Tony Bennett is Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and Honorary Professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. Among his many books are
Contested Pathways: Habit and the Conduct of Conduct
This chapter conducts four probes into contemporary controversies over habit's contested political histories. Looking first at the place Bruno Latour accords habit in the operations of “modes of existence,” it then considers the difficulties associated with Gilles Deleuze's famous aphorism: “We are habits, nothing but habits, the habit of acquiring habits.” In doing so, it discusses some convergences and differences between Deleuze's and Michel Foucault's work, focusing particularly on the role Deleuze attributes to exemplary forms of authority in guiding our habits as “larval subjects.” Deleuze's account of “societies of control” is also in play in the probe focused on the role of habit in the postdisciplinary forms of power applied to the direction of habits by new forms of algorithmic governmentality. The final probe examines the racial underpinnings of recent forms of the “emergency government” brought to bear on the daily habits of Indigenous Australians.