Questions related to Actor Network Theory
As a disclaimer: I am not 100% familiar with the ANT jargon, so please excuse any inaccuracies in that regard!
I am wondering whether there is a conclusive way to differentiate between an actor or actant and the "network" that gives ANT part of its name. In "Reassembling the Social", Latour supposedly answers this question on pp. 128-133, but his deliberations remain somewhat impalpable to me.
First he establishes that he doesn't mean material networks, such as pipelines, railways, cables, etc. (no "thing out there" (p. 129)). He then seems to suggest that the network is composed of the traces that are left by the flows of translation. A translation, in turn he describes on p. 108 as "a relation that induces two mediators into coexisting". So networks are the traces left by relations of translation. But what is a relation? How is it possible to trace them, when they are not materially "out there"?
When I try to to imagine a concrete answer to these question, I always end up with objects. Taking Latour's laboratory as an example, there is a translation of observations into scientific facts. But what are these translation other than the array of things (amoeba, microscope, recording devices, etc.) that are assembled in this laboratory? Is there anything "in-between" things? Something - dare I say - social? That seems to be the contrary to what ANT seems to be all about. However, if there is a quality to the notion of translation that cannot be reduced to the assembled actors, then why do we need the term "network" at all? And - to come back to my original question - how can we tell the network apart from the actors?
I hope my question makes sense! Please help me find where I'm misunderstanding Latour!
I've been interested in the role that intensity thresholds play in sustaining and altering interactions within systems, networks and assemblages. Any ideas and reading suggestions regarding theory and research would be helpful. Thanks in advance
Can someone provide me with the R code for Network Analysis where I can establish the relationships among the variables using the underlying concepts of SNA using the data from Social Media. I have been going through the codes on Stackflow and GitHub but the machine time and processing time is very high when working on data extracted from Social Media.
Your help will be acknowledged by mentioning your name in the published manuscript on this work.
I have just completed my PhD thesis - Adapting Photovoice to Visualise and Influence Environmental Behaviour across Australia, Bangladesh, and China (Monash University - Design), exploring using photovoice methods across multiple geographic sites to facilitate dialog between and amongst these communities using various participatory techniques, specifically with innovation in audience engagement.
The journey has taken me across 17 discrete participatory-action-research cycles
spanning 4 years, where I partnered with 19 local organisations to run 80 workshops, 8 community exhibitions, and 3 community interview events across 4 separate sites spanning Australia, Bangladesh, and China. Over 700 participants attended workshops and collectively created over 500 photo-stories. I focussed on environmental behaviour, but these methods - like photovoice generally - are applicable to a wide range of themes.
Now I have finally emerged from the tunnel of my PhD, I am looking for future opportunities to use these learnings in other projects and connect with like-minded peers.
Thus I am interested to see who else / what other current and future projects are working on similar methodological adaptations in photovoice or related visual methods?
I have attached the full thesis text here if it is useful to others. I am also happy to receive feedback.
thanks and all the best,
I'm trying to understand permaculture using the lens of Actor Network Theory. Findings of my study in the Philippines have shown that permaculture is a growing social network, a network of heterogenous and biodiverse farm landscapes, and a perspective or paradigm for sustainable living. People, resources, design ideas, worldviews are shared in this network and these manifest on the biophysical and socio-cultural landscapes as farm/garden projects and community initiatives. Any thoughts about this? Thank you.
So called actantial model is a formulation of narrative structures developed by Lithuanian linguist Algirdas Julius (Julien) Greimas ( 1917 – 1992) which belongs to the Generative Trajectory Model of Meaning.
I would like to hear from you, what kind of applications of actantial model (or related devices) you have encountered and how you have been utilizing them.
I have applied the actantial model when studying knowledge use issues around bachelor theses at the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences.
What authors (and respective books/articles) do you recommend to develop a state-of-the-art analytical framework on sustainable development, human development, governance, multilevel governance, sustainable development governance, and actor-network theory?
Thank you very much for your help.
José Ricardo Martins
So, some questions I've had as I reflect on ANT.
What are people's thoughts on the permanency, portability, permeability and polymorphism of actors, networks, artifacts (etc) in ANT?
Are the boundaries between networks discernible? How? Are we able to discern the interaction between networks as boundary interactions that result in actor behaviour and interaction?
Do networks, which are emergent or unstable/ephemeral or transnational exist in a state where a boundary or a boundary interaction can be observed?
If a network is determined by the interaction of one or more actors does the network not exist until the interaction? Or is there the potential of a network by virtue of an artifact or is that network extant but in a non-interacting (null?) state?
Okay, that's a start.
Student actors spend much of their training regardless of methodological practice exploring emotion and how to create it, however, is it actually necessary? If they don't 'feel it' but 'fake it' instead and yet the audience is none the wiser, does it matter? From an artistic viewpoint as actor/artist perhaps, but in reality who actually cares? If an actor can't find the real emotion what do they do? Fake it? Why then are they not trained in faking it too? Should we be training actors to be mimics?
I intend to investigate the entrepreneurship emergence deploying an actor-network theory theoretical framework.
Do you recommend relying on ANT to research entrepreneurship-related phenomena?
If yes, would you suggest a suitable theoretical framework, if available?
Thank you very much in advance for you cooperation and support!
I am studying the architectural icons and their relationships with the built environment and users, from the perspective of the Actor-Network Theory, in addition to using established authors of Architecture such as Charles Jencks, Zaida Muxí and Josep Maria Montaner. I would like to hear from colleagues their personal opinions about what an icon is and how it arouses people's interest.
I am interested in combining quite paradoxical aproaches at first glance. I am close to flat ontology in the style of actor-network theory and at the same time I am attached to classica, modern left-wing politics. Usually the followers of ANT are to some extent anti-modern or a-modern. Sometimes there is only a weak position, which simply cannot bear the Enlightenment promise contained in the 20th century social sciences. But sometimes reading Deleuze, Latour and others leads to purely reactionary attitudes in the style of Dark Enlightment.
On the other hand, supporters of Enlightenment praising and hoping its return in some new reflexive form are often naive ontologically, and fall into old-fashioned scientism or antitechnical dogma in the style of the Frankfurt school.
In my book "Ontological Imagination" I tried to show how to be a supporter of Enlightenment/Modernity and a without losing the Baroque ontology of Latour, Law or Deleuze.
I'm curious if anyone goes in a similar direction?
I had argued with my supervisor last week. I intend to refer the 《 New Production of Knowledge》 and Concept of mode 2 to be the background of transdisciplinary research in Taiwanese new institution.
My opinion is that"Kuhnian science study is too much internal discussion in Physics(or natural science)" and Latour's ANT is too much deconstruction(Anything can be part of programme in science action) I used Mode 2 to harmonize the Kuhnian and Latour, for building a contemporary science study(science with transdisciplinarity and accountability).
My supervisor response with that "Latour's ANT could deal with any programme that you want through adjust the scale of your method and object. Why you insist to adopt conecpt of Mode 2"
According my supervisor's idea, Mode 2 can be a subsystem of Latour's ANT. I don't agree with him but haven't a good point to response. Maybe my reading is too less to hold my position.
Can two concepts put in one category to compare?
Thank you if you read my question.
I am writing a paper on mobility services in automotive industry. my interest is to explore the role of different players in network. I was wondering , actor network analysis prospective analysis is good options or how can ANT could contribute in this idea?
I would like to speak to anyone (on this forum, by email, phone, in person etc.) about the practicalities of doing a research project using ANT. I am considering starting a pilot over the summer and would appreciate getting some tips and insights from experienced ANT practitioners.
I conduct research on Maker Network and collect qualitative data through semi-structured interviews with the lens of Actor-Network Theory. I would like to do mapping of actants, their relations, motivations and change of their becoming. I do not prefer to use surveys and gain statictical or quantiative data for the reason of the approach. Is there any suggestion of analysing and mapping tool, to reflect visual model of this network?
Thanks in advance,
Do you know of any authors who discuss the compatibility of action research (AR) and actor-network-theory (ANT)?
In my specific case I plan to do my PhD field research in a series of participatory planning initiatives, where I will actively promote and propose the use of digital tools during the participatory activities (hence, the AR approach).
My preliminary review of the literature shows certain similarities between AR and ANT, mainly due to the importance given to the knowledge of the people being studied. While AR scholars should adapt their research plans to the needs, priorities and understanding of the community; ANT researchers should "follow the actors" to avoid using foggy explanations (such as social context, cultural aspects, etc.).
I am concerned, however, about my own positionality: can I use ANT to guide my analysis and approach if I am an actant with his own goals and motivations? Namely I hope that participants will be willing to experiment with the digital tools I propose, otherwise my research would be (partly) a failure.
One Belt One Route initiative has its own well defined objectives that induces participating countries to plan according to this initiative and unify their policies and procedure. How can national interests of participating countries be aligned. Do you recommend using Actor Network Theory?
Im looking more into realised research using those two,especially to construct a framework connecting organisational impacts with social/community impacts..
I am using ANT approach to study a local community and am proposing interviews and participant observation to identify network elements and associations etc., My concern relates to the influence I may end up having on the network under study.
In what ways can the analyst mitigate his/her/their influence whilst engaging with the network elements?
My research seeks to explore the barriers and enablers that exist with regards to children’s informal everyday participation within a school context. I want to use Laura Lundy’s (2007) Model of Participation as a tool to determine if participation has or has not been achieved/facilitated. This model holds that for participation to occur four elements must be present; space, voice, audience and influence. I am planning to use actor-network theory to examine the networks that generate or impede the effect ‘participation’. My question is this; given that actor-network theory should begin without any pre-existing assumptions would it be wrong of me to begin by using ANT to explore each of Lundy’s four pillars, thus making the assumption that the existence of these components results in participation, or should I begin with the actor-network ‘participation’ itself and from there identify actors/connections that could at a later stage be discussed in relation to Lundy’s model?
This is meant to be like a poll. I would like to hear those who are specialists in education field in general and learning theory in specific. In your opinion, what are the most influential scientific papers in learning theory and why?
It is good to know if educators have consensus on a set of papers in the first place but why those papers not others is not less important. Please indicate why you choose these papers.
I'm in a good old methodological dilemma stage of my 1st year Ph.D. work. Interaction between members of the clinical team are complex, and I thought this combination of methodologies were mutually compatible for a exploratory piece of work.
I am familiar with Actor-Network Theory , i applied ANT as tool to construct network collaboration, whereas i want to use ANT with data quality as metric to choose actor network .
Thank you in advance
I am looking to use ANT for social research (tourism) and was wondering if ANT can co-exist with for example social network theory or whether when using ANT it must be stand alone? I know there is principles for want of a better word in ANT (General Symmetry) etc - do these make using ANT a one stop shop? Im looking at the role that networks play in experience creation
Specifically I'm interested how to use ANT in governance of information system, i want also to use ANT with quality data?
Several years ago, I ran a debate with one of my professors at Education Department about human working memory. He insisted that technology has ruined human memory; many people rely more and more on their mobiles and laptops instead of their own memories. He also presented some research evidence showing that.
At that time, it was hard for me to accept this idea. I argued that human is a clever being. If tools or technologies would help us to save our memories, then is it logical to kick these technologies out or even reduce our usage of them because they harm our memories? However, my opinion was not supported by a solid theory. Cognitivism and Constructivism clearly state that our inner memories are important in a learning process.
This debate has carved in my mind and the case was not closed, at least for me. Recently, we have investigated some of new learning theories. Among a long list, we visited Actor-Network Theory, Community of Practice, and Connectivism. And to be honest, I found Connectivism wide enough to answer my question and to build upon. Knowledge is a network and learning is a process of finding patterns reside in this network. Inside or outside human skull, it does not matter.
This is not to end the discussion; actually, it is to open it. Are you with or against of proposing new learning theory? Our understanding of knowledge network, learning and Connectivism presented in this paper.
Hi there I am considering using ANT theory for some research I am about to undertake, does it have to revolve around a particular project and event? And if so how recent does the project or event have to be to be relevant? I'm new to ANT and trying to grapple with the ins and outs!
Transdisiciplinarity requires elements such as collective thinking, integration, collaboration, cooperation and participation of actors or scientists for knowledge generation and management that can solve real life and complex problems. What will be the ideal theory that this can be based on? Social capital theory? sociology of scientific knowledge? Actor network theory? Communication theory?
It might all be relevant to the study, but which can be the best fit.
I am not very familiar with Actor-Network Theory yet, but as far as I understand it is applied in STS, whereas Innovation studies use maybe more case-studies or so. I am doing a research on innovation in bioenergy diffusion in two regional case studies and I will study actors and networks that characterize the system and also (among other things) how this helps innovation in bioenergy diffusion.
Thank you in advance
Movement of innovative ideas into practice in a way to assure that they "work" is a general problem in many situations in organizations. For instance when strategies are "implemented", when new ideas (for instance concepts like BPR, LEAN etc.) are introduced or when scientific knowledge is moved from universities into new types of organizational and sociotechnical solutions, or is developed in inter-organizational arrangements of private and public organizations. It is also relevant when working with organizational change from a design perspective. We are a couple of researchers looking into micro-processes of the above mentioned types of change processes using actor-network and neo-scandinavian translation perspectives to do so. Should you have similar types of interests we would like to hear from your.
ANT is a principle theory for the science of actor-network, spreading almost every industry. So where is the cross between ANT and SME?
I'm trying to develop a math model for ANT. However, I cannot find any literature for that. There are just few papers (one or two). It seems that the theory comes from Social Science side. Any suggestions?