Andrews

The purpose of this paper is to adopt an assemblage theory lens to examine the socio-material forces shaping the development of an infrastructure for the recovery of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adopt an assemblage theory lens to examine the socio-material forces shaping the development of an infrastructure for the recovery of archived historical marine weather records for use in contemporary climate data sets.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted a data journeys approach to research design, conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with climate scientists, citizen scientists and a climate historian who were engaged at key sites across the journey of data from historical record to the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set database. Interview data were complemented by further qualitative data collected via observations of working practices, a digital ethnography of citizen scientists’ online forums, and documentation relevant to the circulation and governance of climate data across emergent data infrastructures. Data were thematically analysed (Ryan and Bernard, 2003), with themes being informed primarily by the theoretical framework.

Findings

The authors identify and critically examine key points of friction in the constitution of the data recovery infrastructure and the circulation of data through it, and identify the reflexive and adaptive nature of the beliefs and practices fostered by influential actors within the assemblage in order to progress efforts to build an infrastructure despite significant challenges. The authors conclude by addressing possible limitations of some of these adaptive practices within the context of the early twenty-first century neoliberal state, and in light of current debates about data justice.

Originality/value

The paper draws upon original empirical data and a novel theoretical framework that draws together Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblage theory with key concepts from the field of critical data studies (data journeys, data friction and data assemblage) to illuminate the socio-material constitution of the data recovery infrastructure within the context of the early twenty-first century neoliberal state.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Caroline Marchant and Stephanie O’Donohoe

Young people’s attachment to their smartphones is well-documented, with smartphones often described as prostheses. While prior studies typically assume a clear…

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Abstract

Purpose

Young people’s attachment to their smartphones is well-documented, with smartphones often described as prostheses. While prior studies typically assume a clear human/machine divide, this paper aims to build on posthuman perspectives, exploring intercorporeality, the blurring of human/technology boundaries, between emerging adults and their smartphones. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on assemblage theory, this interpretive study uses smartphone diaries and friendship pair/small group discussions with 27 British emerging adults.

Findings

Participants in this study are characterized as homo prostheticus, living with and through their phones, treating them as extensions of their mind and part of their selves as they navigated between their online and offline, private and social lives. Homo prostheticus was part of a broader assemblage or amalgamation of human and non-human components. As these components interacted with each other, the assemblage could be strengthened or weakened by various technological, personal and social factors.

Research limitations/implications

These qualitative findings are based on a particular sample at a particular point in time, within a particular culture. Further research could explore intercorporeality in human–smartphone relationships among other groups, in other cultures.

Originality/value

Although other studies have used prosthetic metaphors, this paper contributes to understanding of smartphones as a prostheses in the lives of emerging adults, highlighting intercorporeality as a key feature of homo prostheticus. It also uses assemblage theory to contextualize homo prostheticus and explores factors strengthening or weakening the broader human–smartphone assemblage.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Xi Ye

This study aims to identify how the place identity of the former Portuguese neighbourhood of St Lazarus was reshaped for the purposes of place branding, tourism and…

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150

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify how the place identity of the former Portuguese neighbourhood of St Lazarus was reshaped for the purposes of place branding, tourism and consumption in post-colonial Macau.

Design/methodology/approach

This study sees place identity as a constructed multiplicity whose components are strategically assembled to (re)make the self. It uses the Deleuze–Guattarian theory of assemblage to analyse identity-making, specifically to examine how urban elements, including material content (material qualities of forms, programmes and life) and narrative expressions (interpretations of place), come together to shape the sense of place.

Findings

The heritage conservation policy and creative district planning guidance are overarching controls. Following them, several material and narrative elements are connected. The colonial character of the architecture is reinforced and an artistic atmosphere is created, while inhabitants’ everyday life is suppressed and the difficult past is almost erased. The newly processed post-colonial identity seems another kind of colonisation. Coloniality as a power relationship continues in a different form. The hidden structure driving these processes is global capitalism.

Originality/value

Studies on colonial architectural heritage in Macau, particularly outside of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, remain relatively scarce. This study aims to fill this gap and to further examine the Deleuze–Guattarian theory in the context of place study.

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