By Anders Blok, Torben Elgaard Jensen
French sociologist and thinker, Bruno Latour, is among the most vital and inventive thinkers of the final many years. Bruno Latour: Hybrid ideas in a Hybrid international is the 1st accomplished and available English-language advent to this multi-faceted paintings.
The ebook specializes in middle Latourian themes:
• contribution to technology experiences (STS – technological know-how, expertise & Society)
• philosophical method of the increase and fall of modernity
• leading edge suggestions on politics, nature, and ecology
•contribution to the department of sociology referred to as ANT – Actor-Network Theory.
With ANT, Latour has pioneered an method of socio-cultural research outfitted at the suggestion that social existence arises in complicated networks of actants – humans, issues, rules, norms, applied sciences, and so forth – influencing one another in dynamic methods. This e-book explores how Latour is helping us make feel of the altering interrelations of technological know-how, expertise, society, nature, and politics past modernity.
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Extra resources for Bruno Latour: Hybrid Thoughts in a Hybrid World (Key Sociologists)
20 Interestingly, among sociologists as well, there has been a similar tendency to read Latour primarily as a philosopher of science, who is then dismissed for not being suﬃciently “sociological” in his theorizing. This reading is most paradigmatically exempliﬁed by the acclaimed French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (2004), who directs a very aggressive criticism toward Latour’s entire sociology of science (we return to Bourdieu in the concluding chapter of this book). As authors of this book, we share a professional background in (or closely around) the disciplines of sociology and anthropology.
And both of these endeavors are pushed to the extreme: Reviewers have described Laboratory Life as one of the most thorough and detailed studies of scientiﬁc practice ever produced (Tilley 1981; Haraway 1980; Knorr Cetina 1995). Science in Action, in turn, has been described as a comprehensive and integrated research program for the social study of science (Shapin 1988), and as an independent and original theory of knowledge in line with – or rather, in opposition to – other more mainstream traditions, such as realism, social constructivism and deconstruction (Ward 1996).
Such a stabilized set of relations is known as a “black box,” a term Latour borrows from cybernetics. Cyberneticians draw black boxes in their diagrams whenever a piece of machinery or a set of commands is too complex to describe in complete detail. This simpliﬁcation is only possible if the eﬀect of the mechanism is well-known; that is to say, when the author as well as the readers know that a particular input will lead to a particular output. In the following section, we take a closer look at this process of progressive ordering – or “black boxing” – with the help of an example often used by Latour: the story of the Diesel machine (Latour 1987: 104–107).