Rhizoanalysis. If this term is unfamiliar, don’t resist it; it concerns an important and accessible concept. A common metaphor for analysis is that of a tree: a central stem, roots at one end, and branches at the other, and by tracing the branches and/or digging at the roots, the analyst gets to the heart of the matter. The tree metaphor has served modernist science for several centuries. However, postmodernist inquiries of the analysis suggest that there are problems with seeing the wood for the forests. Alongside the development of increasingly complicated information/communication/knowledge regimes and technologies, specific understandings are being recognized as chaotically and complexly involved in ways that are resisting structural analysis. Poststructuralist interpretative metaphors are needed. The rhizome is such a metaphor, as its chaotic and complex form is post structurally appropriate and generative. The rhizome is to a tree, as the Internet is to a letter. The chaotically complex networking of stems interconnecting the upshots of some grasses are rhizomes – nodal networkings that echo the hyper-connectivity of the Internet – whereas a tree, like a letter, is a relatively simple linear connection between two poles.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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