Research as Affect-Sphere: Towards Spherogenics

Rick Iedema*, Katherine Carroll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This article outlines the main tenets of affect theory and links these to Sloterdijk's spherology. Where affect foregrounds prepersonal energies and posthuman impulses, spherology provides a lens for considering how humans congregate in constantly reconfiguring socialities in their pursuit of legitimacy and immunity. The article then explores the relevance of "affective spheres" for contemporary social science research. The article's main argument here is that research of contemporary organisational and professional practices must increasingly be spherogenic, or seeking to build "affective spheres." The basis of this argument are the in situ complexity and fast-changing nature of practices, and the increasing challenges involved in objectifying or 'freezing', and analysing or dissecting such practices. The article draws for its case study on a video-reflexive project conducted in a U.S. health service. The article concludes that the notion of research as spherogenics counterbalances the conventional methodological emphasis on a predetermined stance - whether neutral or political - in our construction and enactment of social science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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