Talk:Actor–network theory

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Started cleanup of the article[edit]

The article is still way too centered around the concepts in ANT without explanations of the general idea. I removed much of the concept-specific stuff. Added references to relevant sections and restructured the text a bit. Still, everything under other central concepts is a bit superfluous in my opinion, since the different authors connected with ANT use different concepts.--Psyphilis (talk) 15:37, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Deleted the link to Law's clarifications on ANT as the Wayback machine is no longer storing. User:Sugarcoma 19:02, 16 November, 2013 —Preceding undated comment added 00:03, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

To do[edit]

Incorporate all references into one list (the ref tag list)

Re-write other central concepts into a more fluent text

Expand the section on human and non human actors. Since this is the novelty of ANT and this is more of a general introduction, this probably should be a central part of the article.

Make the use of ANT or Actor-Network Theory more coherent.--Psyphilis (talk) 15:37, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Also, the critique-section needs ref. --Psyphilis (talk) 15:43, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


wow this is so jargon laden it is a total piece of crap article. no wonder people don't take this sociology of science seriously and think it is bunk. Sincerely, bruno latourwow — Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.16.225.159 (talk) 01:18, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment 1: agency is not well defined either in this article or the separate article.

Comment 2: regarding the following sentence at the end of the intro: "Broadly speaking, it is a constructivist approach in that it avoids essentialist explanations of events or innovations (for example, explaining a successful theory by saying it is 'true' and the others are 'false')."

Does that mean ANT does not think that theories that are true are more more likely to be successful?

[reply to comment 2>>> yes that is what it means. truth is seen as a label for settled controversies, but not a cause of the controversies settlement. this is made very clear in Science in Action.]

[user:RedHouse18]

The following sentence should be struck: "A successful actor network is achieved when innovators succeed in building a network that is capable of resisting external attack from human as well as non-human actors."

The above statement is erroneous. There is NO EXTERNALITY!! Rather, an actor network is always contested by other actants. An actor-network only transforms and mutates from within. As soon as an 'externality' engages with the network, it becomes part of it, an ally (alliances are formed in very complexly nuanced ways, even when actants don't appear to be cooperative). The struggle is over the appearance of turning the 'in potentia' power of the network towards an individual actor's stated goals. This is done through translation, which is the root of ANT's historical development.

{Kind of agree that the sentence should be struck... but there does seem to be stuff outside of networks... at least for Latour... 'plasma' and such (ie. in Reassembling the Social)... also Law's talk of network space as just one among many spatialities (fluid being another... etc etc... not agreeing with it but it seems to be out there...} —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.195.86.40 (talk) 13:34, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

To do[edit]

  • Add references to text Bryan 12:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


The following sentence (and not only that) should be deleted: "Like other perspectives in social science, ANT draws on a range of different philosophical resources, some of which are relatively esoteric." It reveals a tendency which is leaving scientifical ground and documentation.


Is this characterization accurate? - Jmchen 00:00, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Just come to this page from a google search after seeing this theory in a social science paper. Have to say I think you need to improve the laymans definition as it doesn;t make a word of sense to me

-Seconding the comment above. This is fairly incomprehensible to an outsider and is not appropriately presented for a Wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.225.18.87 (talk) 04:12, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Yet another agreement. There are very few examples and the whole thing seems to be written in sociological jargon. --69.196.189.169 (talk) 18:18, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Here is an introductory article on Actor-Network Theory written by someone who writes in a clear style. It examines ANT in relation to a number of other theories. The article is: Dolwick, Jim S. 2009. The 'Social' and Beyond: Introducing Actor-Network Theory. Here is the link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/0j537m2362328336/ -Interestingly, it's in the Journal of Maritime Archaeology --Ralph De (talk) 15:45, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

remove dead links:

^  John Law (1992). "Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy, and Heterogeneity."  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.89.1.19 (talk) 10:22, 29 October 2007 (UTC)