Morphogenesis and animistic moments: On social formation and territorial production

Andrea Mubi Brighenti, Mattias Kärrholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the issue of morphogenesis and metamorphosis in socio-spatial formations. The specific key is what we propose to call the ‘animistic moment’ in form-taking processes. We believe that a conceptualisation of animistic moments might help us to focus better not simply on the coming about of new forms, but also on the power forms are endowed with. The general social-theoretical horizon for the essay is an approach to social collectives as forms of territorialisation and territorial stabilisation. We suggest that an inquiry into the genesis and the transformation of forms through animistic moments might also be employed in the study of an array of processes of social territorialisation. In this article, we look in particular at two examples of the materialisation and animation of social-territorial boundaries: the first relates to the architectural construction of brick arches and walls, while the second relates to urban warfare and the demolition of urban walls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-272
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Science Information
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences
  • Architecture


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