Fabrication of Times and Micro-Formation of Discourse at a Secondary School


  • Michalis Kontopodis University of Amsterdam




time, temporal devices of control, discourse micro-formation, materiality, Actor-Network-Theory, difference, control, private-public relationship, professional orientation at school


The paper presented here starts with a reference to modernist time theories, followed by a presentation of alternative views in the works of FOUCAULT, DELEUZE, LATOUR and others. The study concentrates on the concrete context of an experimental school aiming at incorporation of excluded students into society. Based on the synthesis of discourse analysis and Actor-Network-Theory, the study puts forward a twofold question: a) whether and how the "fabrication of times" is interrelated to micro-formations of discourses and b) how micro-formations of discourses emerge as processes in the concrete setting of a school in regard to their temporal and other aspects. To answer this query, I combine some critical ethnographic work with an Actor-Network-Theory methodology—an approach which could be regarded as "rhizomatic analysis" (DELEUZE & GUATTARI, 1980). Examining discursive and non-discursive action with a particular focus on materialities (sites, students' documents, educational reports, CVs, and files), I introduce the notion of "temporal devices of control" and map two of them: that of synchronicity and that of convergence. In this way, I propose a new understanding of time and relate it to discourse formation. This, in turn, reveals a new potential for critical reflection on theories of time as well as on all action taking place in the school. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0701119


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Author Biography

Michalis Kontopodis, University of Amsterdam

Michalis KONTOPODIS is a research associate at the Research Cluster "Preventive Self" at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He has just accomplished his PhD in Psychology at the Free University of Berlin. He is engaged in both theoretical and empirical work on the "fabrication" of time in institutional settings. His research interests concern Cultural Psychology, Qualitative Developmental Psychology, Critical Psychology and Actor-Network Theory.




How to Cite

Kontopodis, M. (2007). Fabrication of Times and Micro-Formation of Discourse at a Secondary School. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-8.1.201



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