• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Actor-Network Theory

  • By: Denisa Kera & Marc Tuters
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Actor-network theory (ANT) is an integrative approach to science, technology, and society studies (STS) that combines empirical and interpretative methodologies ranging from ethnography to history of science and poststructuralist philosophy. Introduced by French STS scholars Michel Callon and Bruno Latour, and developed by British sociologist John Law and others, it views the relationship of scientific facts to social structures and agency in terms of “material-semiotic” networks. The approach is sometimes described as “situated inquiry” because it acknowledges the unique historically and contextually defined character of these networks. The complex networks are defined by constantly changing relations between heterogeneous agents (actants) that attribute agency not only to humans but also nonhumans. The integrative and processual nature of these networks avoids various forms of reductionism (technological determinism, ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles