On Territorology. Towards a General Science of Territory

Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 27(1): 52–72, March 2010

http://tcs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/27/1/52

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The development of territorology requires the overcoming of the dichotomy
between determinist and constructivist approaches, in order to advance
towards a general science of territory and territorial phenomena. Insights
for this task can come from at least four main threads of research: biology,
zooethology and human ethology; human ecology, social psychology and
interactionism; human, political and legal geography; and philosophy. In
light of the insights derived from these traditions, the article aims to conceptualize
territorial components, technologies, movements, effects, and their
interplay, in order to establish the main lines of inquiry for territorology. A
general territorology, it is argued, amounts to a sociology of territorial acts
and relations, whose aim is to analyze the expressive and functional components
of territories, as fixed through their organizational and technological
devices.

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SORVEGLIANZA E TEORIA SOCIALE

La sorveglianza può essere definita sinteticamente come l’attività
che consiste nel tenere sotto osservazione un insieme di
soggetti o una popolazione attraverso un’attenzione focalizzata
su corpi, dati e dettagli personali, che vengono sistematicamente
monitorati, registrati, controllati, archiviati, consultati e confrontati
(Lyon 2002; 2007). Tale attività può essere condotta in
una molteplicità di luoghi sociali da organizzazioni di tipo
molto diverso (militari, di polizia, di intelligence, mediche, commerciali)
e per finalità altrettanto diverse (controllo dei propri
impiegati, controllo dei “clienti” – in senso ampio, tale che ad
esempio i devianti possono essere considerati come clienti delle
agenzie di controllo sociale).
In questo capitolo si vuole mostrare come tutti i processi di
sorveglianza possano essere concettualizzati quali forme di
manipolazione delle visibilità di attori e situazioni sociali. Tale
affermazione, occorre subito aggiungere, è valida solo se con
il termine di visibilità si intende un fenomeno definito non
solamente dalla dimensione visiva o visuale, bensì da un più
generale ambito di distribuzione selettiva delle attenzioni e
delle rilevanze all’interno di un campo sociale. In altri termini,
la visibilità può costituire un’importante categoria analitica nell’interpretazione
dei processi di sorveglianza, ma tale categoria
necessita anzitutto di essere articolata in modo accurato.

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Visual, Visible, Ethnographic

The paper explores visibility as a category to describe certain characteristics of the social that can be observed by ethnographers. The field of visibility spans the most immediate interactions that take place in a situated context and mediated social relations. Visibility offers a useful comparative tool to research because very different practices can be compared as specific configurations or regimes of visibility. The effects of visibility are contingent upon the type of regime, as the cases of recognition, control, and spectacle illustrate. The paper does not seek to propose visibility as a catch-all term; rather, it suggests that ethnographic research is inevitably concerned with how features of visibility are employed by actors to introduce thresholds of relevance in the definition of relational territories. In its attempt to understand the constitution of social territories as ‘locales’, ethnography cross-cuts the distinction between the how and the why of observed phenomena.

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Did We Really Get Rid of Commands? Thoughts on a Theme from Elias Canetti

Neither in contemporary sociology nor in legal theory is much attention paid to the theoretical object of commands. This paper explores some features of commands that tend to remain largely invisible in social action, as well as largely under-theorized in the scholarly literature. The analysis draws on early reflection by Elias Canetti and tries to clarify the dynamics of the relationship between law and commands from a sociological perspective. The main claim is that command cannot be reduced to a linguistic entity, but has to be considered in the more complex frame of a direct relationship among subjects and their bodies within a shared space. Explanation of commands is made even more difficult by the fact that they take place in a space that is located ambiguously in between the realm of the subjective and that of the objective, in between passions and institutions.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10978-006-0001-0

Also at: https://booksc.org/book/8063056/ea83f6

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