The politics of emotion as affective judgement: bike-and-ride transit in Greater Sydney, Australia
Gender, Place and Culture
The promotion and uptake of commuter cycling as part of economic revitalisation plans has been critiqued by feminist scholars for its gendered, classed and racialised dimensions. What is often missing from these conversations is feminist knowledge on affect to analyse the politics of emotion. We aim to help fill this gap by building on feminist geographers’ engagement with the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Here, Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of ‘lines’ is a guiding tool to analyse the politics of emotion as affective judgements. The article draws on online semi-structured interview data and sketches collected from 19 people who bike-and-ride transit in Greater Sydney, Australia. To illustrate what emotions do, the article focuses on two events narrated by our participants, peak hour railway carriages and ascending station stairs. We argue that the concept of lines that focuses on the emotive/affective body extends feminist knowledge on the politics of emotion by engaging with both structural macropolitical forces and micropolitical transformations that occur through events and encounters when commuting. In conclusion, we argue that Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of lines is valuable for feminist geographers’ research on the politics of emotion as affective judgements by drawing attention to the transformative possibilities of extraordinary affects.
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