actor-network theory

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
This paper also engages actor-network theory (ANT) to highlight the film's core emphasis on relationships and the interactions between humans and non-humans which might contribute to alternative modes of being.
Some approaches, such as critical realism, Bourdieu's critical sociology, systems theory, and network analysis, are more structural and focus more intently on relations, while others, such as pragmatism, actor-network theory, and others that are inspired by Tarde and Deleuze, focus more on processes and practices.
"Opening the 'Black Box' of Climate Change Science: Actor-Network Theory and Rhetorical Practice in Scientific Controversies." Southern Communication Journal 76 (2): 120-136.
Since this study sought to understand processes relating to intersectoriality and insertion into networks, not only at the macro level (Saire in the RPMS), the mid-level (local public policy) and the micro level (key informants in Saire), the concept of translation was the central focus of adoption of Actor-Network Theory (29-31).
'But it's called actor-network THEORY, how can it not be a theory!?' I recall hearing.
In line with actor-network theory, we contend that understanding and better explaining the intermedia agenda-setting of an online news story entails exploring its network.
Actor-Network Theory (ANT), possibly one of the most influential traditions of new materialist thinking, is perhaps even more problematic and in certain ways more reminiscent of old debates on the perils of "contemplative materialism." Although ANT has developed several iterations since its inception with the foundational works Laboratory Life by Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar (1986), and We Have Never Been Modern by Latour (1993), its defining features have remained relatively unchanged (for a programmatic statement, see Latour, 2007).
Therefore, based on the Actor-Network Theory, it is necessary to demonstrate how heterogeneity and symmetry permeate the investigated context, and how the relationships created generate effects and impact on the organizing of reality (Law, 1992).
Este libro puede considerarse una pieza hipercubica imprescindible que esboza varios caminos alternativos a la aproximacion contemporanea imperante en las ciencias sociales de habla hispana (p.ej., estudios de las ciencias y las tecnologias o el Actor-Network Theory).
Urban Assemblages: How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies.