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 2: Actor-Network Theory: Old and New Roots
Actor-Network Theory: Old and New Roots
While ANT has gained purchase in a number of fields, its roots nevertheless can be traced primarily back to the social studies of science. However, this is more of a multidiscipline than a discipline, drawing on various social scientific and philosophical traditions, and extending across numerous empirical areas. Moreover, the pioneers of ANT were not averse to drawing in other intellectual sources, not least from continental philosophy. As such, the intellectual roots of ANT are rather tangled, incorporating, for instance, Marxian, social constructionist and ethnomethodological traditions in sociology; the influence of Whitehead, Kuhn, Serres and Foucault from history and philosophy; elements of Greimas and arguably Barthes from semiotics. Inevitably, some lineages are more ...