Drawing on Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and its sibling notion of assemblage, this book offers a conceptual and methodological alternative to dominant social movement theory.
The contributors explore empirical cases where science, technology, and activists intersect. They focus on the task of learning from the ways in which collectives assemble themselves around matters of concern, establish alliances with a number of human and non-human entities, and devise ways of caring for one another, or how they fail to meet these goals. They conclude that Actor-Network Theory is a useful tool in the construction of forms of attention and care that aspire to learn from social movements, rather than explaining them away.
This book will be of interest to those studying activism and wider political and social movements, as well as those researching the interactions between science, technology, and society more generally. It was originally published as a special issue of Social Movement Studies.
Israel Rodríguez-Giralt is a Senior Researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain. His research connects the study of Social Movements with Science and Technology Studies. He has studied the role of technoscience in environmental activism and the politics of embodied knowledge within disability activism. His current research focuses on technoscientific activism and new forms of social experimentation, mobilization, and public engagement, particularly in disaster situations.
Isaac Marrero-Guillamón is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. His work examines the relationship between aesthetics and politics; more specifically the ways in which activism, artistic practice, and cultural artefacts may contribute to the production of new conditions of possibility for collectives. He has explored this question ethnographically, through the study of urban (Barcelona, London) and eco-artistic (Fuerteventura) controversies.
Denise Milstein is a Lecturer in Sociology at Columbia University, USA. Her work develops a relational, historically informed perspective at the intersection of art, politics, and the environment. Her current projects examine the evolution of relationships between and among the changing environment - natural and human built - and local communities, artists, and scientists in New York City and in Tierra del Fuego (through the Ensayos nomadic research program). She is most interested in the dynamics that link cultural shifts and social change.
Introduction: Reassembling activism, activating assemblages
Israel Rodríguez-Giralt, Isaac Marrero-Guillamón and Denise Milstein
1. Welcoming sound: the case of a noise complaint in the weekly assembly of el Campo de Cebada
Jorge Martín Sainz de los Terreros
2. The syntax of social movements: jam, boxes and other anti-mafia assemblages
3. We are all foreigners in an analogue world: cyber-material alliances in contesting immigration control in Stockholm's metro system
Vasilis Galis and Jane Summerton
4. The materiality of data transparency and the (re)configuration of environmental activism in the Brazilian Amazon
Raoni Rajão and Juliane Jarke
5. Bringing animals within political communities: the citizens/swans association that fractured Chile's environmental framework
6. Down to earth social movements: an interview with Bruno Latour
Bruno Latour, Denise Milstein, Isaac Marrero-Guillamón and Israel Rodríguez-Giralt