Methods for Rhythmanalysis

Authors: Michael Javorski*, University of Durham
Topics: Qualitative Methods, Geographic Theory, Cultural Geography
Keywords: rhythm, Rhythmanalysis, Lefebvre, temporality, Everyday Life, affect
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Gallier B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Henri Lefebvre’s last work on Rhythmanalysis has grown in influence since the publication of the complete English translation in 2004. Within geography, Lefebvre’s insights about how rhythms shape everyday life have provided fertile ground for rethinking space as a process of becoming, and place as an emergent phenomenon (See: Geographies of Rhythm, Edensor Ed., 2010). A survey of journal articles also reveals a number of ‘attempts at’ rhythmanalysis; and various alternative proposals seeking to move beyond Lefebvre by combining his ideas on rhythm with those of other theorists. However, analyses that specifically address Lefebvre’s own intentions of rhythmanalysis are less common. This paper critically examines how human geographers have sought to develop Lefebvre’s proposal for rhythmanalysis as a research method. It further asserts that it is necessary to read Rhythmanalysis in conjunction with Lefebvre’s previous work if we are to better understand it (c.f. Production of Space; Critique of Everyday Life; Sociology of Marx; Metaphilosophy etc.). Without claiming a fixed definition for Rhythmanalysis, I draw a theoretical distinction between descriptive work which is conducted while ‘thinking rhythmically’, and a meaningful critique through rhythmanalysis. Those interested in the challenges posed in attending to rhythm, or possible means of recording and (re)presenting rhythm, may benefit from a discussion of rhythmanalysis as a research method.

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