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Never Say I! Networking as a disciplinary system: Exit strategies

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The main assumption of this presentation is that networking can be conceived in terms of an effect of apparatuses. It is characterized by hierarchical observations, normalizing judgements, examinations. From this point of view, networking is not an inter-disciplinary system or – even – a-disciplinary, but it is in fact a discipline. Then, given that one of the main aspects of networking is that we are completely merged with it, it is quite difficult to consider it as a discipline with a critical eye; and we can perceive its consequences mainly within the educational system. The aim of this presentation is, first, to describe networking as a contemporary practice, coextensive with a specific disciplinary system. In this case, I would like to demonstrate how networking (specifically its most massive and less ingenuous branch, social networking) is one of the most powerful apparatus for contemporary subjectivation processes. Following Deleuze, it will be pointed out how networking is based on a peculiar regime of signs that reduces drastically the processes of subjectivation it determines, to the scarce possibilities offered by the apparatus. Second, some exit strategies from the (social) networking apparatus are suggested, built on three keywords: anomie, anonymity and untimeliness. They are based on the assumption that – against a continual push towards the presence or the telepresence – the absence can be a concrete contemporary kind of process of subjectivation.
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Keywords: anomie; anonymity; apparatus; discipline; networking; panopticon; untimeliness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Plymouth

Publication date: 17 May 2012

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