Society is changing. In fact, society is always changing. From generation to generation, the alterations may sometimes seem slight. At other times, the variations may seem quite pronounced, almost severe enough to register as intra-cultural shock to older members of the plurality.
As we transition from disciplinary society–with a concentration on regular exclusive, enclosed spaces–into the society of control–with free floating, ultra-rapid inclusive webs of regulation–we will see the old institutions adopt new strategies to meet the new demands of being-singular-plural.
Of most interest in this process is coming to understand how personhood (singularity) is just as open to interpretation & evolution as any other human structure.
Now in disciplinary societies, the singular was cast as the individual. The individual is a modern concept that locates personhood as social atom. The literal Latin translation of Greek ATOM is INDIVIDUUM. This social-atom when gathered into an aggregate is called a MASS, and this word also has its links back to modern physics.
In grasping that disciplinary enclosures are structured as masses of social atoms working according to the rules of elective-affinity to establish a given field of action, we can contrast the modern person with the pre-modern subject and the post-modern singularity. The singular before modernity is thought of as some part or organ of a greater body. This is why Thomas Hobbes vision of the body-politic is caught between the pre-modern and modern notion. We see the Leviathan as a great body but it is made up of social-atoms.
The singular after modernity is an always divisible nexus of interconnections constantly routing and rerouting through banks of information. As Deleuze elucidates it in the link above, it is the dividual in connection with the bank. [I prefer to think of the avatar in connection to the network]
|Society of Sovereignty||Organ||Body|
|Society of Discipline||Individual||Mass|
|Society of Control||Dividual (avatar[consumer?])||Bank (network)|
- Deleuze and Computers (lupi-software.com)
- On Facebook Personhood (hew.vc)
- Deleuzian Politics? (excerpts from a discussion published in New Formation in 2010) (jdeanicite.typepad.com)
- Debt & the Indebted Person (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Notes on Intro and Ch. 1 of “Difference and Repetition” by Gilles Deleuze (footnotes2plato.com)
- Deleuze and his Rhizome – An Excess of Postmodern Thinking (theivoryland.wordpress.com)