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Goldsmiths - University of London

The Political Economy of Pulse: Techno-somatic rhythm and real-time data

Davies, Will. 2018. The Political Economy of Pulse: Techno-somatic rhythm and real-time data. Ephemera, 18(4), ISSN 2052-1499 [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

In the context of ubiquitous data capture and the politics of control, there is growing individual and managerial interest in ‘pulse’, both in the literal sense of arterial pulse (now monitored through wearable technology) and in a metaphorical sense of real-time tracking (for instance taking the ‘pulse of an organisation’). This article uses the category of ‘pulse’ to explore post-Fordism as a set of techniques for governing rhythms, both of the body and of technologies. It draws on Lefebvre’s work to introduce notions of eurhythmia, arrhythmia and ‘internal measure’ as ways of exploring somatic and organisational life. It then introduces two case studies where the idea and physical nature of ‘pulse’ are at work. These provide an insight into the real-time nature of post-Fordist life, where a chronic sensing of
quantities becomes the basis of co-operation, rather than a judgement via measures.

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Politics > Political Economy Research Centre


20 November 2017Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2017 15:55

Last Modified:

13 Jul 2018 13:45

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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