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Questioning community as a collective antidote to fear: Jean-Luc Nancy's ‘singularity’ and ‘being singular plural’

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Community has long been a key academic concept and lay narrative, especially in commentaries of rural as opposed to urban life. Although community is proffered as an antidote for a plethora of emotional, social and policy challenges in contemporary Western societies, we argue that it is problematic. Previously, we suggested that community is a device mobilised in response to fears surrounding finitude. In this paper, we again draw on Nancy's theorising of singularity and being-in-common, but also engage with his yet more fundamental conceptualisation of ‘being singular plural’ to suggest directions for new geographies of singular and collective life.

Keywords: community; fear; others; singularity; ‘being singular plural’

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University College London, London WC1E 8RG

Publication date: September 1, 2007


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