Bodies, non-human matter and the micropolitical production of sociomaterial dis/advantage

Nick J. Fox, Pam Alldred

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article sets out a more-than-human framework within which to explore the contribution of non-human matter to social inequality. Applying an approach based in Deleuzian ethology, we extend three invitations: to address the multiplicity and fluidity of dis/advantage, to explore its production in everyday interactions, and to acknowledge non-human as well as human matter in the emergence of dis/advantage. The article examines how the interactions between human and non-human matter produce and reproduce context-specific bodily capacities and incapacities, and consequently ‘a thousand tiny dis/advantages’. These dis/advantages may accumulate to produce substantive inequalities and social divisions. An illustrative re-reading of Paul Willis’s 1970s study of the cultural reproduction of social inequality Learning to Labour reveals the complex ways in which daily encounters between human and non-human matter produce both transient and lasting dis/advantage. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this more-than-human perspective for the sociological study of inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Early online date16 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2021

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