In this thought-provoking and engaging book, Mike Michael brings us a powerful overview of Actor-Network Theory. Covering a breadth of topics, Michael demonstrates how ANT has become a major theoretical framework, influencing scholarly work across a range of fields. Critical and playful, this book fills a notable gap in the literature as Michael expertly explicates the theory and demonstrates how its key concepts can be applied. Comparing and contrasting ANT with other social scientific perspectives, Michael provides a robust and reflexive account of its analytic and empirical promise. A perfect companion for any student of Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Geography, Management & Organisation Studies, Media & Communication, and Cultural Studies.
Chapter 1: Introduction
So, How Does This Book Start, Then? How Should I be Reading it?
Not so long ago, I ran a postgraduate workshop on Actor-Network Theory (henceforth ANT). An introductory overview had been specifically requested by students, many of whom did not seem to have much of an overt interest in ANT. My sense, though, was that several people had a vague feeling that it was of potential relevance to their research: they felt somehow impelled to find out about it. It surprised me that ANT was something that these students felt they ‘should’ know about as neophyte researchers in sociology, working in such fields as the politics of migration in Southeast Asia, the role of romance narratives in gay relations, or the representation of ...