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 5: ANT and Some Big Sociological Questions
ANT and Some Big Sociological Questions
In the last chapter, we traced a number of criticisms of ANT. As we saw, while these raised specific issues about ANT, they also held to a generally similar analytic and empirical ethos. So, while some writers were critical of the ‘managerialism’ or ‘heroism’ of actor-network accounts, they were sympathetic to ANT’s avoidance of macrosociological categories; or if exception was taken to ANT’s seeming God-eye empiricism, there would nonetheless be a shared attention to the role of the nonhuman. These criticisms are not simply a matter of nuance and, as we shall see in Chapter 7, they underpin a number of substantive changes in the intellectual shape of ANT.
However, for all its heterogeneity, ANT still falls within the ...