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The Deleuze-Guattarian assemblage: plastic habits

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This paper will attend to the emergence of the concept of assemblage in human geography and looks towards some vigilant steps we might take in using Deleuze and Guattari's version of it. The paper is in three parts: first, it briefly looks backwards, charting this emergence to the uptake of the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari as a counterpoint and extension of the earlier engagement with the concept of the network, primarily in actor-network theory (ANT); second, it makes this argument for being vigilant with assemblages through focusing attention on the tetravalent characteristics of the concept of the Deleuze-Guattarian assemblage, emphasising the way this points to alternative arrays of matter and thought. This segues into the third section, which situates the debates in our contemporary understandings of our technological and biochemical condition. The point being that we need precisely the kind of assemblage thinking proposed by Deleuze and Guattari to seize the agenda on the emergent micro- and eco-logical implications these arrays of matter and thought produce; the agenda proposed is exampled through understanding the assemblage concept through the work of Catherine Malabou on that of plasticity and habit, clear extensions in the 21st century of Deleuze and Guattari's earlier ideas.

Keywords: Felix Guattari; Gilles Deleuze; assemblage; habit; materialisms; plasticity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, Email:

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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