On Latour's Social Theory and Theory of Society, and His Contribution to Saving the World

Human Studies 34 (1):93-110 (2011)
Abstract
Latour is widely considered a critic and renewer of research in the social sciences. The ecologically minded Left has also acclaimed him as a theorist interested in bringing nature back both into sociological theory and into society and politics. To enable a more detailed discussion of Latour’s claims, I will here outline his theory and the ways in which it is related to classical theory, such as Durkheim, and the methodology of the interpretive paradigm, such as Schütz. My thesis is that Latour’s empirical studies may be read as unfolding the methodological consequences of the interpretive paradigm, and that his early work is a brilliant proof of Durkheim’s theory of the morphology of social facts. Latour has now elaborated the insights he gained from concrete laboratory studies toward a general theory of the social, of society, and of politics. These generalizations have made his theory at least partly problematic. The political implication of Latour’s theory of society is a generalization of the call for equality to encompass everything; in other words, Latour criticizes the exclusion of nonhuman entities from political representation. The paper closes by discussing the political consequences of this proposal
Keywords Social theory  Theory of society  Actor-network-theory  Agency of things
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9178-9
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,827
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rescuing the Gorgias From Latour.Jeff Kochan - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):395-422.
Latour's Heidegger.Jeff Kochan - 2010 - Social Studies of Science 40 (4):579-598.
From the Sacred to the Sacred Object.Edwin Sayes - 2012 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 16 (2):105-122.
Bloor, Latour, and the Field.E. Seguin - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (3):503-508.
Pro-Latour.Karen François - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (2):337-342.
The Author Rebounds: Latour to Oldroyd.Bruno Latour - 1988 - Social Epistemology 2 (2):183.
The Author Responds: Latour to Oldroyd.Bruno Latour - 1987 - Social Epistemology 1 (4):347 – 350.
Added to PP index
2011-05-01

Total downloads
26 ( #213,818 of 2,210,107 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #163,264 of 2,210,107 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature