Genealogy of Experiential Frames: Methodological Notes on Arendt

Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen

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This article seeks to add a new theoretical voice to the tradition of genealogical inquiry in political theory and beyond by offering a re-reading of the thought of Hannah Arendt. Going beyond the letter of her thought, in this article I propose that placing Arendt in the genealogical tradition of inquiry (particularly its Foucauldian strand) helps to make sense of what she was "up to" when she turned to history in her work, especially in the analysis of totalitarianism and the account of modernity presented in The Human Condition. I will specifically highlight the historical emergence of "process-thinking" that Arendt traces across her writings. The article seeks to sketch a unique approach to genealogical inquiry that can be taken up by anyone interested in critical analysis of our present age and its politics. Towards the end of the essay, I elaborate this approach methodologically by making a reference to frame analysis. Thus, I articulate a "genealogical frame analysis", an inquiry into historical emergence of various metaphors and frames that organize our experience of the world. I also highlight the centrality of events for Arendt's genealogy, as well as its role in a broader set of world-building practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Hannah Arendt
  • genealogy
  • method
  • history
  • life
  • process
  • critique

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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