The Topological Quality of Infrastructural Relation: An Ethnographic Approach

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This article seeks to address how topological approaches to cultural change might be combined with ethnographic analysis in order to suggest new ways of thinking empirically about the dynamic political and moral spaces that infrastructural systems create and sustain. The analytical focus is on how diverse notions of relationality and connectivity are mobilized in the production of infrastructural systems that sustain the capacity of 'state-space' to simultaneously emerge as closed territorial entity and as open, networked form. The article seeks to establish that the differences and discontinuities inherent in all spatio-temporal relations might productively be considered as 'intervals' that both separate and connect across time and space. The notion of an infrastructural system as an interface that conjures both topological and topographical space is the idea that I set out to explore. © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-92
Number of pages16
JournalTheory, Culture & Society: explorations in critical social science
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • connectivity
  • infrastructure
  • Peru
  • relationality
  • state-space
  • topological approaches


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