Social movements as actor-networks
Israel Rodriguez-Giralt (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Isaac Marrero-Guillamon (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Collective contestation
C. Humanisticum AB 1.16
Thursday 18 September, 9:30-11:15, 11:30-13:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Social movements; ANT; networks of protest

Long abstract:

The aim of this track is to explore the relevance of Science and Technology Studies, and in particular Actor-Network Theory, for the study of social movements and other forms of collective action. We are interested in discussing how a material-semiotic sensibility and method of analysis may transform the understanding and conceptualisation of contemporary social, cultural and political activism. Despite an increasing interest within STS for the impact of contemporary changes in governance and expertise on public participation, non-governmental organisations and networks of protest, the analysis of how STS and ANT perspectives can contribute to the general study of social movements is, in our view, still pending. For instance, can ANT's generalized symmetry and ontological agnosticism contribute to rethinking the binary oppositions that have tended to structure the explanation of collective action in the social movements literature (i.e. context vs. individual triggers; objective conditions vs. subjective aspects; rational vs. spontaneous action)?

At the same time, our aim is also to consider how the study of these realities transforms or questions STS analyses and methods; in other words, how well does the analytical repertoire of the perspective travel to this new domain? Can these "situated solidarities" contribute to rethink some methodological, ethical or political principles of STS research? We encourage contributors to explore this intersection from an empirical and interdisciplinary point of view.

The papers will be presented in the order shown and grouped 4-4 between sessions