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Towards compulsive geographies

Diana Beljaars Orcid Logo

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Volume: 45, Issue: 2, Pages: 284 - 298

Swansea University Author: Diana Beljaars Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/tran.12349

Abstract

This paper presents a spatial imagining of compulsivity. Deconstructing its medicalised conceptualisation and its rendition through the diagnostic system, the paper offers a performative analysis of compulsive body–world formation. It does so by introducing compulsivity as urging the performance of...

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Published in: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN: 0020-2754 1475-5661
Published: Wiley 2020
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa52053
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Abstract: This paper presents a spatial imagining of compulsivity. Deconstructing its medicalised conceptualisation and its rendition through the diagnostic system, the paper offers a performative analysis of compulsive body–world formation. It does so by introducing compulsivity as urging the performance of acts that are unwanted, purposeless, and meaningless, and that nevertheless enlace the corporeal with and through the extracorporeal on unchosen terms. This analysis of compulsions not only develops the dimension of urgency to nonrepresentational theory in cultural geography. It also develops the critical performative understanding of medicalised phenomena in disability and health geography by considering compulsivity as a more-than-human condition. Indeed, reporting on interviews, participant observations, and mobile eye-tracking sessions with 15 people diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, compulsions seem to emerge from particularly volatile compositions of bodies, objects and spaces. The paper then conceives of compulsivity as articulating the material sensibilities emerging with the body’s unfolding situation, and propels it beyond the diagnosable in a broader humanity engaging in material interactions that are felt, rather than known. In addition to a geography of compulsivity, a geographical rendering and ontological centring of compulsions creates a compulsive geography. Ultimately, it situates geographical analysis as crucial to understanding this medicalised performance and as potentially generative of therapeutic outcomes.
Keywords: Compulsivity, Embodiment, Disability Geography, Health Geography, Non-Representational Theory, Performativity, Tourette syndrome
Issue: 2
Start Page: 284
End Page: 298