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  Deleuze and Guattari explain 'stratification' is an ongoing, rhizomatic process that contributes to the line of emergence or becoming. This process may (or may not) lead to our rejection of a unifying subjectivity and embrace instead the forever-formative Body without Organs (BwO). However, the process/term 'stratification' also refers to what is essentially an organising principle of sorts, whereby it assists writers in their attempt actively to apply - or put into practice - their ideas (A Thousand Plateaus aims to put forth a series of 'pragmatics' rather than abstract theories). As such, the term provides both an organising form for discussion, as well as the subject matter or content contained by that form.
  The processes (rather than just the effects) of everyday experience are invoked by Deleuze and Guattari in order to show interweaving journeys between states of consciousness and unconsciousness that we both take and make routinely and repetitively. These often forgotten journeys and the non-cognitive decisions that accompany our movements are precisely where a potential line of flight or becoming may be located, and in evoking largely taken-for-granted State systems, all processes of becoming occur at least initially - within these systems.
  In what is perhaps the most useful and accessible paradox of Plateau 3 of A Thousand Plateaus, a primary point of discussion emerges as the relationship between the production and reception of language (via theories of semiotics). As paradoxical meta-narrative forms, the chaotic principles motivating maintenance of the concepts of the earth and God function to destabilise the claims for truth or universality that are often associated with somehow more seamless semiotic theories that attempt to provide a generalising explanation for all aspects of reality. Instead, Deleuze and Guattari show that language, like all systems and all aspects of life, is constituted by a series of strata that have been traditionally contained by physiochemical, organic or anthropomorphic categories. Straddling these fields, language affects every aspect of the universe by contextualising them within a single sphere of interaction. For Deleuze and Guattari, every articulation (or stratum) consists of abstract and discrete components. In accord with this, language (and semiotics as the science of language) can clearly be seen as an organising principle that presumes to make sense of our experience of these components that, when combined, produce reality. However, while acknowledging that they need to invoke the system they aim to critique (language must be used for general communication to occur between writers and readers), Deleuze and Guattari also show that linguistic terms or signifiers tend to be used in such generalising and structural ways that they cease to function linguistically in relation to a specific idea or field of content. As such, the signifier comes to adopt instead a kind of physical or distinct independence and objecthood, whereby the relationship between signifier and signified is further obliterated.
  Deleuze and Guattari contend that all articulations are always already a double articulation because they are constituted by the dual components of content and expression. We can understand this to mean that strata come in pairs and are themselves made up of a double articulation that can then be recognised as molar and molecular (and bound by the third even more variable term/line of nomadic), or which we may alternatively consider through the terms of 'expression' and 'content' (these replace the Saussurian concepts of 'signifier' and 'signified'). However, as indicated by the more generally accepted breakdown in referential relations between the signifier and signified, it is important to note that the layers, planes or discrete strata of content or expression are arbitrary. There is no referential, signifier-signified, or cause-and-effect relationship regulating their production or existence, despite the fact that the layers may cooperate with each other or bleed into one another in order to produce new strata or lines of deterritorialisation.
  The concept of 'stratification' is an attempt to promote a new kind of thinking about the way language produces an image of reality (and is itself reframed as a product of this same activity). Language is an important point of focus because it is both a grand and minor narrative, and an organising as well as organised principle through which our subjectivity is only ever provisionally contained.
   § becoming
   § rhizome
   § semiotics
   § signifier / signified
   § subjectivity

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Stratification — (v. lat.), Schichtung, Aufschichtung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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