Why do maintenance and repair matter?

Abstract : In 'Power, technology and the phenomenology of conventions: on being allergic to onions,' Star (1991) recalls how science and technology studies helped reconsider the question of power in social science. One of the main outcomes of STS, she states, is that they demonstrate that both science and technology are what Latour (1987) called 'politics by other means.' Identifying the contributions of different streams of research and the more or less passionate disputes that arose between them, Star specifically highlights the weaknesses and the gaps of ANT-oriented accounts. Most of those, she claims, following Haraway (1991) and Fujimura (1991), are a matter of standpoints. While Callon, Law and Latour, among others, aim to open the black boxes of facts and artefacts in order to describe hitherto invisible processes, they stand-and remain-on the side of the 'winners': Those whose translations and intéressements are successful, and those who delegate and discipline. ANT scholars don't devote many words, if any at all, to those who are translated, disciplined and delegated to. This is highly problematic, Star argues: Not only are the experiences of the latter worth examination in order to study 'politics by other means,' but the place of these 'losers' and their own invisible work are crucial to the very stability of the networks in which they participate. To In the published version of this chapter, the author-in-the-text is David J. Denis. However, the author-in-the-1 flesh, just as the one who appears on this open access version, is twofold: Jérôme Denis and David Pontille. Since the end of the 1990s, we have used the attachment of our two civil names as a way 'to diffract' our own authorship, following Haraway (1996), and to disrupt the emphasis of single individuals performed by most of research assessment frameworks. As the editors of the ANT Companion were concerned with two different chapters bearing the same name(s), we created a fictional author as a way to pursue the diffraction process. Such a gesture is perfectly in line with the semiotic foundation of anthropology of writing and ANT (see the second footnote in Latour, 1988), which both insisted on the generative process of writing practices that bring new entities to existence and participate in their maintenance. The different fieldworks mobilised in this chapter come from Denis and Pontille's common investigations.
Keywords : repair maintenance ant
Type de document :
Chapitre d'ouvrage
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Contributeur : Jérôme Denis <>
Soumis le : vendredi 30 août 2019 - 14:49:47
Dernière modification le : mardi 3 décembre 2019 - 16:35:44


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  • HAL Id : hal-02172939, version 2


Jérôme Denis, David Pontille. Why do maintenance and repair matter?. Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory, p. 283-293, 2019, 978-1-138-08472-8. ⟨hal-02172939v2⟩



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