Having a Say: Voices for all the Actors in AN T Research?

IGI Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation, 2010, 2 (2), pp. 1 - 16
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This article explores issues associated with giving non-human actors a voice of their own in actor-network theory based research. What issues arise in doing so? Does doing so increase understanding of the issue to hand, bring to life and make more accessible and interesting the stories of these actors? Or does this anthropomorphism detract from the issues at hand? The authors discuss these broader issues and then present findings from an ANT field study which investigated the implementation of institutional repositories and their relations with the spread of open access to scholarly publishing. This paper experiments with allowing some of the non-human actors to speak for themselves. The authors conclude with a discussion which opens the debate: does giving voice to non-human actors bring them to life and make them better understood as intimately entangled with each other and human actors in the socio-material practices of the everyday? And what are the challenges in doing so?
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