Subtitled, ´´An Introduction To Actor-Network Theory´´. A bestselling title from a world famous French sociologist, for scholars and students across the social sciences.
What are organizations? Where do they come from? How are they transformed and adapted to new situations? In the digital age and in the global network society, traditional theories of the organization can no longer answer these questions. Based on actor-network theory, this book explains organizations as flexible, open networks in which both human and non-human actors enter into socio-technical assemblies by constantly negotiating and re-negotiating programs of action. Organizations are not macro social structures or autonomous systems operating behind the backs of individuals. Instead, they are scalable actor-networks guided by network norms of connectivity, flow, communication, participation, authenticity, and flexibility.
After postmodern critique has deconstructed, decentered, and displaced order and identity on all levels, we are faced with the Humpty Dumpty question of how to put the pieces back together again. This book brings together the seldom associated discourses of hermeneutics, actor-network theory, and new media in order to formulate a theory of a global network society. Hermeneutics re-opens the question of unity in a fragmented world. Actor-network theory reinterprets the construction of meaning as networking. New media studies show how networking is done. Networks arise, are maintained, and are transformed by communicative actions that are governed by network norms that make up a social operating system. The social operating system offers an alternative to the imperatives of algorithmic logic, functionality, and systemic closure that dominate present day solutions to problems of over-complexity in all areas. The world of meaning constructed by the social operating system is a mixed reality in which filters and layers replace the physical restraints of space and time as parameters of knowing and acting. Society and nature, humans and non-humans come together in a socio-sphere consisting of hybrid, heterogeneous actor-networks. This book proposes reinterpreting hermeneutics as networking and networking as guided by a social operating system whose norms are based on new media. There emerges a theory for a global network society described by different concepts than those typical of Western modernity.
Social networks, an informal institutional arrangement, is one of the interactions that have an impact on policy success, especially in rural agricultural commercialization. Social network analysis is an important platform within which actors share information and resources to achieve their desired goals and objectives in an efficient way. Owing to these connections, social networks can, therefore, ease transmission of information or the flow of new ideas and other resources hence can be a desirable avenue by which farmers can commercialize their production. It´s therefore imperative that governments, NGOs and other stakeholders in policy formulations especially in Agriculture take advantage of social networks to ease the successful implementation of their policies.
This book investigates how various scientific communities - e.g. legal scientists, political scientists, sociologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists - study law and public policies, which are portrayed here as complex systems. Today, research on law and public policies is rapidly developing at the international level, relying heavily on modeling that employs innovative methods for concrete implementation. Among the subject matter discussed, law as a network of evolving and interactive norms is now a prominent sphere of study. Similarly, public policies are now a topic in their own right, as policy can no longer be examined as a linear process; rather, its study should reflect the complexity of the networks of actors, norms and resources involved, as well as the uncertainty or weak predictability of their direct or indirect impacts. The book is divided into three maain parts: complexity faced by jurists, complexity in action and public policies, and complexity and networks. The main themes examined concern codification, governance, climate change, normative networks, health, water management, use-related conflicts, legal regime conflicts, and the use of indicators.
How can we think the interaction of humans and things in society? Is it possible to view things as social actors? Gustav Roßler argues for a stronger consideration of things in sociology. He presents considerations on shared cognition and makes suggestions for further developments of central concepts in research in science and technology studies, including agency, quasi-objects, boundary objects, technological objects, epistemic things, actor-networks, heterogeneous associations and object institutions. Gustav Roßler (Dr. phil.) hat in Berlin und Paris Philosophie, Soziologie und Psychologie studiert. Er ist als freier Übersetzer (u.a. von Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze, Andrew Pickering, Bruno Latour) sowie als Publizist tätig. 2014 promovierte er am Institut für Soziologie der Technischen Universität Berlin.
Trotz eines breiten disziplinenübergreifenden Interesses wurden im deutschsprachigen Raum bisher kaum theoretische oder methodologische Ansätze entwickelt, um die sozialen und kulturellen Funktionen von Design und Designpraktiken zu analysieren. Dieses Buch stellt nun erstmalig verschiedene kultursoziologische und -theoretische Zugänge sowie exemplarische Fallstudien vor, die unterschiedliche Aspekte des Designs beleuchten - etwa soziale und kulturelle Gebrauchskontexte, Praktiken des Entwurfs, Fetischisierungsprozesse und ethisch-politische Fragen. Den Schwerpunkt bilden dabei praxistheoretische Ansätze sowie die Forschungsperspektive der Actor-Network-Theory, die um Aspekte der Affektivität und Ästhetik ergänzt werden.
A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds * Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture * Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism * Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time * Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences * Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory
This open access book focuses on both the theory and practice associated with the tools and approaches for decisionmaking in the face of deep uncertainty. It explores approaches and tools supporting the design of strategic plans under deep uncertainty, and their testing in the real world, including barriers and enablers for their use in practice. The book broadens traditional approaches and tools to include the analysis of actors and networks related to the problem at hand. It also shows how lessons learned in the application process can be used to improve the approaches and tools used in the design process. The book offers guidance in identifying and applying appropriate approaches and tools to design plans, as well as advice on implementing these plans in the real world. For decisionmakers and practitioners, the book includes realistic examples and practical guidelines that should help them understand what decisionmaking under deep uncertainty is and how it may be of assistance to them. Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty: From Theory to Practice is divided into four parts. Part I presents five approaches for designing strategic plans under deep uncertainty: Robust Decision Making, Dynamic Adaptive Planning, Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways, Info-Gap Decision Theory, and Engineering Options Analysis. Each approach is worked out in terms of its theoretical foundations, methodological steps to follow when using the approach, latest methodological insights, and challenges for improvement. In Part II, applications of each of these approaches are presented. Based on recent case studies, the practical implications of applying each approach are discussed in depth. Part III focuses on using the approaches and tools in real-world contexts, based on insights from real-world cases. Part IV contains conclusions and a synthesis of the lessons that can be drawn for designing, applying, and implementing strategic plans under deep uncertainty, as well as recommendations for future work. The publication of this book has been funded by the Radboud University, the RAND Corporation, Delft University of Technology, and Deltares.
What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Wichita, the United States, the planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? In this book the founder of object-oriented philosophy develops his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and develops instead an ´´immaterialist´´ method. By examining the work of leading contemporary thinkers such as Bruno Latour and Levi Bryant, he develops a forceful critique of ´actor-network theory´. In an extended discussion of Leibniz´s famous example of the Dutch East India Company, Harman argues that this company qualifies for objecthood neither through ´what it is´ or ´what it does´, but through its irreducibility to either of these forms. The phases of its life, argues Harman, are not demarcated primarily by dramatic incidents but by moments of symbiosis, a term he draws from the biologist Lynn Margulis. This book provides a key counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice. It will appeal to anyone interested in cutting-edge debates in philosophy and social and cultural theory.