Practice: Actor Network Theory - Currently no debate
According to Jary and Jary (2000), actor network theory combines post-structuralist insights with detailed empirical studies of scientific practices and technologies, organisations and social processes. It builds on the work of Bruno Latour, John Law and Michel Callon. The focus of actor network theory is on the reality and transformability of networks, as against such notions as institutions and society. Its conception of the social is as a circulatory field of forces beyond the agency-structure debate.
Source: Jary, D. and Jary, J. (2000). Collins dictionary of sociology, 3rd ed. Glasgow: HarperCollins.
The relevance of actor network theory to the design of narrative environments is double:
Actor network theory is not concerned primarily with the design or the creation of new environments but with the study of existing environments as actors-as-networks and networks-as-actors, even though it recognises its study as intervening in practice and that its descriptions, explanations and research actions extend the particular environment/network in question. Nor is actor network theory explicitly concerned with concepts of narrative, although Latour does use the phrase ‘narrative path’ when explaining actor network theory, e.g. in Latour (199?) below.
The following items are held in University of the Arts libraries: Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The following items are available through Google Preview:
Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
It may also be worth looking at the following online articles:
Law, J. and Urry, J. (2003). Enacting the social. Lancaster: Department of Sociology and the Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University. Available at http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/sociology/papers/law-urry-enacting-the-social.pdf. Accessed 9 March 2007.
Latour, B. (2008). A Cautious Prometheus? a few steps toward a philosophy of design (with special attention to Peter Sloterdijk). Available at http://www.bruno-latour.fr/articles/article/112-DESIGN-CORNWALL.pdf. Accessed 27 January 2009.
Latour, B. (1996). The trouble with actor-network theory. Available at: http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/P-67%20ACTOR-NETWORK.pdf. Accessed 9 May 2009.
No Related Practice
In actor-network theory, all things – living as well as non-living, human as well as non-human – are endowed with agency.
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