A sense of loss? Unsettled attachments in the current conjuncture

Clarke, John (2019). A sense of loss? Unsettled attachments in the current conjuncture. New Formations, 96-97 pp. 132–146.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3898/NEWF:96/97.05.2019


In what ways does conjunctural analysis help us to think better about the present? In this article, I will suggest that this way of thinking (Stuart Hall’s demanding gift to cultural studies) offers us three things of value for dealing with a turbulent and troubling present:

• A configuration of time-space: not just the conventional here and now, but spatial relations and entangled temporalities;
• Attention to heterogeneous social forces and their political alignments;
• The principle of articulation, rather than the analysis of singularities.

A conjunctural analysis helps to illuminate the present and I suggest that it might be approached in terms of the framing effects of different formations, different temporalities and the different ‘senses of loss’ that were articulated in the politics of Brexit.

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