Standards and (self)implosion. How the circulation of affects accelerates the spread of standards and intensifies the embodiment of colliding, temporal ontologies

Katja Brøgger, Dorthe Staunæs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Standards is an interesting phenomenon in discussions on emotional
circulation and subjectivities. Because standards do travel. And they are
usually on a mission: to standardize policies or products and consequently
also those who are administered by them or consume them. Literature on
the spread of standards often tends to conceptualize the travelling of
standards as contagious processes resulting in epidemic spreads. In this
article, the abstract metaphor of epidemic spread is replaced by an
analytical configuration of a new mode of educational governance in which
orchestrating webs of incentives and anticipations is a major driver. New
international standards is propelled by material-affective infrastructures
and the embodied interpretations that, educational agents and
organizations make of them. The article displays how standards makes
organizations and selves implode and how the impact of standardizing
processes and colliding temporal ontologies is embodied in mid-level
managers’ collapse between anticipatory and nauseating affects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory & Psychology
VolumeAccepted/In press
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • discourse analysis

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