Anarchism and non-representational theory in the social sciences

Thomas S.J. Smith

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    My hope in this article is to demonstrate some ways in which anarchism is relevant for social science, specifically in a post-representational environment. To do this, I explore some of the productive links between the stance of anarchism and recent work in non-representational theorising in the social sciences (Ingold, 2015; Dewsbury, 2010; Thrift, 2008). By doing so, I do not suggest that non-representational theory has to be anarchist. Rather, I argue that it lends itself strongly to a reconsideration, even a revalorization, of anarchism in the social sciences. Finally, to illustrate this link I will turn in the last section to the sociologist Andrew Pickering (2010) for his thought-provoking exposition of performative, non-representational approaches as a sustainable and viable alternative social ontology.


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