Sunday, March 19, 2017

Actor-Network Theory explained

Actor-network theory extends semotics to focus on material objects rather than just symbols. Actor-network theory sees sign as emerging from the context in which entities are located. Actor-network theory attempts to understand action, less from the perspective of the actor, but rather in terms of its location within a network and its relationship to non-material objects. From this perspective, non-material objects are capable of action (as actants), although objects are considered inferior partners to humans. The interactions of these components are viewed not as consistent and patternable networks, but rather as a fluid combination of interactions at various levels of social life that are performed by actors and actants. Actor-network theory breaks down many analytical distinctions used in other social theories, such as micro/macro and agency/structure, to help make sense of social phenomena.