Which is the place of affect within practice-based studies ?

  • Silvia Gherardi University of Trento
Keywords: aesthetics, affect, attachment, attunement, practice


The turn to affect needs to assume a stable discursive position on its importance in relation to the literature on practice, nevertheless the issue is not whether affect is important, but why and how. In fact, all agency unfolds with a certain degree of affect and almost all social practices affect their participants in various degrees. Ordinary affects are the varied capacities to affect and to be affected that give everyday life the quality of a continuum becoming. Their significance lies in the way they pick up the intensities that they build and in the thoughts and feelings they make possible, rather than in ‘meanings’ encapsulated in an order of representations. The question that the article addresses is therefore how to preserve and report on ordinary affects while studying working practices? Through two episodes from fieldwork (an unbearable sweet music and cruel optimism) I argue that paying attention to affects is an active process of atmosphere attunement to the various embodiments of the field - the embodied researcher and the embodied practitioners - with their attachments to the object of their practices. The turn to affect may enrich the turn to practice with a sensibility for a form of embodied, affective knowing that put into discussion how research is written.


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How to Cite
Gherardi, S. (2019). Which is the place of affect within practice-based studies ?. M@n@gement, 20(2), 208-220. Retrieved from https://management-aims.com/index.php/mgmt/article/view/3873