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Mind the Gap: Toward a Political History of Habit

Mind the Gap: Toward a Political History of Habit Tony BenneTT Mind the Gap Toward a Political History of Habit Habit has become a lively topic of debate across a range of contemporary fields of inquiry: in ae ff ct theory, sociological accounts of reflexivity, the neurosciences, cultural geography, actor network theory, aesthetics and philosophy. This has paralleled its increasing prominence as a matter of practical concern in debates focused on the need for new and/or transformed habits in relation to racism, waste management, climate change, the routes and routines of urban life, and so on. In this paper I bring these two concerns together by examining the ways in which au- thorities of various kinds (philosophical, sociological, psychological, neurological, biological, and aesthetic) have constituted habit as their points of entry into the management of conduc1t. I shall be particularly concerned with the ways in which varied strategies of intervention into the “conduct of conduct” developed since the mid- nineteenth century have posited a gap or interval in which the force of acquired or inherited habits is temporarily halted. It is this gap that opens up the possibility of re- shaping habits by providing scope for practices of freedom and self- det ermination that escape the constraints of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Mind the Gap: Toward a Political History of Habit

The Comparatist , Volume 40 – Nov 11, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Tony BenneTT Mind the Gap Toward a Political History of Habit Habit has become a lively topic of debate across a range of contemporary fields of inquiry: in ae ff ct theory, sociological accounts of reflexivity, the neurosciences, cultural geography, actor network theory, aesthetics and philosophy. This has paralleled its increasing prominence as a matter of practical concern in debates focused on the need for new and/or transformed habits in relation to racism, waste management, climate change, the routes and routines of urban life, and so on. In this paper I bring these two concerns together by examining the ways in which au- thorities of various kinds (philosophical, sociological, psychological, neurological, biological, and aesthetic) have constituted habit as their points of entry into the management of conduc1t. I shall be particularly concerned with the ways in which varied strategies of intervention into the “conduct of conduct” developed since the mid- nineteenth century have posited a gap or interval in which the force of acquired or inherited habits is temporarily halted. It is this gap that opens up the possibility of re- shaping habits by providing scope for practices of freedom and self- det ermination that escape the constraints of

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2016

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