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### Actor Network-Theory

Week 4

Actor-Network Theory

- Abbreviated as ‘ANT’
- An approach to social theory relating to ‘material-semiotic’ method
- Asserts the agency of non-humans
- Challenges conventional and critical sociology

Background

- Originated in the field of social science
- Developed at the Centre De Sociologie de I’Innovation in the 1980’s
- Theory established by sociologist John Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars Michel Callon and Bruno Latour
- Developed to help comprehend processes of knowledge-creation and innovation in science and technology

Influences

- Existing work by STS
- Semiotics of Algiridas Julian Greimas
- Writing of philosopher Michel Serres
- Annales School of History
- French Post-Structuralism
- English language Academic traditions
- Ethnomethodology
- Symbolic Integrationist approaches

Concepts

- Translation
- Intermediaries and mediators
- Generalized Symmetry
- Actants
- Punctualisation
- Tokens/quasi-objects

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