- Minority (philosophy)
Minority, and the related concept of "becoming-minor," is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their books Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (1975), A Thousand Plateaus (1980), and elsewhere. In these texts, they criticize the concept of "majority". For Deleuze and Guattari, "becoming-minoritarian" is primarily an ethical action, one of the becomings one is affected by when avoiding "becoming-fascist". They argued further that the concept of a "people", when invoked by subordinate groups or those aligned with them, always refers to a minority, whatever its numerical power might be. This has inspired some political philosophers, such as Paul Patton and William Connolly, to elaborate on the concept of "becoming-minoritarian" in order to apply it to modern democratic thought.
For Deleuze and Guattari the "minor" and "becoming-minority" does not refer to minority groups as described in ordinary language. Minority groups are defined by identities and are thus molar configurations belonging to the majoritarian State Machine. Deleuze and Guattari's central example here is Kafka. Kafka finds himself at home among neither the Prague Jews nor the dominant German and Austria-Hungarian power structure. For him a "people is missing" and his literature sets out to summon that people. Nonetheless, there is a connection between what are ordinarily referred to as "minorities" and Deleuze and Guattari's conception of the minor and becoming-minor. If becoming-minor often occurs in the context of what are ordinarily called minority groups, then this is because, Deleuze and Guattari argue, becoming-minor is catalyzed by existence in cramped social spaces. The key point not to be missed is that becoming-minor is not related to molar identities, nor is it a politics that seeks representation or recognition of such identities (though Deleuze and Guattari stress that these are worthwhile political ambitions).
The example of patriarchy provides an illustration of how the concept of "minority" is used: while there may be more women than men numerically, in Deleuze and Guattari's terms, which are sensitive to relations of power, men still constitute the majority whereas women form a minority. Thus the concept of "becoming-minor" converges with that of "becoming-woman" (as they say, "everyone has to 'become-woman', even women..."),"becoming-animal", "becoming-molecular", "becoming-imperceptible" and ultimately, "becoming-revolutionary". Each type of affective becoming marks a new phase of a larger process that Deleuze and Guattari call deterritorialization.
- Deleuze, Gilles. 1979. "One Manifesto Less." Trans. Alan Orenstein. The Deleuze Reader. Ed. Constantin V. Boundas. New York: Columbia UP, 1993. 204-222. ISBN 0231072694. Also appears in Mimesis, Masochism, and Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought. Ed. Timothy Murray. Trans. Eliane dal Molin and Timothy Murray. Theater: Theory/Text/Performance Ser. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1997. 239-258. ISBN 0472066358. Trans. from Superpositions. By Gilles Deleuze and Carmelo Bene. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.
- Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1972. Anti-Œdipus. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 1 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972-1980. Trans. of L'Anti-Oedipe. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0826476953.
- ---. 1975. Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature. Trans. Dana Polan. Theory and History of Literature 30. Minneapolis and London: U of Minnesota P, 1986. Trans. of Kafka: Pour une litterature mineure. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0816615152.
- ---. 1980. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 2 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972-1980. Trans. of Mille Plateaux. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0826476945.
- Guattari, Félix. 1984. Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics. Trans. Rosemary Sheed. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0140551603.
- ---. 1995. Chaosophy. Ed. Sylvère Lotringer. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Ser. New York: Semiotext(e). ISBN 1570270198.
- ---. 1996. Soft Subversions. Ed. Sylvère Lotringer. Trans. David L. Sweet and Chet Wiener. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Ser. New York: Semiotext(e). ISBN 1570270309.
- Massumi, Brian. 1992. A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. Swerve editions. Cambridge, USA and London: MIT. ISBN 0262631431.
- Paul Patton, "Deleuze and Democracy", Contemporary Political Theory (2000) 4:4
Deleuze - Guattari Gilles Deleuze (Cat) • Félix Guattari (Cat) Concepts
and theoriesAffect • Arborescent • Assemblage • Body without organs • Conceptual character • Desiring-production • Deterritorialization • Difference • Haecceity • Immanent evaluation • Individuation • Line of flight • Minority • Molar and molecular • Multiplicity • Noosphere • Plane of immanence • Reterritorialization • Rhizome • Schizoanalysis • Society of control • Subjectification • Transcendental empiricism • Virtual
Deleuze and Guattari
Works by DeleuzeEmpiricism and Subjectivity • Nietzsche and Philosophy • Kant's Critical Philosophy • Proust and Signs • Nietzsche • Bergsonism • Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty • Difference and Repetition • Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza • The Logic of Sense • Spinoza: Practical Philosophy • The Intellectuals and Power: A Discussion Between Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault1 • Dialogues2 • Superpositions3 • Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation • Cinema 1: The Movement Image • Cinema 2: The Time-Image • Foucault • The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque • Périclès et Verdi: La philosophie de Francois Châtelet • Negotiations • Essays Critical and Clinical • Bartleby, la formula della creazione4 • Pure Immanence • Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953-1974 • Two Regimes of Madness Works by GuattariPsychanalyse et transversalité • Molecular Revolution • Desire and Revolution5 • L'inconscient machinique. Essais de Schizoanalyse • L’intervention institutionnelle6 • Les années d'hiver • Pratique de l'institutionnel et politique7 • Communists Like Us8 • Molecular Revolution in Brazil9 • The Three Ecologies • Cartographies schizoanalytiques • Chaosmose • Chaosophy • Soft Subversions • The Guattari Reader • The Anti-Œdipus Papers • Chaos and Complexity Related topicsL'Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze • La Borde clinic • A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity 1 with Michel Foucault • 2 with Claire Parnet • 3 with Carmelo Bene • 4 with Giorgio Agamben • 5 with Franco Berardi and Paolo Beretto • 6 with Jacques Arodino, Georges Lapassade, Gerard Mendel and Rene Lourau • 7 with Jean Oury and François Tosquelles • 8 with Antonio Negri • 9 with Suley Rolnik
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