Actor network theory is a powerful approach which combines the insights of post-structuralism with an analysis of the materials of social life. This controversial and path-breaking volume extends ANT beyond studies of technology, power and organisation to the body, subjectivity, politics, and cultural difference, and puts it into cutting-edge dialogue with feminism, anthropology, psychology and economics.
This companion explores ANT as an intellectual practice, tracking its movements and engagements with a wide range of other academic and activist projects. Showcasing the work of a diverse set of ‘second generation’ ANT scholars from around the world, it highlights the exciting depth and breadth of contemporary ANT and its future possibilities. The companion has 38 chapters, each answering a key question about ANT and its capacities. Early chapters explore ANT as an intellectual practice and highlight ANT’s dialogues with other fields and key theorists. Others open critical, provocative discussions of its limitations. Later sections explore how ANT has been developed in a range of social scientific fields and how it has been used to explore a wide range of scales and sites. Chapters in the final section discuss ANT’s involvement in ‘real world’ endeavours such as disability and environmental activism, and even running a Chilean hospital. Each chapter contains an overview of relevant work and introduces original examples and ideas from the authors’ recent research. The chapters orient readers in rich, complex fields and can be read in any order or combination. Throughout the volume, authors mobilise ANT to explore and account for a range of exciting case studies: from wheelchair activism to parliamentary decision-making; from racial profiling to energy consumption monitoring; from queer sex to Korean cities. A comprehensive introduction by the editors explores the significance of ANT more broadly and provides an overview of the volume. The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory will be an inspiring and lively companion to academics and advanced undergraduates and postgraduates from across many disciplines across the social sciences, including Sociology, Geography, Politics and Urban Studies, Environmental Studies and STS, and anyone wishing to engage with ANT, to understand what it has already been used to do and to imagine what it might do in the future.
Planning is centrally focused on places which are significant to people, including both the built and natural environments. In making changes to these places, planning outcomes inevitably benefit some and disadvantage others. It is perhaps surprising that Actor Network Theory (ANT) has only recently been considered as an appropriate lens through which to understand planning practice. This book brings together an international range of contributors to explore such potential of ANT in more detail. While it can be thought of as a subset of complexity theory, given its appreciation for non-linear processes and responses, ANT has its roots in the sociology of scientific and technology studies. ANT now comprises a rich set of concepts that can be applied in research, theoretical and empirical. It is a relational approach that posits a radical symmetry between social and material actors (or actants). It suggests the importance of dynamic processes by which networks of relationships become formed, shift and have effect. And while not inherently normative, ANT has the potential to strengthen other more normative domains of planning theory through its unique analytical lens. However, this requires theoretical and empirical work and the papers in this volume undertake such work. This is the first volume to provide a full consideration of how ANT can contribute to planning studies, and suggests a research agenda for conceptual development and empirical application of the theory.
The recent surfacing of actor-network theory (ANT) in tourism studies correlates to a rising interest in understanding tourism as emergent thorough relational practice connecting cultures, natures and technologies in multifarious ways. Despite the widespread application of ANT across the social sciences, no book has dealt with the practical and theoretical implications of using ANT in Tourism research. This is the first book to critically engage with the use of ANT in tourism studies. By doing so, it challenges approaches that have dominated the literature for the last twenty years and casts new light on issues of materiality, ordering and networks in tourism. The book describes the approach, its possibilities and limitations as an ontology and research methodology, and advances its use and research in the field of tourism. The first three chapters of the book introduce ANT and its key conceptual premises, the book itself and the relation between ANT and tourism studies. Using illustrative cases and examples, the subsequent chapters deal with specific subject areas like materiality, risk, mobilities and ordering and show how ANT contributes to tourism studies. This part presents examples and cases which illustrate the use of the approach in a critical way. Inherently, the study of tourism is a multi-disciplinary field of research and that is reflected in the diverse academic backgrounds of the contributing authors to provide a broad post-disciplinary context of ANT in tourism studies. This unique book, focusing on emerging approaches in tourism research, will be of value to students, researchers and academics in tourism as well as the wider Social Sciences.
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject Communications - Theories, Models, Terms and Definitions, printed single-sided, grade: 2,3, Technical University of Ilmenau (Institute of Media and Communication Science), course: Organisational Communication, 16 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In these days nearly everybody knows different kinds of networks. There are networks all around us. They accompany us at home, at work, on travelling or in our free time. Almost none network is separted and stands for its own, even insulated monks are influenced by the outside world. The whole world is subdivided in networks which are more or less complex. They are all connected in different ways so that every network overlaps another network. Bruno Latour hits the bulls eye with the following statement: "With the new popularization of the word network, it now means transport without deformation and an instantaneous, unaffected access to every piece of information." (Latour 1999, p.15). This term paper concerns with the Actor-Network Theory, shortly called ANT. ANT sometimes specified as sociology of translation is primarily connected with the work of representatives like Bruno Latour, Michael Callon and John Law. The essential characteristic of ANT is the equitable analysis of human and nonhuman actors. They will be esteemed as equal actors in networks which want to achieve a common purpose. The opening chapter of this term paper will give you a rough historical overlook of ANT. Before the main ideas of ANT will disclose, the relevant specifics about ANT will be presented which are also the premises of ANT. Then detailed information about several key concepts of ANT will be added. In the end the critical points and a short conclusion of ANT will conclude this work."
In this thought-provoking and engaging book, Mike Michael brings us a powerful overview of Actor-Network Theory. Covering a breadth of topics, Michael demonstrates how ANT has become a major theoretical framework, influencing scholarly work across a range of fields. Critical and playful, this book fills a notable gap in the literature as Michael expertly explicates the theory and demonstrates how its key concepts can be applied. Comparing and contrasting ANT with other social scientific perspectives, Michael provides a robust and reflexive account of its analytic and empirical promise. A perfect companion for any student of Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Geography, Management & Organisation Studies, Media & Communication, and Cultural Studies.
This book takes it as a given that the city is made of multiple partially localized assemblages built of heterogeneous networks, spaces, and practices. The past century of urban studies has focused on various aspects—space, culture, politics, economy—but these too often address each domain and the city itself as a bounded and cohesive entity. The multiple and overlapping enactments that constitute urban life require a commensurate method of analysis that encompasses the human and non-human aspects of cities—from nature to socio-technical networks, to hybrid collectivities, physical artefacts and historical legacies, and the virtual or imagined city. This book proposes—and its various chapters offer demonstrations—importing into urban studies a body of theories, concepts, and perspectives developed in the field of science and technology studies (STS) and, more specifically, Actor-Network Theory (ANT). The essays examine artefacts, technical systems, architectures, place and eventful spaces, the persistence of history, imaginary and virtual elements of city life, and the politics and ethical challenges of a mode of analysis that incorporates multiple actors as hybrid chains of causation. The chapters are attentive to the multiple scales of both the object of analysis and the analysis itself. The aim is more ambitious than the mere transfer of a fashionable template. The authors embrace ANT critically, as much as a metaphor as a method of analysis, deploying it to think with, to ask new questions, to find the language to achieve more compelling descriptions of city life and of urban transformations. By greatly extending the chain or network of causation, proliferating heterogeneous agents, non-human as well as human, without limit as to their enrolment in urban assemblages, Actor-Network Theory offers a way of addressing the particular complexity and openness characteristic of cities. By enabling an escape from the reification of the city so common in social theory, ANT’s notion of hybrid assemblages offers richer framing of the reality of the city—of urban experience—that is responsive to contingency and complexity. Therefore Urban Assemblages is a pertinent book for students, practitioners and scholars as it aims to shift the parameters of urban studies and contribute a meaningful argument for the urban arena which will dominate the coming decades in government policies.
French sociologist Bruno Latour has previously written about the relationship between people, science and technology. In this book he sets out his own ideas about 'actor network theory' and its relevance to management and organisation theory.
After postmodern critique has deconstructed, decentered, and displaced order and identity on all levels, we are faced with the Humpty Dumpty question of how to put the pieces back together again. This book brings together the seldom associated discourses of hermeneutics, actor-network theory, and new media in order to formulate a theory of a global network society. Hermeneutics re-opens the question of unity in a fragmented world. Actor-network theory reinterprets the construction of meaning as networking. New media studies show how networking is done. Networks arise, are maintained, and are transformed by communicative actions that are governed by network norms that make up a social operating system. The social operating system offers an alternative to the imperatives of algorithmic logic, functionality, and systemic closure that dominate present day solutions to problems of over-complexity in all areas. The world of meaning constructed by the social operating system is a mixed reality in which filters and layers replace the physical restraints of space and time as parameters of knowing and acting. Society and nature, humans and non-humans come together in a socio-sphere consisting of hybrid, heterogeneous actor-networks. This book proposes reinterpreting hermeneutics as networking and networking as guided by a social operating system whose norms are based on new media. There emerges a theory for a global network society described by different concepts than those typical of Western modernity.
Actor-network theory (ANT) is enjoying a notable surge of interest in educational research. New directions and questions are emerging along with new empirical approaches, as educators bring unique sensibilities and commitments to the ongoing debates and reconfigurations that characterise ANT-inspired research. Ethics and politics are now figuring more prominently in ANT-related educational publications, as are educational policy and the critical studies of assessment practices. Research on digital technology in education has also attracted critical exploration with ANT approaches. This book gathers together articles that address important educational issues while showing creative theoretical and methodological possibilities for ANT studies in education. This book aims to locate these contributions within broader trajectories of inquiry in education and sociomaterial approaches considered worthy of attention, given the challenges facing educators today. It also raises critical questions about what appear to be certain oversights or less helpful ideas in what is emerging in the field.
This book provides empirically driven discussions and investigations in the relevance of Actor Network Theory (ANT) and its theoretical concepts. As our civilization evolves from a human to a technologically driven society, new socio-technical network of actors – in society, industry and government are emerging by the day. These networks of actors collaborate to produce contemporary goods and services; handle production processes; manage risks; develop social and commercial networks; develop policies; manage complexities; and create a new way of life. This book provides unique conceptual tools needed to analyze such processes, highlighting the effectiveness of ANT in fostering collaborations between governments, organizations and society.
Developed by Bruno Latour and his collaborators, actor-network theory (ANT) offers crimes studies a worthy intellectual challenge. It requires us to take the performativity turn, consider the role of objects in our analysis and conceptualize all actants (human and non-human) as relational beings. Thus power is not the property of one party, but rather it is an effect of the relationships among actants. This innovative collection provides a series of empirical and theoretical contributions that shows: ¢ The importance of conceptualizing and analyzing technologies as crucial actants in crime and crime control. ¢ The many facets of ANT: its various uses, its theoretical blending with other approaches, its methodological implications for the field. ¢ The fruitfulness of ANT for studying technologies and crime studies: its potential and limitations for understanding the world and revamping crime studies research goals. Students, academics and policy-makers will benefit from reading this collection in order to explore criminology-related topics in a different way.