Situating Social Performances: Material and Spatial Contexts of Cultural Change

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Dominik BARTMANSKI, Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany
Within the material turn in cultural sociology, there is a range of specific agendas that thematize the constitutive role of materiality for social life, from means of symbolic production to forms of embodied practice. But social life is not only represented and embodied; it is also emplaced and spatially configured. This insight is present in various intellectual traditions, from phenomenology to critical realism, and yet only recently was space approached in non-reductive ways. Today sociologists increasingly recognize that the contemporary processes of reconfiguration of space are not of merely representational or discursive character but emerge out of experiential formations based on reciprocally conditioned spheres of discursive performance and spatial situatedness. These processes are said to engender novel forms of localisation, interconnectedness and spatially shaped self-experience. This presentation offers a range of preliminary observations regarding this topic drawn from my research projects on social resonant performances in media and urban spaces. Key implications for more general theory of culture and meaning making are then presented, reconsidering ways in which linguistic, phenomenological and critical realist perspectives can converge on this topical ground.