Henri Lefebvre and the 'Sociology of Boredom'

Theory, Culture and Society 29 (2):37-62 (2012)

Abstract
hat is arguably central to his ‘critique of everyday life’ but has been entirely overlooked in the literature thus far: that of boredom. Although often dismissed as trivial, boredom can be understood as a touchstone through which we can grasp much wider anxieties, socio-cultural changes and subjective crises that are intrinsic to our experience of modernity. Curiously, although Lefebvre was very interested in boredom, he did not analyse it systematically, and he used terms like ‘boring’ or ‘boredom’ in loose, elliptical and seemingly contradictory ways. Such a lack of clarity reveals his ambivalence about this phenomenon, but also highlights a subtle pattern of differentiation he makes between particular modalities of boredom that can be highly illuminating. Through a careful reading of the full range of Lefebvre’s writings, we can begin to understand how he discriminates between different experiences and expressions of boredom, some of which are unambiguously negative, whereas others are judged more positively. With respect to the latter, as he says in Introduction to Modernity, under certain conditions boredom can be full of desires, frustrations and possibilities. Through such an investigation, we start to glimpse latent connections between boredom and utopian propensities that caught the attention not only of Lefebvre but also such thinkers as Ernst Bloch, Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0263276411417460
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,504
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Arcades Project.Walter Benjamin, Howard Eiland & Kevin Mclaughlin - 2001 - Science and Society 65 (2):243-246.
On Academic Boredom.Amir Baghdadchi - 2005 - Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 4 (3):319-324.
Experience Without Qualities: Boredom and Modernity.Elizabeth Goodstein - 2007 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 40 (2):257-260.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Rhythm of Echoes and Echoes of Violence.Mickey Vallee - 2017 - Theory, Culture and Society 34 (1):97-114.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Boredom.W. O'Brien - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):236-244.
There is a Politics of Space Because Space is Political.Stuart Elden - 2007 - Radical Philosophy Review 10 (2):101-116.
Post-Romantic Irony in Bakhtin and Lefebvre.Michael E. Gardiner - 2012 - History of the Human Sciences 25 (3):51-69.
The Production of Space.Henri Lefebvre - 1992 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Le Marxisme et les idéologies.Henri Lefebvre - 1969 - Dialogue 8 (1):1-21.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-02-02

Total views
8 ( #840,392 of 2,273,318 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #405,965 of 2,273,318 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature