actor-network theory(redirected from Actor network theory)
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actor-network theory (ANT)a recently influential approach to social theory, which combines post-structuralist insights with detailed empirical study of science/ technologies, organizations and social processes. Its method is to 'S um up' interactions as ‘local’ and ‘practical’. Building especially on the work of Bruno Latour (see Latour, ‘On Recalling ANT’ in J. Law and J. Hassard (eds) Actor Network Theory and After, 1999) , the focus of ANT is on the reality‘/‘transformability’ of ‘networks’, as against such notions as ‘institution’ or 'S ociety’. Its conception of the social is as a circulatory ‘field of forces’ beyond the agency-structure debate.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000