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Reassembling the Social : An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory / B. Latour.

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Abstract

Obra teórica de una sociología de las asociaciones, el autor se cuestiona sobre lo que supone la palabra social que ha sido interpretada con diferentes presupuestos y se ha hecho del mismo vocablo un nombre impreciso e inadecuado, además se ha materializado el término como quien nombra algo concreto, de manera que lo social se convierte en un proceso de ensamblado y un tipo particular de material. Propone retomar el concepto original para hacer las debidas conexiones y descubrir el contenido estricto de las cuestiones que están conectadas bajo la sociedad.

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... While end-users can source system-related knowledge from any of these entities, extant research has focused primarily on knowledge acquired from other end-users through social networking (Freeze et al., 2012;Sasidharan et al., 2017;Sasidharan et al., 2012;Sykes et al., 2009;Sykes, Venkatesh, & Johnson, 2014). Drawing upon the actor-network theory (Callon, 1996;Latour, 2005), this study argues that all actors contribute to the knowledge dynamics within the implementation environment, and the knowledge contributions of each can impact end-user system use and subsequent implementation outcomes (Kane & Alavi, 2008). It proposes an expanded and more inclusive multimodal social network, one extending beyond end-users, through the inclusion of knowledge actors such as technology champions, the helpdesk, the service desk, and the shared inbox. ...
... The actor-network theory argues that all actors are essential to the network as they contribute to the social order in distinct ways. Such actors can include individuals and inanimate objects such as hardware and software (Callon, 1996;Latour, 2005). This comprehensive approach is rooted in the belief that interactions and outcomes within a network are the product of all actors. ...
... The strength or intensity of knowledge interactions has not been considered (Freeze et al., 2012;Sasidharan et al., 2017;Sasidharan et al., 2012;Sykes et al., 2009;Sykes et al., 2014). Hence, based on the actor-network theory (Callon, 1996;Latour, 2005), this study proposed a multimodal social network spanning both technical and business process advice networks, and including the institutionally mandated knowledge actors of technology champions, the help desk, the service desk, and the shared inbox (Kane & Alavi, 2008). ...
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Knowledge acquired by end users through their social networks facilitates optimal use of a newly implemented enterprise system. Existing research has conceptualized end users as being the only actors within such networks. Knowledge ties between actors have been treated as unidimensional. The actor-network theory emphasizes the role of all actors in influencing networking outcomes; hence, this study proposes an expanded multimodal social network that includes four institutionally mandated knowledge actors: the technology champions, the help desk, the service desk, and the shared inbox. Knowledge ties are treated as bidimensional through incorporating both technical and business process knowledge. Data collected from an enterprise resource planning system implementation validated this approach; end users sourced knowledge from other end users and the institutionally mandated network actors based on contextual requirements. End user performance outcomes were significantly associated with knowledge source and knowledge dimension.
... We encourage the reader to consider how sociomaterial thinking can be utilised to challenge education policymakers and practitioners to address menstrual stigma by de-centring the focus on individual biology. In doing this, we introduce ideas from Barad (2007), Braidotti (2019), Latour (2005), Miller (2010 and Pickering (1995) to provoke ontological and epistemological reifications of menstruation knowledge. This article starts by exploring menstrual stigma/prejudice before describing aspects of the menstruation and education policy landscape. ...
... As Lupton (2021) sets out, sociomaterial research draws attention to the material, as well as the discursive and conceptual aspects of people's lived experiences and routines. Latour (2005) argues that the social world is continuously built and rebuilt by humans and non-humans. Miller (2010) posits that the way materiality contributes to human subjectivities is not always obvious and that material 'stuff' can unconsciously prompt people's actions. ...
... Although theories rooted in relational ontologies have distinctions (Moura and Bispo 2020), theorists are commonly critical of the idea that 'materiality and representation are separate realms' (Edwards and Fenwick 2013, 57). To clarify, unlike other approaches to sociomaterialism, relational ontologies claim that material things do not have fixed boundaries and that the relationality between humans and non-humans constantly produces and reproduces the world (Barad 2007;Latour 2005). ...
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Menstruation and menstrual stigma have recently attracted the attention of education policymakers in England. In 2019, the Department for Education (DfE) published new guidance on delivering relationships, sex and health education that included teaching about menstrual wellbeing and in 2020 made menstrual products freely available in all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England. The DfE argue that these dual interventions are important for tackling menstrual stigma by normalising menstruation in school. However, these interventions emphasise the management of menstruation in terms of physical health while this article argues that foregrounding how menstruation features in young people’s everyday experiences and routines could also be important for addressing stigma. This theory-focussed paper invites a turn away from a humanist positioning on menstruation and menstrual stigma. It discusses existing human-centred research on menstruation and draws on ideas from relational sociomaterial theory to highlight how researching the role of material things in young people’s engagements with menstruation can influence understandings about menstrual stigma and young people.
... In the education domain, this problem prefigures ethical issues because AIEd implies also evaluating the humans interacting with AI, who would otherwise (sans AI) be operating according to traditional norms. In other words, XAI in AIEd requires evaluating AI algorithms in a context where the performance is traditionally socially constructed (Latour 2005) and done by humans, for humans. Addressing this problem helps to make AIEd more transparent, which can help tackle the ethical quandaries of AIEd, such as distributive fairness (as defined normatively by, e.g. ...
... We consider AIEd as incorporating the traditional roles of learners and teachers within a socially constructed educational milieu (Latour 2005). In other words, we start from the assumption that all roles, for human or AI players, for staff or students, are derived from equivalent fundamentals and obtain their unique character through emergence by social construction. ...
... In other words, we start from the assumption that all roles, for human or AI players, for staff or students, are derived from equivalent fundamentals and obtain their unique character through emergence by social construction. This is in line with Actor-Network Theory (ANT) (Latour 2005), which posits that everything in the social and natural worlds exists in constantly shifting networks of relationships. Rather than a predictive theory, ANT provides an empirical 'form of inquiry', which we follow by exploiting the bounded structure and complete access to activity data of MMOGs, to track 'players' and their interactions. ...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we reflect on the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) as a pedagogical and educational instrument and the challenges that arise to ensure transparency and fairness to staff and students . We describe a thought experiment: ‘simulation of AI in education as a massively multiplayer social online game’ (AIEd-MMOG). Here, all actors (humans, institutions, AI agents and algorithms) are required to conform to the definition of a player. Models of player behaviour that ‘understand’ the game space provide an application programming interface for typical algorithms, e.g. deep learning neural nets or reinforcement learning agents, to interact with humans and the game space. The definition of ‘player’ is a role designed to maximise protection and benefit for human players during interaction with AI. The concept of benefit maximisation is formally defined as a Rawlsian justice game, played within the AIEd-MMOG to facilitate transparency and trust of the algorithms involved, without requiring algorithm-specific technical solutions to, e.g. ‘peek inside the black box’. Our thought experiment for an AIEd-MMOG simulation suggests solutions for the well-known challenges of explainable AI and distributive justice.
... A pattern can be identified: those approaches striving to expand the happenings into doings and those reducing the doings into mere happenings. In the latter pattern we can locate mechanistic approaches (Dawkins, 1986;Dennett, 1991Dennett, , 1994Dennett, , 2017Okasha, 2018), while the processual approach to agency (Latour, 1992(Latour, , 2005Ingold, 2013;Malafouris, 2013;March, 2019) fits well in the former pattern. ...
... A more general and modern conception that also attributes agency to things is the thesis of material agency (Knappett & Malafouris, 2008;Malafouris, 2013). This concept is derived from the processual approach to agency (Ingold, 2013;Latour, 2005), and from the so-called 4E cognition approach: the view of the mind as embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended (Newen, De Bruin, & Gallagher, 2018). Proponents like Malafouris (2008, p. 22) claim that "If human agency is then material agency is, there is no way that human and material agency can be disentangled." ...
Thesis
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This thesis investigates the role of artefacts in relation to human agency and design within a cognitive semiotics framework. It deals with questions such as What is agency? What are artefacts and how does agency relate to them? What kind of intentions are involved in the activity of designing? What is human-specific with respect to agency and design? How can the origins and evolution of design be explained? Addressing these questions, the thesis proposes a layered model of agency for explaining the relations between different grades of agentive complexity. The model is also useful for empirical studies of agency such as those of neuroscience. The thesis contends that the activity of design is a key feature of human agency. Thus, it delves into the cognitive processes of design, proposing the notion of enhanced agency as the prosthetic incorporation of artefacts into the agentive capabilities of the agents. The thesis also explores the origins and evolution of design and proposes a stage-based model in which the progressive complexity of the artificial world is parallel to the increasing complexity of enhanced human agency. The thesis rejects human exceptionalism which places humans as ontologically unique and biologically discontinuous with the rest of the living world. At the same time, it recognizes that only human agents have the power to stop the current environmental obliteration. This can be done by recognizing the potential of human agency, instead of diluting it into abstract networks; highlighting its differences and similarities instead of equating human agency with inert matter or anthropomorphizing the agency of other animals. This also highlights the moral responsibilities of human agency. Paper 1 explores the origin and evolution of design: an activity in which agency is present in the intentional adaptations of the material world for the benefit of human purposes. Delving into the evolutionary emergence of design helps understand the relevant cognitive processes underlying this activity and their relationship with other key semiotic resources such as mimesis, pictorial representations and polysemiotic communication. Paper 2 addresses the current debate on the role of materiality for human cognition and the status of artefacts as agents, critically reviewing the concept of material agency. Paper 3 is based on an empirical study consisting of contextually situated observations of the process of design of artefacts in Amazonia. This paper proposes the notion of enhanced agency, the prosthetic incorporation of artefacts into the agentive capabilities of the agents. Paper 4 investigates how intentions are involved in the cognitive processes of design. Paper 5 proposes a layered model of agency with the goal of explaining the relations between different grades of agentive complexity. A further goal was to apply a proper cognitive semiotic approach to third-person studies of agency, specifically those of neuroscience.
... To understand how agency works in Actor-Network Theory, it is worth recalling the significance of the hyphen in "Actor Network," which is intended to highlight the interdependence among actors, as well as the interdependence between actors and networks. According to Latour (2005), an actor can be conceived of in two ways simultaneously, as a puppet and as a unity. The term "actor" was not chosen by coincidence: an actor (in theatre or film), when performing himself/ herself, is intertwined with the text he/she is performing. ...
... For the purposes of this chapter, we propose the idea of connectivity as a condition that facilitates worldwide connections among actors and/or actants. This globalised framework offers us an opportunity to retrace connectionswhich Latour (2005) once called the main purpose of the social sciencesby crossing multiple scales or layers. As Conrad (2016) notes, the most interesting questions emerge at the intersection between local and global processes; that is, in the interaction of multiple scales. ...
... It seems that equally interesting will be the analyses of rituals in terms of the translation of interests (Abriszewski 2012: 233-235), calculation centre (Abriszewski 2010a: 29), long-distance ethics (Abriszewski 2010a: 158 and elsewhere), resource mobilisation (Abriszewski 2010a: 42 and others), tension between the internal and the external (e.g. Abriszewski 2012: 26-27), ritual in reference to the concept of location (Abriszewski 2010b: XVIII), 10 E.g. by making use of the concept of actors in the ANT perception: as having a number of philosophies;as mediators revealing the movement of what is social; as fully competent; as a fully artificial and fully researchable collective, etc. (seeLatour 2005). This includes the acceptance of ANT's concept of knowledge (seeAbriszewski 2012). ...
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The author begins with the research on annual rituals in the current of structural semiotics, on the basis of which it is possible to define a ritual as a text of culture. Then, the author proceeds to demonstrate that the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be a natural continuation of the structural-functional research on rituals, because these two approaches meet in four methodological areas: anthropology and ethnology, structuralism, semiotics (of a text) and ethnomethodology, and are inspired by them. In the second part, the authors outlines two basic “methodological benefits” which the research on rituals may derive from the application of ANT: a new look on elements of structure of a ritual culture text and the use of translation as an in spe tool of ritual semiotics. In the conclusions, the author opens new research perspectives, in particular by presenting ANT as a natural bridge between the structural-functional-semiotic description of a ritual and constructivism, and as a chance to interpret the way in which texts of post-traditional culture build a community.
... La EPU es una disciplina que se alimenta de la Teoría Critica marxista y de la Geografía radical; su mensaje urge una recomposición del sistema capitalista de producción del espacio y de los procesos socio-ecológicos que los sostienen. Cabe señalar que esta corriente forma parte de una de las tres tareas a las que, segun Latour (2005), se han abocado las ciencias sociales; en este caso corresponde a aquella orientada a resolver la cuestión social planteada por Castells (1974), y que de esta manera ofrecen elementos para la acción política. ...
Article
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Las Soluciones basadas en la Naturaleza (SbN), proponen alternativas para incrementar el acceso a los servicios ecosistémicos en la ciudad, a través de la instalación de infraestructura natural. Sin embargo, de-bido a su carácter técnico, estas propuestas no cuestionan el mecanis-mo productor del espacio; su rol se orienta principalmente a proveer el procedimiento de planificación y diseño empleando las funciones eco-sistémicas, disponibles en el lugar, para crear un valor que sea acepta-do por la sociedad. En este sentido las SbN intervienen mejorando las funciones ecosistémicas. Sin embargo, la estructura territorial subya-cente ya viene siendo creada por la circulación de bienes y servicios en este espacio físico, cuya configuración se acomoda a la reproducción del capital que opera en los espacios urbanos. El presente documento cuestiona las estrategias de implementación de las SbN en las dimen-siones sociales y políticas que tienen que ver con la producción y distri-bución del espacio urbano en un sistema de libre mercado. El método elegido consiste en identificar y analizar estas estrategias empleando el marco teórico la Ecología Política Urbana (EPU). El análisis tiene como objetivo identificar puntos de abordaje y aportes de las SbN a la solución estructural de la desigualdad en la distribución y acceso a los espacios verdes en la ciudad. Se sugiere una dirección para explorar la implementación de las SbN, que vaya mas allá de su contribución en el incremento en calidad y cantidad de los espacios verdes, hacia su empleo como herramienta promotora de la acción social, por medio de la búsqueda e identificación de elementos que permitirían plantear estrategias espaciales que remarquen el rol fundamental del espacio en la experiencia y practica de la vida social.
... Materiality and the GlocalThe concept of materiality is the focus of various strands of contemporary thinking, particularly New Materialism(Bennett 2010; Coole and Frost 2010) and BrunoLatour's (2005) actor-network theory. Materiality should be distinguished from a conventional Western understanding of matter as passive and inert: material things beckon, they attract us not merely as an object of anthropocentric desire but as quasi-agents capable of shaping human practices and cultures. ...
... In this particular case, the plane over which one would find themselves walking would appear to be folded back on itself and pass through the very body of the Sambucana, so producing something like a Möbius strip, the structure evoked by a number of commentators to capture the complexities of contemporary "topological culture" (Lury 2013;Cockayne et al. 2019). On this understanding of the Sambucana and contemporary culture more generally, if the Sambucana is to be regarded as a veritable material-semiotic assemblage (Latour 2005), it must also be regarded as much more than a site of cultural inscription like any other (see Rader and Cain 2014). The reconfiguration of time and space operated by the density of the Sambucana's body invites us to consider instead the agency of the things out of which the texts are forged and how exactly these texts succeed in transporting us elsewhere. ...
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This paper develops the concept of bioheritage. It does so by considering the work of a local and distinct breed of sheep, the Pecora Sambucana, detailing how this sheep has enabled the integration of otherwise centrifugal relations between markets for the meat, cheese, and wool derived from the many other sheep that have traversed the same locality over the past three centuries. Such integration binds bodies, memory, and consumption in a manner that illustrates the distinctiveness of bioheritage and advances understanding of wider social and cultural processes.
... Migrasi penduduk yang melibatkan relasi berlapis, tidak hanya bersifat diadik, tapi juga mengandung ketegangan-ketegangan thirdness (Keane, 2003) atas berbagai tumbukan chaos yang mengakibatkan kontroversi (Latour, 2005) yang mengikat, sebagaimana Tsing (2005) membahasakannya dalam metafor friksi. ...
Article
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Wilayah perbatasan negara sering dianggap sebagai ruang rapat dan terisolasi. Asumsi ini seringkali tidak sesuai dengan realita di lapangan. Kebanyakan penduduk yang bermukim di wilayah perbatasan Indonesia umumnya memiliki ikatan kekerabatan lintas negara, contohnya kehidupan lintas batas di hulu Sungai Sembakung. Sungai ini mengalir sepanjang lintas batas di Kalimantan Utara dan memiliki hulu di Sabah, Malaysia. Permasalahan terjadi ketika untuk melakukan interaksi sosial, penduduk di kawasan perbatasan harus melakukan berbagai negosiasi tentang aturan tata ruang negara. Morfologi alami penyeberangan Sungai Sembakung menghubungkan interaksi etnis penduduk di garis perbatasan negara yang sering dianggap mengancam kedaulatan. Konsentrasi ruang wilayah negara yang merupakan warisan kartografi kolonial tidak sejalan dengan batas-batas sosial penduduk yang dibentuk oleh morfologi alam alur Sungai Sembakung yang menyediakan ruang bagi penduduk untuk menembus batas-batas negara. Tulisan ini mengeksplorasi interaksi lintas batas melalui aliran Sungai Sembakung yang diperkuat dengan ritus daur hidup melalui skema pemberian Mauss yang rentan menciptakan marginalisasi terhadap perempuan. Ikatan sosial lintas batas telah menembus batas-batas teritorial yang rigid. Situasi ini berimplikasi pada infiltrasi mobilitas komoditas ekonomi yang berkelindan dengan aktivitas budaya masyarakat hulu Sembakung, kelompok penduduk berkewarganegaraan ganda, serta praktik ritus pertukaran yang rentan memarginalisasi kaum perempuan. Kata kunci: migrasi; masyarakat perbatasan; ritus pemberian, ketimpangan gender
... In general, the Actor-Network Theory promoted by Latour (2005) substitutes the distinction between subjects and objects for others such as humans/nonhumans, mediators/intermediaries or actors/actants. Latour emphasizes the fact that both of these elements can be agents, depending on the dynamic of the network they are acting on. ...
Article
Our starting point is an article by Uchoa Angela Branco published in 2009 in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Sciences (vol. 43, pp. 350-355) and titled "Why Dichotomies can be Misleading while Dualities Fit the Analysis of Complex Phenomena". She criticizes the dualist uses of the distinction between subject and object, or between subjectivist and objectivist perspectives. However we subscribe to the criticism, we argue that some kind of distinction between objectual and subjectual realities is neccesary. Our argument is grounded on the classic constructivist Psychology, especially that of James Mark Baldwin's genetic logic. We assess two theoretical perspectives-the systemic and the structuralist ones-that, in our view, are at risk of falling into objectivism because they tend to reduce subjectual activity to objectivistic or formalistic kinds of explanation. Based on a critical recovery of some ideas of the French philosopher Michel Serres, we propose that subjects and objects must be understood as interpenetrated realities in perpetual construction.
... Tying into this, there has been a paradigm shift that can be described as "a return to things" (Hodder 2014b, 19), there are a variety of approaches within this object-centred approach, from Actor-Network Theory (Latour 2005) to anthropological accounts of materiality (Insoll 2013), and the idea that subject and object, mind and matter, human and thing co-constitute each other and are relationally produced (Hodder 2014b(Hodder , 2016. In archaeology, the material culture turn came about to refocus the archaeological endeavour back to its 'core business', namely artefacts and their materiality. ...
Thesis
For the Neolithic in the Near East figurines are our primary, at times only, source of visual representations of humans and animals at many sites. More than purely utilitarian objects, figurines are thought to provide insight into the more intangible aspects of past life such as ritual, cosmology, identity and social processes. In most approaches, there has often been a focus on figurines as static images. However, placing prime importance on representation ignores the importance of interactions between people and materials. In this thesis it is argued that through an artefact and life biography approach we can more productively analyse figurines as a process; from production, use, to final deposition. Better insight into these aspects will allow us to more fully comprehend how figurines operated in their respective social contexts. Any statement on figurine practices needs to incorporate all types of figurines and furthermore a nuanced view on differences in figurine practices needs to be substantiated by analysis of different sites. Therefore, this thesis features the corpora of two Neolithic sites: Tell Sabi Abyad (Syria) and Çatalhöyük (Turkey) both inhabited through the 8th to 6th millennia. The different social settings at these sites make them an interesting case study to analyse differences in figurine practices. The result is a comprehensive overview of the complete life biographies of all clay figurines found at both sites, looking at material properties, production, use-wear traces and depositional contexts which are then compared between figurine types and analysed through time. Synthesising these findings yielded a detailed insight into figurine practices at the two case study sites, showing some common practices but also marked differences potentially linked to more household practices at Çatalhöyük and community practices at Tell Sabi Abyad. Furthermore, life biographies of figurines at the two sites are variable and changes through time are observed at both sites. This thesis not only offers a detailed and nuanced picture of figurine practices at these two sites, but it also exemplifies that generalised statements about figurine practices in the Near East need to be reassessed through intra-site, artefact approach studies.
... And not just in a societal dimension, new research possibilities emerge from our illations. Another fruitful path for creative investigations has been discussions about materiality, intrinsic to strategic action, and the participation of non-human actors (Feldman and Orlikowski 2011;Latour 2005;Vaara and Lamberg 2015). How does technology, entangled in the social and technical aspects that make it up, acquire a certain prominence to guide human in strategic actions? ...
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We propose a special look at new epistemological possibilities in constructing knowledge to fill the gap between theory development and its practical and societal applications. We turn our attention to the strategy field of studies, which is traditionally positivist, but that also accommodates some timid attempts to produce content from other onto-epistemological bases, such as strategy as practice. Then, we explore the possible interchange between strategy as practice and the Epistemologies of the South. Once strategy as practice is based on practice rationality, which conceives social life as continuous production, it allows considering a wider diversity of social experiences surrounding strategic management. Likewise, the Epistemologies of the South represent a processual approach, which considers the social realities of developing countries and allows the inclusion of marginalized voices in social sciences' theorizing movements. We develop a conceptual-methodological guide for researchers to reflect on the possible ways to systematically rescue pieces of many social experiences forgotten by normal science, promoting cognitive and social justice in research, especially in the strategy field. Our proposal is a reflection about exploring what is not done, what is not practiced and make possible to expand the universe of social experiences considered for analysis in organizational and management studies. In doing so, we call the attention of scholars to start a paradigm shift from marginalization to the inclusion of multiple social realities toward cognitive and social democracy in research.
... Al hablar de la actividad conjunta, nos referimos a lo que sucede en el aula. Entendida en un sentido amplio, el aula es un conjunto relativamente estable (Latour 2005). Las formas de interacción entre estudiantes, docentes y contenidos y recursos de aprendizaje están mediadas por normas y prácticas que responden en gran medida a nociones hegemónicas sobre el papel de la educación en cada contexto particular (Byrd 2019) y determinan qué es y qué no es posible. ...
Preprint
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Durante la educación remota de emergencia causada por la pandemia de COVID-19, el Ministerio de Educación de Ecuador ordenó las actividades educativas en torno a fichas pedagógicas que recogieran elementos priorizados del currículo nacional. El objetivo es analizar cómo las fichas entraron en acción en las instituciones educativas, revisando qué tipo de prácticas surgieron en torno a ellas. Se emplea el método praxiológico y la caja de herramientas de la Teoría del Actor-Red a partir de material etnográfico recogido en escuelas multigrado del cantón Gualaceo, en la provincia de Azuay. Los resultados describen los entramados sociotécnicos creados a partir de la introducción de las fichas pedagógicas y cómo estas se convierten en un poderoso token que ordena los procesos educativos. Se concluye que el poder de traducción de la red generada en torno a las fichas pedagógicas hizo que estas se constituyeran en referentes para el control del proceso de aprendizaje y de la acción docente desde las instancias administrativas, reforzando el rol tecnocrático de los docentes y atomizando el proceso didáctico en cuanto a actividades poco articuladas y significativas.
... No obstante, desde hace algunos años, la literatura científica ha empezado a plantearse que quizá no estemos ante una desmaterialización y descorporeización del mundo, sino más bien ante nuevas formas de ser cuerpo y de crear cosas. Esta preocupación por la posibilidad de una nueva materialidad ha aparecido principalmente en campos como la filosofía (DeLanda, 1996;Latour, 2005;, la antropología (Horst y Miller, 2012;Pink, et al., 2016), la Física (Popescu, 2007), la arquitectura (Gronda, 2019;Haskell, 2016;Rosenberg, 2006) o el arte y diseño (Bratteting, 2010;Preious-Cooney, 2019). ...
Chapter
Desde que a partir del último tercio del siglo XX las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TIC) comenzaron a evolucionar de manera exponencial, no han dejado de aparecer análisis sociales señalando la inevitable pérdida de lo material que implica el mundo digital. No obstante, frente a este planteamiento, existe otro, que va ganando cada vez más fuerza, y que insiste en que lo digital no viene definido por la inmaterialidad, sino que ha dado lugar a un nuevo tipo de materialidad cuyas potencialidades merece la pena estudiar. Dentro del campo de la investigación educativa y, en especial, de la Teoría de la Educación, el primero de los discursos ha sido y continúa siendo el dominante. Esto ha conducido a un acercamiento pedagógico al mundo digital como mero medio que, por inmaterial, se puede moldear y adaptar a cualquier uso, debiendo la educación, por tanto, intervenir exclusivamente en el usuario y, a través de él, introducir cierta normatividad en este espacio. Esta ponencia pretende explorar el segundo discurso, partiendo de la base de que lo digital es de algún modo material y que, de esta manera, encierra unas dinámicas internas propias, que no se pueden obviar y cuyas implicaciones educativas y pedagógicas es necesario considerar.
... Studies on L Coal Mine show that due to difficult political tasks of environmental treatment in the subsidence area, the large number of participating subjects and the complex interests, it is difficult for the local government to balance people's well-being and the economy. The unique feature of ANT is that it highlights the agency of actors (human and non-human) in science formation [55]. In this study, the leadership team, as the "key actor", needs to acknowledge the people's environmental interests, and guide the social forces through "moderate regulation" to express their demands in a procedural way. ...
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Ecological damage in mining areas largely affects the regional ecological environment and ecological security. In China, ecological restoration in mining areas is urgent, as its environmental protection lags behind economic and social development. Recent studies on environmental governance in China focus on each participant’s logic of action. It suggests that cooperation among each participant is important. Thus, a fundamental question arises: how can we effectively organize various actors in environmental governance? Unlike theories that focus only on human factors, the actor-network theory considers both human and non-human actors. Within the framework of ANT, ecological restoration governance can take good care of both people and nature. To the best of our knowledge, the actor-network theory has not been used to analyze ecological restoration and land rehabilitation in mining areas. In this paper, the Lizuizi Coal Mine in Huainan of China is taken as a research object. By using the actor-network theory, we analyze the stability of the actor network and governance problems in different stages of ecological restoration of Lizuizi Coal Mine. It is concluded that the participation of the residents in ecological restoration is insufficient, and should be improved. Suggestions are provided accordingly. Our paper provides a theory basis for ecological construction in other ecologically damaged areas and resource-based cities. Further in-depth studies are necessary to strengthen the participation of social forces and the bundling collection of interests in governance.
... Weber & Glynn, 2006). The translation perspective borrows from the sociology of science and actornetwork theory (c.f., Callon, 1986;Czarniawska & Joerges, 1996;Czarniawska & Sevón, 2005;Latour, 1986Latour, , 2005. Furthermore, it adopts the translation metaphor based on the proposition that ideas and practices pass between organizations and where local negotiations, experiences, and motivations shape and give institutions their local form. ...
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My PhD dissertation. Focusing on the institutionally based translations of strategic communication in Swedish universities. An ethnographical work.
... Concepts such as networks, nodes and assemblages are applied to describe these relationships and the interplay of different practices and rationalities (Wood and Shearing 2007; Williams 2009, 2011). This approach is inspired by Bruno Latour's emphasis on knowledge and truth as produced in the encounter between and among people, things and discourse, rather than as pre-existing entities (Latour 1999(Latour , 2007. In this perspective, the dichotomies we use to categorize the world -such as public/private, state/non-state -set up false distinctions and separate what are essentially networked or assembled. ...
... The transcribed visions and discussions as well as the digital drawings provided the base for an actor-network theory analysis (ANT-analysis) (Callon & Law, 1995;Latour, 2005). Applying ANT as a tool for analysis implies that natural and social worlds are seen as mutually emergent and intertwined, situating materiality as a part of social practices (Ahn, 2011). ...
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Gender inequality is a problem in western music education, but efforts to solve this problem in practice have thus far been insufficient. By adopting a post-human theoretical framework, this pilot study explores how music practitioners’ visions of a gender-equal classroom can be used to question, reverse, and reconstruct gendered traditions within music as an educational field. The aim is to increase knowledge about how gender-equal options for musical becomings could be realized in the future music classroom. As there is a lack of post-human studies in music education inspired by an explorative design, the current project offers a new methodological approach. The findings reveal entanglements of gender-equal identities through diverse socio-material and material representations. This gives recognition to the students in representing identity and gender, genre and style, enabling liquid self- images and identities to be shaped and re-shaped seamlessly.
... This approach is based on a paradigm shift, which is mainly fore-fronted by assemblage and actor-network theories (M€ uller & Schurr, 2016). From this perspective, Latour (2007) has suggested that social actors prioritize their connections to objects, over their connections to each other. Since such objects are willed by other actors, networks are established by minimizing singularities and differences between heterogeneous agencies. ...
Article
Purpose Sports leagues have stood out in the entertainment industry due to their great economic value and cultural impact. This is the case of the American sports leagues, with emphasis on the National Basketball Association (NBA), whose largest Latin American market lies on Brazil. The aforementioned league’s audience is constantly growing, a fact that can be partially explained by the encouragement provided for its viewers to interact through social media, in a phenomenon called social TV. Accordingly, the aim of the present study is to investigate how social TV works as a means for Brazilian fans to coproduce their NBA broadcasting enjoyment through social media interactions. Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted a netnography on the community of fans engaged in Twitter hashtag #NBAnaESPN, which was released by ESPN to promote audience integration during NBA games' broadcasting. Findings A theorization about the role played by social TV in the way fan culture articulates through social media to enjoy broadcasting media products was herein presented. The findings of this study have evidenced three categories concerning the role played by television broadcasting, social media and the fandom in NBA consumption by Brazilian fans. Based on these findings, the authors got to the conclusion that social TV establishes a mediatized environment where fan culture can be articulated through social media to enable interactions about television broadcasting. Research limitations/implications The study was limited to members of the Brazilian NBA audience who engage in the official social media of the league’s broadcasting. Originality/value The study heads toward a theoretical generalization based on the research results.
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Zusammenfassung Mit Chatbots, Sprachassistent:innen und sozialen Robotern, die am Ideal der menschlichen Kommunikation orientiert sind und ihr in Gestaltung und Einsatzfeldern nacheifern, ist die Kommunikationswissenschaft gefordert, sich mit „kommunizierenden“ technischen Medien zu befassen. In unserem Beitrag folgen wir der These, dass die sozialtheoretischen Differenzen zwischen Mensch“ und „Maschine“ weniger relevant sind als die Bedingungen, die es wahrscheinlicher machen, dass eine Zuschreibung maschineller Kommunikationsfähigkeit erfolgt. Auf Basis der Mediatisierungsforschung zeigen wir, wie Kommunikation unter zeitgenössischen Bedingungen hervorgebracht, in Gang gesetzt und tinfrastrukturiert wird. Im Anschluss daran entwerfen wir ein Modell, das verschiedene Grade der Kommunikativierung erfasst, die von drei Triebkräften vorangetrieben werden: (1) der Abnahme menschlicher Kontrolle über den Kommunikationsprozess, (2) dem Anstieg der Simulation menschlicher Bedeutungsvermittlung sowie (3) der diskursiven Zuschreibung von Kommunikation an die Maschine.
Article
This article explores the performance of a transnational network of Wangye practices, spirits, technologies, vessels, and Sinophone communities. The Wangye belief, a Fujianese popular religion performed in mainland China, Southeast Asia and Taiwan, remains widely performed. The article begins with an account of watching a YouTube recording of the live stream video of the Donggang Ying Wang religious festival in 2018. Culminating in the deity's sending off at the seaside and the burning of the NT$7 million Wangye's Boat, the video of the burning vessel remains archived online. Similarly in Malaysia, Yong Chuan Tian Temple performed the ‘Wangkang Ceremony’ in 2020, which also featured an elaborate construction of a vessel and its eventual burning. Streamed and recorded online, viewers can now witness the revelation of spirits through the conversion of material vessels into ash,smoke, and digital video. These digital enactments of religious vessels articulate a new religious re‐composition that includes religious and non‐religious social actors, machines, and gods, bringing old frontiers of nation and diaspora into contact.
Article
The Unfinished Politics of Race argues that the past few decades have seen important transformations in the politics of race. Contending that existing accounts have focused narrowly on the mainstream political sphere, this study argues that there is a need to explore the role of race more widely. By exploring the mainstream as well as transitional and alternative spheres of political mobilisation the authors stress the need to link the analysis of both local and national processes in order to make sense of the changing contours of racialised politics. The underlying concern of this study is to outline both a theoretical frame for an analysis of racial politics, and detailed empirical accounts of different arenas of political mobilisation. By exploring the unfinished politics of race, this study provides a timely reminder that the position of racial and ethnic minorities in political institutions remains deeply contested.
Chapter
El 18 de octubre de 2019 significó un punto de inflexión en la historia reciente de Chile. Un país cuya población se había caracterizado por un apego estricto al orden y a la legalidad, se rebeló y demandó transformaciones profundas del Estado y la sociedad. Este libro reúne la reflexión de diversos autores y autoras, provenientes de las humanidades y las ciencias sociales, que buscan comprender los orígenes y las características de la crisis política y social que ha experimentado el país durante este periodo. Considerando enfoques históricos, sociales, culturales, territoriales, jurídicos y políticos, así como antecedentes regionales, nacionales y globales, los textos que aquí se reúnen constituyen en su conjunto un análisis integral e interdisciplinario necesario para dar cuenta de la complejidad de los hechos de la protesta, movilización y revuelta social, así como explorar sus diferentes aristas, antecedentes y consecuencias. En un periodo de cambios que, como suele suceder en este tipo de coyunturas históricas, combina incertidumbres, temores, anhelos y esperanzas, este libro, nacido al calor de la crisis y nutrido por reflexiones de más largo aliento, representa un aporte a la imaginación política, la reflexión y el debate de la ciudadanía.
Article
In Isis in a Global Empire, Lindsey Mazurek explores the growing popularity of Egyptian gods and its impact on Greek identity in the Roman Empire. Bringing together archaeological, art historical, and textual evidence, she demonstrates how the diverse devotees of gods such as Isis and Sarapis considered Greek ethnicity in ways that differed significantly from those of the Greek male elites whose opinions have long shaped our understanding of Roman Greece. These ideas were expressed in various ways - sculptures of Egyptian deities rendered in a Greek style, hymns to Isis that grounded her in Greek geography and mythology, funerary portraits that depicted devotees dressed as Isis, and sanctuaries that used natural and artistic features to evoke stereotypes of the Nile. Mazurek's volume offers a fresh, material history of ancient globalization, one that highlights the role that religion played in the self-identification of provincial Romans and their place in the Mediterranean world.
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The contact tracing system implemented in Indonesia is called SILACAK, a modified version of DHIS2. SILACAK as a contact tracing system platform created a dashboard following national guidelines, which is a tool to monitor the COVID-19 cases in Indonesia and support decision making. The role of SILACAK has throughout several journeys and some changes that can be implemented by several actors involved such as the developer team, government, health workers, and also society. To analyze the connection between all aspects that affect the SILACAK system, A framework is needed to deeply review which can be a historical artifact on the system. Actor- network theory (ANT) is the best practice to know about how networks come into being, to trace what associations exist, how they move, how actors are enrolled into a network, how parts of a network form a whole network and how networks achieve temporary stability.
Article
Archaeological excavations at Yaxnohcah have revealed a long sequence of sedentary occupation, from 1000 b.c. to a.d. 1400, with dynamic periods of growth occurring during the Middle (1000–400 b.c. ) and Late Preclassic (400 b.c. – a.d. 200). Two of these complexes, Grazia and Helena, serve as case studies that reveal the transformative processes of this period, illustrating site evolution on a larger scale. The Grazia platform probably began as a residential area in the Middle Preclassic and acquired an increasingly public character throughout subsequent modifications, culminating in the construction of a triadic temple platform and a ballcourt. A long sequence of fire rituals and altars show the importance of the Grazia complex as a center for collective ritual. Helena also features Middle Preclassic domestic constructions, but was transformed into a ballcourt platform during the transition to the Late Preclassic. Both cases show that Yaxnohcah was founded as a widespread, loosely integrated settlement in the Middle Preclassic and evolved into a formally and centralized network of communities with their respective nodal centers in the Late Preclassic period. Placemaking and the rise of monumentality played an important role in this transformation and reflect the particular forms of community integration.
Article
This article uncovers the ideational work implied in the formation of a new assemblage dedicated to the constitution of ‘digital health’ as a productive field of social action. We analyze the Israeli National Plan for Digital Health as a Growth Engine, examining how it formulates and communicates imaginaries of digital health and of health data. The analysis illuminates how digital health data is constructed as an epistemic consumption object with economic and social value, and how the assemblage necessary for realizing these values is imagined. The research reveals the predominant position of one actant – health data – in the formation of the assemblage. The notion of digital health data and the ways in which it is imagined as a multivocal and open-ended object function as a pivotal focus of the assemblage, giving it its characters, outlining its goals and the benefits that might emerge from its operation, defining the human and non-human actants that constitute it, and formulating the conditions for its productive operation. At a more general level, the study contributes to the study of the formation of socio-technical assemblages that are constituted around data as their pivotal focus, elucidating the specific imaginaries involved in these processes.
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Starting Grant European Research Council RIVERS: State-of-the-art, research design: context and key questions, research streams, work packages, methodology, ethical issues, high risk/high gain and feasibility, timescale and milestones, impact and expected outcomes Submission: 17 October 2017, Approval: 17 July 2018, Starting date: 1 May 2019, End date: 30 April 2025
Thesis
The topic of the thesis is the cognitive and human factor’s influence on the evidential value of digital traces. Digital evidence is of high importance for solving crime. Therefore, it is essential that digital traces are collected, examined, analysed, and presented in a way that safeguards their evidential value and minimises erroneous or misleading outcomes. A large body of research has been concerned with developing new methods, tools, processes, procedures, and frameworks for handling new technology or novel implementations of technology. In contrast, relatively few empirical studies have examined digital forensics (DF) practice. The thesis contributes to filling this knowledge gap by providing novel insights concerning DF investigative practices during the analysis and presentation stages of the DF process. The thesis draws on theories and research from several scholarly traditions, such as DF, forensic science, police science, and cognitive psychology, as well as social science traditions such as digital criminology and science and technology studies (STS). A mixed-methods approach is applied to explore the research question: How could a better understanding of the DF practitioners’ role in constructing digital evidence within a criminal investigation enable mitigation of errors and safeguard a fair administration of justice? The thesis is made up of five articles exploring the research question from different perspectives. The first article aims to bring insights about cognitive bias from the forensic science domain into the DF discipline and discusses their relevance and plausible implications to DF casework. The analysis suggests that cognitive and human factors influence decision-making during the DF process and that there is a risk of bias in all its stages. The second article applies an experimental design (the DF experiment). The article examines two aspects of DF decision-making: First, whether DF practitioners’ decision-making is biased by contextual information, and second, whether those who receive similar information produce consistent results (between-practitioner reliability). The results indicate that the context influenced the number of traces discovered by the DF practitioners and showed low between-practitioner reliability for those receiving similar contexts. The third article applies a qualitative lens to examine how the low between-practitioner reliability materialises itself in the DF reports and whether and how the trace descriptions influence the evidential value in a legal context. The article demonstrates how the DF practitioners interpret the same traces differently and develops the concept of “evidence elasticity” to describe the interpretative flexibility of digital traces. The article shows how the evidence elasticity of the digital traces enables the construction of substantially different narratives related to the criminal incident and how this sometimes may result in misinformation with the propensity to mislead actors in the criminal justice chain. The fourth article is based on a survey of the DF practitioners’ accounts of their investigative practice during the DF experiment. The article explores how they handled contextual information, examiner objectivity, and evidence reliability during the analysis of an evidence file. The results show that many started the analysis with a single hypothesis in mind, which introduces a risk of a one-sided investigation. Approximately a third of the DF participants did not apply any techniques to safeguard examiner objectivity or control evidence reliability. The fifth article examines the DF practitioners’ reporting and documentation practices. It centres on the conclusion types, the content relevant to the evidence value, and the applied (un)certainty expressions. The results were compared to a study of eight forensic science disciplines. The analysis showed that the DF practitioners typically applied categorical conclusions or strength of support conclusion types. They used a plethora of certainty expressions but lacked an explanation of their meaning or reference to an established framework. However, the most critical finding was substantial deficiencies in documentation practices for content essential for enabling audit of the DF investigative process and results, a challenge which also seemed shared with other forensic science disciplines.
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Esta é Edição 18, de junho, de 2022, em versão completa, da revista Paralelo 31, e temos o prazer de apresentar o Dossiê Artes e Convívio, organizado pelas artistas, professoras e pesquisadoras em arte Dra. Andréia Machado Oliveira (UFSM), Dra. Eduarda Gonçalves (UFPel) e Dra. Deisimer Gorczevski (UFC), um conjunto de artigos que versam sobre Artes e práticas contemporâneas; Modos de convívio e Ações em e com comunidades. Este é um periódico de acesso livre do sistema OJS/SEER do PPGArtes da Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), hospedado no site do Portal de Periódicos da UFPel. A edição 18 é nossa maior edição! Sua versão completa está disponível para leitura em ISSUU enquanto nossa revista passa pela migração do sistema SEER e pedimos desculpas pelo transtorno por não poder oferecer a versão completa da revista no site do Portal dos Periódicos da UFPel por enquanto. A versão completa pode ser baixada aqui no ResearchGate. Para baixar artigos, por favor, visite o site: https://periodicos.ufpel.edu.br/ojs2/index.php/paralelo/issue/view/1109/showToc ou utiliza: DOI: 10.15210/P31.V2I18 Rosangela Fachel de Medeiros/ Alice Jean Monsell Editoras da revista Paralelo 31. ISSN 2358-2529
Article
In this book, Claudia Glatz reconsiders the concept of empire and the processes of imperial making and undoing of the Hittite network in Late Bronze Age Anatolia. Using an array of archaeological, iconographic, and textual sources, she offers a fresh account of one of the earliest, well-attested imperialist polities of the ancient Near East. Glatz critically examines the complexity and ever – transforming nature of imperial relationships, and the practices through which Hittite elites and administrators aimed to bind disparate communities and achieve a measure of sovereignty in particular places and landscapes. She also tracks the ambiguities inherent in these practices -- what they did or did not achieve, how they were resisted, and how they were subtly negotiated in different regional and cultural contexts.
Chapter
The increasing environmental crisis challenges us to question the position of humans in relation to more-than-human cohabitants of our planet. It also urges us to rethink our relation to materiality and our responsibilities towards our environments. Educators in different levels and areas of education are intensively seeking ways to facilitate new generations’ transition to more sustainable ways of life. This transition needs to start from the individual level, and material engagement opens for possibilities for such encounters. Entanglements between human, more-than-human and the environment seem to be more graspable when we explore them through the sensitivities entailed in creative practices of crafting. Crafting is here seen in an expanded form, as reshaping, in mutual and shared processes through direct encounters among more-than-human bodies, matter and forces. Recent posthumanist thinking has provided food for thought in this vein and the field is now maturing into a movement that might have the potential to facilitate behavioural change. This introductory chapter provides the backdrop and the context for the discussions that evolve in the chapters of this book. We present an overview of current discussions and central theoretical starting points that are topical in the field of posthuman thinking and that can inform creative practice.
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This article looks at cement as a vital material in the process of urbanization. It specifically addresses urban metabolism, examining the intricacies of the cement circulation network in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) during the post-Oslo period. Because of Israel’s near-total control of land and natural resources in the oPt, there is still no fully integrated Palestinian cement plant there, making the Palestinian construction sector highly dependent on imports from Israel’s Nesher cement factory. This article argues that controlling the circulation of cement constitutes sovereignty over the processes of urbanization. In the current context, the cement circulation system that is effectively controlled by Israel is characterized by exhaustion, resulting in Palestinian urban geography’s perennial metabolic insufficiency.
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Currently, the development of intelligent applications for the most diverse areas is widespread, at the same time causing doubts in users about its use, as it is considered by many to be intelligent “black boxes”. The impact, limitations, and opportunities of these processes are still not much discussed, with product management and the development of user-centered experiences being two fronts with current demands. To address some of the main challenges that can be highlighted, we present the stages of development of the Discover Manaus project and the usefulness of processes such as Design Thinking to better understand the magic offered to users. The article shows the usefulness of Design Thinking as a tool for integrating technologies, stakeholders, and the development team. The Case Study shows an approach where we managed to immerse users in the main features required, improving their experience and acceptance of the application.
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In Richard Powers’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Overstory (2018) the theme of the novel is the forest ecosystem, with a special emphasis placed on trees, upon whose developmental model the processes of (organic and industrial) growth are scrutinized in this novel. This article examines tree-human assemblages in detail to see how they exchange their material agency and how they relate to the e/Enlightenment project. The essay also explores Powers’s novel to examine how Buddhist values of spiritual enlightenment are contextualized within European Enlightenment and how decentred humanity finds its place among other non-human beings. Apart from fictitious characters from The Overstory, the article draws upon the research of real-life scientists who inspired the creation of Powers’s protagonists: Prof. Simard and Dr. Beresford-Kroeger, along with the work of anthropologist Anna Tsing. In addition, eco-solutions concerning the tree ecosystem (i.e. bio-planning and the seed banks) coming from the scientific field and the field of literature (Powers) are examined to see if today’s progressive ideas can function in the world of the—still, to a large extent, “regressive”—structures of modernity’s legacy. I conclude by arguing that the novel shows that the Enlightenment project is not compatible with the well-being and long-term survival of both humans and non-human beings.
Article
This paper examines the process and internal mechanisms of rural ecommerce industry agglomeration and space reconstruction in metropolitan fringe areas, employing Lirendong village in Guangzhou, China, as a case study. Questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews were utilized and interpreted through the perspective of the actor-network theory. The results show that, in Lirendong village, local government, processing enterprises, rural collectives, e-commerce entrepreneurial talent, and other key actors participate in the pursuit and realization of suburban land value according to their action logic. Actors jointly evolved and constructed the phased industrial processes and space value accumulation process of the e-commerce industry. The reconstruction process experienced three stages, including the government-led agricultural decentralization stage, the market-oriented industrialization stage, and the Internet+ stage dominated by the social network of fellow villagers. The development process has evolved from the dominance of exogenous forces to that of endogenous forces, and, as a result, the types and structures of rural land use are diversified. The spatial texture and rural environment of the traditional country gradually disappeared, forming a diversified mixed form of urban-rural land and mixed-use landscape of industrial, commercial, and residential land in vertical space. At the same time, the social network changed from a single and homogeneous social network of acquaintances to a multiple network of strangers.
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Este artigo situa as cartas jesuíticas entre os primeiros documentos produzidos no período colonial brasileiro com descrições de plantas, animais e povos nativos. A partir de 1549, Manoel da Nóbrega, José de Anchieta e outros jesuítas fizeram relatos do Novo Mundo em linguagem simples, ainda que imbuídos de uma visão aristotélica da natureza e de um olhar de superioridade para com os povos nativos. Traduzidas em outros idiomas e reenviadas para as comunidades de jesuítas ao redor do mundo, as cartas foram reunidas em livros publicados em Lisboa a partir de 1735 e no Rio de Janeiro, de 1886.
Article
Journalists adopt new technologies amid the limitations and structure of their existing tools. This study uses organizational sociology and actor-network theory to examine the infrastructure supporting journalists’ newsgathering in two Rwandan newsrooms, highlighting the role of the messaging platform WhatsApp. The network, which includes editors, sources, reporters, weather, vehicles, drivers, moto-taxis, WhatsApp, and petty cash, encourages journalists to gather news from predictable events. In this newsgathering network, WhatsApp allows reporters and editors to coordinate with each other, gather news, and influence newsroom behaviour. However, the platform does not overcome physical limitations such as transportation problems, which contribute major obstacles to newsgathering, even at wealthy organizations. In this network, WhatsApp extends the communication capabilities of journalists but is moderated by existing social relationships and subject to physical constraints as a result of those relationships. This study shows how physical and social contexts influence newsgathering and production. It also reinforces the importance of context in understanding how new tools are adopted into news production networks.
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Ausgehend von der Forschungsfrage „Wie wird im Lebensmittelhandel mit und an Verpackungen gearbeitet?“ erörtert die kumulative Dissertation „Schwierigkeiten und Potentiale der Verpackungsvermeidung – Eine Arbeitsethnographie im Lebensmittel-handel“ Handlungsspielräume für einen nachhaltigeren Umgang mit Verpackungen. In einer ethnographischen Analyse unterschiedlicher Arbeitssettings, werden die Herausforderungen in den alltäglichen Arbeitspraktiken des dominanten verpackungsbasierten Lebensmittelsystems genauso betrachtet wie die Schwierigkeiten der radikalen Transformation dieser Praktiken. Ich argumentiere, dass Verpackungen kein passives Objekt sind, vielmehr sind sie durch ihre Materialeigenschaften und Bedeutungen sowohl an der Stabilität des Arbeitsalltags als auch an der Dynamik von Transformationsprozessen entscheidend beteiligt. Artikel I (Plastic Packaging, Food Supply, and Everyday Life. Adopting a Social Practice Perspective in Social-Ecological Research) behandelt die Potentiale eines praxistheoretischen Forschungszugangs für die Erforschung von Plastikverpackungen im Speziellen und sozial-ökologischen Problemen im Allgemeinen. Anhand von konkreten Forschungsbeispielen erörtern wir im Artikel zwei mögliche praxistheoretische Zugänge zur Beziehung von Praktiken und materiellen Entitäten, die eine sozial-ökologische Systemperspektive je nach Fragestellung sinnvoll ersetzen können. Im Netzwerk-Ansatz konzipieren wir Materialität als Element in heterogeneren Netzwerken aus Praktiken um die Diversität im alltäglichen Umgang mit Infrastrukturen, Technologien und Dingen erforschbar zu machen. Mit dem Nexus-Ansatz fokussieren wir auf die Wechselwirkungen zwischen Alltagspraktiken und ihrer räumlich-materiellen Umgebung um die infrastrukturelle Rolle von Verpackungen zu ergründen. Artikel II (Making Food Manageable - Packaging as a Code of Practice for Work Practices at the Supermarket) greift den im Artikel I diskutierten Netzwerk-Ansatz auf und befasst sich empirisch mit der Frage „Wie wird im Lebensmittelhandel mit Verpackungen gearbeitet?“. Der Artikel erläutert die Schwierigkeit der Verpackungsvermeidung anhand einer ethnographisch/praxis-theoretischen Analyse und präsentiert zentrale Funktionen von Verpackungen im Supermarkt. An konkreten empirischen Beispielen in zentraler Arbeitsbereiche wie Produktpräsentation, Warenlogistik und Ladenrepräsentation zeige ich die Vielfältigkeit von Verpackungsfunktionen jenseits von Marketing oder technischer Schutzfunktionen. Das beinhaltet die Platzierung und Aufbereitung der Produkte im Regal, die Evaluation von Produktqualitäten und Quantitäten von Warenströmen sowie die Repräsentation zentraler Qualitäten eines guten Supermarktes. Praktische Verpackungsvermeidung erfordert eine Reflektion solcher Verpackungsfunktionen. Artikel III (Negotiating attachments to plastic) behandelt die Frage „Wie wird im Lebensmittelhandel an Verpackungen gearbeitet?“ durch die trans-sequentielle Analyse eines Innovationsprozesses zur Plastikvermeidung in einem deutschen Bio-Großhandel. Im Artikel diskutiere ich die Schwierigkeit grundlegender Innovationen der Verpackungs-vermeidung durch die Erläuterung ganz praktischer Veränderungsbarrieren und Widerstände der Veränderung von normalisierten Objektbeziehungen und Nutzungs-praktiken. In der Analyse der dynamischen Beziehungen (Attachments) von Arbeiter*innen und Plastikfolie (bzw. ihrer Substitute) zeige ich, dass „etwas loswerden" ein unzureichender Ansatz ist, wenn es darum geht, nicht-nachhaltige Plastiknutzungen zu transformieren. Verpackungsvermeidung gelingt eben nicht durch ein „Befreien“ menschlicher Handlungsmacht von nicht nachhaltigen Objektabhängigkeiten, vielmehr geht es darum, das Zusammenspiel von Verpackungen und Arbeiter*innen in konkreten Praktiken neu zu gestalten. Artikel IV (How to Apply Precycling: Unpacking the Versatility of Packaging in Networks of Food Supply Practices) greift schließlich die zentralen Erkenntnisse der ethnographischen Analyse auf und diskutiert die Folgen für sozial-ökologische Transformationsprozesse. Die Ergebnisse aus den beiden ethno-graphischen Fallstudien (Artikel II, III) werden zusammengeführt und anhand der Perspektive des Netzwerk-Ansatzes (Artikel I) diskutiert. Ich konkretisiere damit die Potentiale einer praxistheoretischen Herangehensweise für die soziologische Analyse der Verpackungsnutzung und die Entwicklung von praktischen Precycling-Strategien zur systematischen Verpackungsmüllvermeidung.
Article
Science studies has often been against the normative dimension of epistemology, which made a naturalistic study of science impossible. But this is not to say that a new type of normativity cannot be detected at work inscience studies. This is especially true in the second wave of studies dealing with the body, which has aimed at criticizing the physicalization of the body without falling into the various traps of a phenomenology simply added to a physical substrate. This article explores the work of Isabelle Stengers and Vinciane Despret in that respect, and shows how it can be used to rethink the articulation between the various levels that make up a body.
Article
Over the past two decades or so, historians of science have lamented the limitations of internalist history and celebrated the rise of contextual history. Historians of technology, however, have not accepted the location, by historians of science, of technology within the context of science. Historians of technology see an interaction, rather than contextual dependency. A few historians and sociologists of science and technology are now suggesting `networks' and `systems' as the preferred version of the interactive approach, with the interaction occurring not simply between science and technology, but also among a host of actors and institutions. Networks and systems eliminate many categories in favour of a `seamless web', which may lead to a new appreciation of the complex narrative style.
Article
The identification of the genes responsible for certain serious diseases and the development of tests for identifying carriers of those genes help to put the individuals concerned in the forefront of ethical decisions. These decisions are unavoidable, especially when available knowledge and techniques have already been broadly disseminated. This article presents the case of a limb-girdle muscular dystrophy patient in Reunion Island who refuses to comprehend the lessons of genetics and to become part of the medical and associative networks that implement and diffuse that knowledge. His refusal is interpreted as the rejection of a form of agency and subjectivity, in which the individual is considered as an autonomous subject forced to choose between a number of pre-established options and responsible for the consequences of his choices. Using definitions of humanity and morality presented by François Jullien in his commentary on Mencius, the authors propose to consider that, by refusing, the patient is opting for a different form of morality and humanity. The article also shows how the interview situation constructs a situation that reduces the patient to silence.
Article
L'adage Vox populi, vox Dei flotte au fil des discours, sans jamais couler ni suivre exactement les cours les plus rapides des paroles urgentes. La formule se trouve là, disponible, avec le parfum d'éternité que lui confère sa latinité, pimentée de sa forme anaphorique. Dans les discours contemporains, la formule est employée selon un mode distancié et ironique, dans un registre que la rhétorique de l'âge classique nomme « héroï-comique » et qui consiste à parler de choses ordinaires ou médiocres en termes pompeux : un simple succès commercial, un triomphe illusoire ou vain dans l'opinion, et de peu de portée, sera facilement glosé d'un Vox populi, vox Dei. Ce type d'emploi n'aurait de pertinence que pour une stylistique sociale, si l'adage n'avait une histoire fort longue et variée : le premier emploi connu se trouve dans une lettre d'Alcuin datée de 798. Le retour aux origines de la formule, outre qu'il offre l'occasion rare de saisir le moment de formation d'un lieu du langage qu'on pouvait supposer intemporel, a quelque chance de nous donner des éclairages neufs sur les théories politiques d'une époque où la documentation est bien rare, d'autant que, jusqu'au Moyen Age central, les occurrences de la formule ne semblent pas ironiques. L'adage, qu'il soit adopté ou rejeté, dit quelque chose sur la souveraineté du peuple.
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This paper presents an ethnographic account of surgical operations as encounters of two disciplined bodies — a parcelled `patient-body', and an aggregated `surgeon-body'. It describes the practices of making bodies operable, of cooperating and of creating anatomical visibility by means of highly skilled manipulations and optical technology. The discussion relates features of surgical practice to two issues raised in science studies: (1) Ritual aspects of scientific work; how does a medical science deal with the life-world esteem for its object?; and (2) The relation of experience and representation; how do patients' bodies come to embody the properties of anatomical pictures? A constructivist interpretation is offered: the anatomical body is an accomplishment of the sculptural practice of operations.
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This paper explores in some detail a semi-popular text written by Einstein to present his theory of relativity. Semiotic tools are used to compare what Einstein says about the activity of building spaces and times with what sociologists of science can tell us. Einstein's text is read as a contribution to the sociology of delegation. Once the drama of Einstein's argument has been reconstructed, it is possible to learn from his theory of relativity something about the classical problem of `relativity' in the STS field. A comparison is established between the notion of social context and that of the aether, and an argument is developed to lead us beyond `social' explanations. The goal of such a semiotic study is twofold: to allow the adaptation of the strong programme to the peculiar conditions of the theoretical sciences; and to find a vocabulary for an activity best defined as infra-physics.
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ABSTRAC TThis paper analyses a major episode in contemporary biomedical research using a new semi-quantitative approach. In the late 1970s, immunologists began producing new kinds of antibodies targeting molecules on the surface of normal and malignant blood cells. These tools quickly transformed biomedical research in immunology and oncology-hematology. Laboratories worldwide produced thousands of these new reagents and reorganized the classification, diagnosis, and prognosis of diseases such as leukemia and the lymphomas. The rapid development of these reagents initially generated considerable confusion. To avoid the impending chaos, researchers in the field, officially supported by the World Health Organization and the International Union of Immunological Societies, launched an ongoing series of distributed workshops that led to the establishment of a nomenclature of antibody reagents and cell surface molecules. The First Workshop (1981-82) mobilized 54 research groups from 14 countries and resulted in the establishment of 15 antibody/ molecule categories. By the late 1990s the number of these categories had increased to more than 247 and the number of participating laboratories had risen to more than 500. Sociological analyses of this kind of large-scale collaborative research usually adopt one of two equally unsatisfactory alternatives: either they provide thick descriptions of selected sites, thus missing the figurational dimension of the collaborative network, or they attempt to account for figurational complexity by reducing it to a few quantitative indicators, thus destroying for all practical purposes the very phenomena under investigation. To avoid these two alternatives, we opted for a combination of ethnographic methods (interviews, content analysis) and a computer-based analysis of the more than 6000 antibodies examined during the first six workshops, using R ´
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The Argument It is often assumed that all sciences travel the path of increasing precision and quantification. It is also assumed that such processes transcend the boundaries of rival scientific disciplines. The history of the personal equation has been cited as an example: the “personal equation” was the name given by astronomers after Bessel to the differences in measured transit times recorded by observers in the same situation. Later in the nineteenth century Wilhelm Wundt used this phenomenon as a type for his experiments on reaction times. For historians of psychology, this has been taken to be an exemplary case where quantified laboratory science rescued astronomy by showing that this was really a psychological phenomenon measurable only in complication experiments. This paper challenges this story. Astronomers neither ignored, nor despaired of, the personality problem. Instead, the managers of the great observatories developed a new chronometric regime of vigilant surveillance of subordinate observers. The astronomers' solution was thus intimately connected with social and material changes in their way of life: a division of labor in the observatories, a network of observing sites, a mechanization of observation. The paper documents these changes and then presents a study of one case where managers, amateurs, and psychologists clashed for authority over the personality problem. Measurement is given its meaning when situated in specific contexts of styles of work and institutions. Disciplines give meanings to values, and often resist attempts by others to redefine these meanings or to gain authority over measurement. Quantification is not a self-evident nor inevitable process in science's history, but possesses a remarkable cultural history of its own.
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This is a paper about the topological presuppositions that frame the performance of social similarity and difference. It argues that 'the social' does not exist as a single spatial type, but rather performs itself in a recursive and topologically heterogeneous manner. Using material drawn from a study of the way in which tropical doctors handle anaemia, it explores three different social topologies. First, there are 'regions' in which objects are clustered together, and boundaries are drawn round each cluster. Second, there are 'networks' in which distance is a function of relations between elements, and difference a matter of relational variety. These two forms of spatiality are often mobilized in social theory. However, we argue that there are other kinds of social space, and here consider the possible character of a third, that of 'fluid spatiality'. In this, places are neither delineated by boundaries, nor linked through stable relations: instead, entities may be similar and dissimilar at different locations within fuid space. In addition, they may transform themselves without creating difference.
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Mandated measurement methods are required by regulatory agencies and other government groups. These methods exist for measuring almost all physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. The methods have been culled from the literature, from the organizations that write voluntary standards, and some have been developed by the agencies. Few provide adequate estimates of precision, and fewer still provide any evaluation of interlaboratory bias. The societal costs of these poor measurements are large. Much needs to be done to meet the physical and statistical requirements for establishing and maintaining dependable measurements. Excepting those directly supported by the National Bureau of Standards, most of the nation's measurement systems are uncontrolled.