Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory

OUP Oxford (2005)
Abstract
Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'. Bruno Latour's contention is that the word 'social', as used by Social Scientists, has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stablilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. But Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling; and a type of material, distinct from others. Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanations' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain. Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion, and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society. This approach, a 'sociology of associations', has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network Theory, or the ideas of one of its most influential proponents.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $33.31 used (25% off)   $75.13 new    Amazon page
ISBN(s) 9780199256044   0199256047
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,986
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Ugo Pagallo (2011). Robots of Just War: A Legal Perspective. Philosophy and Technology 24 (3):307-323.

View all 86 citations

Similar books and articles
Jeff Kochan (2010). Latour's Heidegger. Social Studies of Science 40 (4):579-598.
Jeff Kochan (2006). Rescuing the Gorgias From Latour. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):395-422.
E. Seguin (2000). Bloor, Latour, and the Field. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (3):503-508.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-01-31

Total downloads

19 ( #88,375 of 1,100,976 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #22,918 of 1,100,976 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.