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.

Critiques, Concerns and Co-Productions

Introduction

To the extent that ANT could be said to have taken on a ‘classical’ form, this was even at the outset accompanied by a series of concerns, commentaries and criticisms. At one end of a notional scale of critique, there were those reactions that were outrightly hostile, questioning ANT’s fundamental premises, notably, the pivotal role allocated to the nonhuman and its indifference to standard sociological analytic categories. At the other end of the scale were relatively friendly rebukes which accepted ANT’s key tenets while querying, for example, the nature of the associations that ‘held’ a network together – did translations really need to be so solid and convergent? In between were accounts that pointed to major shortcomings while nonetheless sympathetic ...

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