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Exploring the emergence of the subject in power: infant geographies

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journal contribution
posted on 05.09.2013, 08:29 by Louise Holt
Following Butler’s argument that understanding the operations of power requires an examination of the contexts of ‘infants’ emergence’, this paper explores the potential for infant geographies. Butler points to the importance of infancy to subjection, the formation of psyches, and the ‘fiction’ of an interior or socially anterior self. Attention to infants’ everyday geographies therefore has the potential to unravel how individuals are subjected; how power becomes an embodied part of individuals’ subjective identities, operating creatively to produce subjects with agency, and, at the same time, limiting and circumscribing appropriate subjectivities. A critical reflection on Butler suggests a need to focus upon how subjection occurs in specific material spaces, and the role of a host of human and nonhuman others to the process of subjection. Also pertinent is a fuller exploration of how diversities of kinship and nonkinship social relations might lead to other constellations of power in the subjection of infants. How the geographies of infants can be operationalised methodologically and epistemologically is also explored. The paper has broader resonance to issues of subjection; to how embodied inequalities are reproduced, transformed, or both; to questions of agency; and to concerns to deconstruct an autonomous, thinking, rational, human subject within human geography—reconfiguring individuals as constituted within emotional and psychic interdependency.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

HOLT, L., 2013. Exploring the emergence of the subject in power: infant geographies. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31 (4), pp. 645 – 663.

Publisher

© Pion

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2013

Notes

The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in the journal, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space [© Pion].

ISSN

0263-7758

eISSN

1472-3433

Language

en

Exports