Lefebvre Chapter.

Good enough done with my Lefebvre chapter to go back re-focus and polish the chapters leading up to it. Those interested can download it lefebvrerewriteII. Comments appreciated.

Just to give some context. The chapter marks the end of my study of Marx, Lukacs, Adorno and Lefebvre’s theories of fetishism and social domination. In contrast to other studies that focus on fetishism as constitutive of other phenomena– such as false consciousness, alienation or reification–I focus on how each thinkers conception of fetishism fits into their theories of the constitution and constituents of social domination.

In the case of Lefebvre this means I focus on how he conceives of fetishism as a concrete abstraction that cannot entirely determine society. I then turn to showing how Lefebvre’s utilizes this conception of real abstraction in his critique of everyday life, writings on cities and production of space represent attempts to conceive of how domination is socially embedded. I conclude by criticizing his account of the genesis of social domination and his simplistic conception of the internal opposition between determination and resistance that is based on a dualistic opposition between quantity and quality.

Despite these harsh criticisms I find Lefebvre’s ideas of abstract space and urban form interesting and potentially useful. I also think that much of the chapter is too schematic. It could probably do with a more in depth discussion of how Lefebvre’s conception of critique fits into his different projects and how his changing conception of alienation relates to domination. They are there now, but might need bringing out, which I will try to do when I come back it. But since I only have 8 weeks left its back to fiddling with my introduction and my lit review and adding signposting to my chapter on Marx. (Since my poor supervisors seem to be indicative of the types of interpretations of fetishism I differentiate my approach from it was not clear to them why I found it necessary to include a section on Marx’s method in Capital, his theory of value and a summary of the fetish forms of commodities, money, capital, interest-bearing capital and the trinity formula in my discussion of the role of fetishism in Marx’s theory of the constitution and constituents of social domination.)



About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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3 Responses to Lefebvre Chapter.

  1. yhiraibarguen says:

    Today in a desperate last try in finding some well founded criticisms on Lefebvre’s thoughts on Space I found you. I am confined to the writing of my masters thesis where I am trying to look at the Higher education in Colombia from a perspective of Space using Lefevbre as my compass. It has been quite hard and challenging because I come from using Foucault widely in most of my papers where I conducted Governementality analysis on educational policies and their impact on subjects, educational institutions and nation-states. However, the specific situation I am looking to right now demanded me to move further from my foucaultian perspective of live -which I love- and addopt a theory which allowed me to look at the society as more dialetical- which I fund in Lefebvre’s production of Space. Anyways..I am writing first to let you know I find your blog fascinating, helpuf and bold! I imagine it’s been a useful tool for you to reflect on your writing process and also to relieve the levels of frustration that writing creates most of the time. And second to ask for your help 🙂 My thesis supervisor advised me to write some paragraph where I acknowledge some of the criticisms that Lefebvre’s perspective has recieved and that could be counterproductive to my research work and for instance weaken my findings to the eyes of the readers- the external evaluator-. I know you must had read a lot about Lefebvre, I saw you even have two critisism about his approach and use of fetishism in his theory. So I thought you could be so kind to refer me to some author(s) who had reacted not in the same positive way that Anglophone audice did to his work. Of course my limitations in finding such works so far have been related to language barreiers; I can only read in English and Spanish. So titles in English would be more handy ;).
    Thanks a lot,

    • HR says:

      Yhira. The two best books I know about Lefebvre on space are Stanek’s ‘Henri Lefebvre on Space’ and the edited collection space, difference and everyday life. Both works appreciate Lefebvre but they also level what I think are valid criticisms. They should also have good bibliographies linking you to more critical work on Lefebvre on space. You also might want to try Stuart Elden’s ‘Understanding Henri Lefebvre’ or have a look at the ‘Antipode’ journal. Unfortunately, since my work was on fetishism not space, that’s really all i know.

  2. yhiraibarguen says:

    Many thanks for such a prompt response. I have to say the names you pointed out are helping me a lot! thank you and good luck with your dissertation..I’ll keep reading your updates.

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