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Mediators and the Material Stabilization of Society

Abstract : When one utters the word "materiality," the name of Bruno Latour usually follows closely. He is mostly known (or misunderstood) for proposing we should recognize the sharing of our social world with non-humans--an idea often ridiculed by those who think that Latour suggests we should share the world with things.1 In fact, what he says (especially in We Have Never Been Modern) is that we are indeed sharing the world with non-humans, whether we acknowledge it or not, and that pretending we are not amounts to a work of "purification" by which the cultural/social and the natural/technical are carefully divided into two hermetic and impossible realms.2 We already share the world with many material entities--or "artefacts"--and their participation is essential for (social) action to be possible at all.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 16, 2011 - 3:32:49 PM
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Nicolas Bencherki. Mediators and the Material Stabilization of Society. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 9 (1), pp.101-106. ⟨10.1080/14791420.2011.629419⟩. ⟨hal-00652916⟩



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