Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity [Marc Auge, John Howe] on seeks to establish an intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity . Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, New York-London, Verso is that supermodernity produces non-places, meaning spaces which are not. Non-places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. Responsibility: Marc Augé ; translated by John Howe. Uniform Title: Non-lieux. English; Imprint.
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Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity
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An ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in front of TVs, computer and cash machines. In this fascinating and lucid essay he seeks to establish and intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity.
Starting with an attempt to disentangle anthropology from history, Auge goes on to map the distinction between placeencrusted with historical monuments and creative social life, and non-placeto which individuals are connected in a uniform manner and where no organic social life is possible. Unlike Baudelairean modernity, where old and new are interwoven, supermodernity is self-contained: Auge does not suggest that supermodernity is all-encompassing: But he argues powerfully that we are in transit through non-place for more and more of our time, as if between immense parentheses, and concludes that this new form of solitude should become the subject of an anthropology of its own.
Paperbackpages. Published May 17th by Verso first published April To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Non-Placesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Mar 27, Andrew added it Shelves: These theorists who seem to prioritize elegant writing over systematic knowledge are sometimes brilliant Benjamin, Barthes and sometimes blithering Baudrillard, Certeau.
First of all, his definition of “non-places” strikes me as pretty suspect an deeply rooted in some of the more discreditable brands of mid-century structuralist thought.
However, a number of ideas he expresses are provocative, even fascinating. I just find it somewhat bothersome that he– as an anthropological and geographic akge chooses to write his arguments through spiderwebs of Jesuitical axioms and the structure of myth rather than groundwork and legwork.
As a connoisseur of spatial thought, I would compare this to Bachelard’s Poetics of Space; both are totally fascinating, and almost completely inapplicable, but thought-provoking reads. Libro breve ma denso, a tratti addirittura ostico, involuto. In questo mondo sostanzialmente liquido irresistibile il parallelo con l’altro grande sociologo dei nostri tempi: Jan 06, Erdem Tasdelen rated it liked it Shelves: A marvellous discussion of supermodernity, but I’m a little skeptical of the notion of non-spaces.
It seems to me that all places are antyropology non-places, and all spaces that are framed as non-places in this book are potentially anthropological places too. My friend gave the most amazing example when we were discussing this: I would have expected two or three more chapters in which he’d actually do something with these notions; that would have made this book supdrmodernity much better read.
The premise of the book is interesting: However, the book falls short. Auge concentrates on defining what an anthropological space is, although people with even a fairly basic knowledge of anthropology will know this. At the same time he often is vague on the concept of non-places, as a result of which I have so much doubts about the concept that I do not see it as a usefu The premise of the book is interesting: At the same time he often is vague on the concept of non-places, as a result of which I have so much doubts about the concept that I do not see it as a athropology tool.
When he writes of airports as non-places, I am reminded of the narrator’s discussion of airports in Palahniuk’s Fight Club; but then I realize that people work there, and for them it is an anthropological space. Second of all, sticking to the airport, we can easily see it as a anthropological place despite its super-modern qualities.
The way airports are divided intrpduction different places, the way we interact with security, the Intfoduction lounges and waiting rooms, etc. Taking transit into account, when most of us take a bus, subway or fly somewhere, it is true – we do so in virtual isolation. But think of the field trip, or when a group of people travel together, e. Similarly the hotel room – it seems a non-place at first, but if we shift our attention to a concrete room, we may find history, e. The same could be said about a supermodetnity supermarket or shopping center, particularly when it is not used as a place to engage in consumer activity, but a social space.
Think off mall rats, who are just there, the young people who redefine these spaces by using them as places to go out for a date. Furthermore, the assumption that one is anonymous in such non-spaces, an individual without links to the community seems either myopic or deemphasizing the way a space is used by those visiting it. Even more problematically, this raises questions of the existence of non-places prior to super-modernity. I also have an issue with his view supermodernigy entering non-places takes away our identity in the social senseand we only are identified when entering or exiting a non-place.
File:Auge Marc Non-Places Introduction to an Anthropology of – Monoskop
This argument completely falls apart if you use cash rather than a check or credit card an issue Auge adroitly avoids, which is problematic in light of the view that we are always observed and never anonymous in a ‘panopticonic’ world. When one visits a supermarket, or anything else that is deemed a non-place, and meets a colleague, friend, etc. We can say that Auge mentions that the traveler he discusses and, by extension shopper, or anyone else in a non-place is alone.
However, this is problematic: This beckons at the old conundrum of the tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it: Barring the question of self-consciousness I identified myself in the supermarketwhich Auge does by separating an individual from a society, this is not, again, limited only to super-modernity, but to a broader question of how society functions also think of taboo places that existed, had an anthropological role as myths, but were not ventured into.
Auge is not reckless in his argument, and he mentions mentions, whereas it should be emphasized that the status of a non-place is fluid, preparing for such contingencies, but he never seems to give them any thought, as a result of which he creates the impression of being dismissive of them. Furthermore, he draws very heavily on the work of Michel de Certeau, which he simply places in the context of what he calls ‘the three excesses of super-modernity’, which undermines the originality of his discussion.
Auge tries to place the notion of non-places in the area of politics.
This go risky, and I consider it ill-advised. First of all, he sees the status of a non-place as fluid. If it is for this quality that he believes such places are e. But if we take his entire argument into account, it seems that they are actually protesting in his context, as it seems that recent history invalidated parts of this hypothesis against the way a place is used.
Tentatively I think that the book suffers from comparisons to other anthropological texts, while ignoring western historicity and being vague about a number of differences. I think that it is possible to find examples of non-places in times preceding super-modernity. How does a modern day supermarket differ from a marketplace of years ago? Is a modern mom and pop store a non-place? How does a a modern day passenger differ from a traveler, and why is a ‘traditional’ train a place, whereas the TGV is not?
By doing so in a seemingly arbitrary manner, he seems to be undermining his own argument. The book left me nonplussed, but the fact that I wrote such a long and likely rambling review shows that it has the potential to challenge certain assumptions, and definitely is thought provoking, despite of its shortcomings.
Mar 02, Kareem Brakat rated it liked it Shelves: Mittekohas valitsevad aktuaalsus ja olevikuhetke pakilisus. Mar 01, Romina rated it it was amazing. Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity is fascinating.
His book is useful because it offers a theoretical framework for understanding why we think of some places the way we do, in particular there is a description of places that can put us in contact with a social structure, because there is a very close, consubstantial link between space and social organization. At the same time, he noticed the proliferation, in the contemporary tk, of spaces in which no lasting social relations are established transit spaces, spaces people pass throughhe suggested calling those spaces non-places to suggest that in those contexts there were a total absence of symbolic ties, and evident social deficits.
Although the two sets of relations overlap to a large extent, and in any case officially individuals travel, make purchases, relaxthey are still not confused with one another; for non-places mediate a whole mass of relations, with the self and with others, which are only indirectly connected with their purposes. As anthropological places create the organically, so non-places create solitary contractuality. The hypothesis advanced here is that supermodernity produces non-places, meaning spaces which are not themselves anthropological places and which, unlike Baudelairean modernity, do not integrate the earlier places: A znthropology where people are born in the clinic and die in hospital, where transit points and temporary abodes are proliferating under luxurious or inhuman conditions hotels chains and squats […]” Feb 16, Rebecca rated it really liked it.
A nathropology gem of a meditation on the distinction between “anthropological places” formed by social bonds and collective history, and “non-places” of atomized, individual travel and t.
This is the non-silly vein of French theory, grounded, urbane, a delight to read, crammed with provocative concepts presented in a graceful style. It is an interesting introduction to the non-places theme, and not only for anthropologists mostly, though but also supermodernty laymen, just like me, who are into different themes in literature.
I decided to read it as I was studying the literary cartography and the changes of maps throughout the centuries. I especially enjoyed the prologue for the book, which at first confuses and surprises but if you go on reading the book, it all becomes clear. I must say though that it is quite difficult to grasp, It is an interesting introduction to the non-places theme, and not only for anthropologists mostly, though but also for laymen, just like me, who are into different themes supefmodernity literature.
I must say though that it is quite difficult to grasp, especially when one did not study anthroplogy before, as Auge touches upon different anthropologist themes, which I have never encountered before. A good read but a demanding one!
Desde que tengo memoria me han fascinado los lugares impersonales.
Mar 02, ralowe rated it really liked it. Prima di leggere questo libro, davo una connotazione negativa al concetto di nonluogo, come se fosse qualcosa a cui opporsi. Mi domando come sia possibile che nella parte in cui parla dei viaggiatori intesi come quelli che si muovono introductioj, tralasci totalmente di citare Kerouak.
Ora invece per molti aspetti essere in un luogo o in un nonluogo equivale ad essere in qualunque altro luogo o nonluogo, e la parte di “racconto del viaggio” avviene in tempo reale. Ci attacco pure un rimando a Junkspace. Mar 18, Abbas Jaffer rated it it was amazing. Short, pithy and very perceptive work on the routes and contractual locations of contemporary society. The emotional pull of having a ‘place’ of one’s own stands in stark contract to how mobility becomes a defining feature of contemporary life.
We are told fo to turn, when to swipe, given supermodernityy constantly about weather conditions, time, and geolocation.
Even though this book came out in the s, the strength of its argument is that we see an even greater proliferation of non-places across the world today. Jun 08, queli added it. Oct 02, E.