Subjects and Failed Subjects in Place-Space-Time: The Quest for Meaning

  • Cornelia RouxEmail author
  • Anne Becker
Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 2)


In this introduction to Part II, we explain how the continual (re)structuring of difference and diversity in categories of subjects and failed subjects in linear place-space-time influenced the why and the how of a NRF project Human Rights Literacy: Quest for meaning (2012–2016) (Roux,, 2012) (Funded research projects of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa.). In our understanding of linear place-space-time, the focus is on Lefebvre’s (Rhythmanalysis. Space, time and everyday life, 2013) notion of linear time (space) as repetitive social practices in difference. We argue that the repetitive nature of social practices, actions, structures and systems, concerning human rights, crystallise differently in everyday life and influence meaning making of human rights within diverse contexts. Humans move in, across and through linear place-space-time as they make meaning of human rights in everyday life. Similarly, human rights, as a social practice, and the social practices and processes of human rights, move in, through and across diverse linear place-space-time. These continual interactions and movements aid meaning making and the structuring of human rights literacies. The research project on human rights literacies commenced in April 2012 as a national funded project and concluded as an international survey (2015) in linear place-space-time through five countries (The final analyses of the survey data and the dissemination of the project ended in November 2016. The collaborators in the Netherlands conducted an extra focus group discussion in April 2017 to clarify some contextual issues.). The complexities of diverse countries, the cultural and contextual mappings of the different research sites and the voluntary participants were significant for the research team’s crystallisation of the data and conceptualisation of contextual human rights literacies.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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