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Author(s): Conde, Idalina
Date: 2011
Title: Individuals, biography and cultural spaces: new figurations
Collection title and number: CIES e-Working Paper
ISSN: 1647-0893
Keywords: Norbert Elias
Sociology of the individual
Figurations and mediations
Cultural and artistic spaces
Abstract: How can the sociology of individuals with, in particular, the accent on singularity, be reconciled with the sociology of our transculture, i.e. cross-cutting dimensions that dim or reconstitute the mark of the difference(s), borders and autochthonies in contemporary societies? This question and reflexive ambivalence from two directions in sociology, raised in a previous text, is picked up again here in an essay “in dialogue” with the legacy of Norbert Elias. A key reference for non-dichotomous thinking on individuals, power and society, though this text seeks to re-contextualise some of his concepts. Or ways of using them in the contemporary situation, with conceptual proposals for situating individuals in henceforth trans/local cultural spaces with new, or transformed, figurations and mediations. The first part returns to the concept of habitus, introduced by Elias in The Civilising Process well before Pierre Bourdieu's framework, and now inserts it in a broader interference matrix for the individual's dispositions. Including those that are actually biographical and are considered here from a more up-to-date perspective of the ways of perceiving life and its narratives. The second part is based on figurations (a conceptual pillar of Elias' sociology, also constitutive of the habitus), though it crosses its chain of interdependencies with the other notion of mediations. Various kinds of mediation, from broad to specific, that today redefine cultural spaces, especially the artistic ones as an example here, by means of translocal processes and a complex chess-game of powers. Interferences and interdependencies are thus two issues that, associated with Elias and exploited in this way, contribute to the drafting of a framework for individuals, their lives and cartographies.
Peerreviewed: Sim
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:CIES-WP - Working papers

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