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Beyond the deliberative subject? Problems of theory, method and critique in the turn to emotion and affect

Beyond the deliberative subject? Problems of theory, method and critique in the turn to emotion... This article explores some of the issues for policy scholars arising from the increasing attention paid to ‘emotion’ and ‘affect’ in contemporary social science. One such issue is in the focus placed on detailed ethnographic methods and interpretive forms of analysis, and the problem this raises for drawing out connections to changing regimes of governing and wider shifts in policy and politics. A second lies in the modernist traditions of policy studies, traditions which privilege the rational actor and deliberative subject. This article uses my own recent research to tease out some issues of method and of theory in conducting a research project that seeks to connect individual working lives to some of the major cultural and social change in Britain over the last 60 years. The article begins by outlining the project and some of the issues raised in interpreting ‘emotion’, then goes on to show how I tried to link ethnographic data to wider questions of policy and power. The final section offers two different critical repertoires that have the capacity to link emotions and emotion work to analysis of shifting governmentalities and material conditions of work. Throughout my aim is to enhance the possibility of interdisciplinary conversations by introducing concepts and analytical framings from beyond the traditions of policy studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Critical Policy Studies Taylor & Francis

Beyond the deliberative subject? Problems of theory, method and critique in the turn to emotion and affect

Critical Policy Studies , Volume 6 (4): 15 – Dec 1, 2012
15 pages

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References (70)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright 2012 Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham
ISSN
1946-018X
eISSN
1946-0171
DOI
10.1080/19460171.2012.730799
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores some of the issues for policy scholars arising from the increasing attention paid to ‘emotion’ and ‘affect’ in contemporary social science. One such issue is in the focus placed on detailed ethnographic methods and interpretive forms of analysis, and the problem this raises for drawing out connections to changing regimes of governing and wider shifts in policy and politics. A second lies in the modernist traditions of policy studies, traditions which privilege the rational actor and deliberative subject. This article uses my own recent research to tease out some issues of method and of theory in conducting a research project that seeks to connect individual working lives to some of the major cultural and social change in Britain over the last 60 years. The article begins by outlining the project and some of the issues raised in interpreting ‘emotion’, then goes on to show how I tried to link ethnographic data to wider questions of policy and power. The final section offers two different critical repertoires that have the capacity to link emotions and emotion work to analysis of shifting governmentalities and material conditions of work. Throughout my aim is to enhance the possibility of interdisciplinary conversations by introducing concepts and analytical framings from beyond the traditions of policy studies.

Journal

Critical Policy StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2012

Keywords: emotion and affect; ethnographic methods; interpretive analysis; changing regimes of governing

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