Suffering in Networks


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Suffering in Networks

  1. 1. Networks and Suffering [email_address] NTNU, Trondheim
  2. 2. My/The Problem <ul><li>How to establish a non-trivial but meaningful description of suffering </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ non-trivial” <ul><li>Trivial 1: suffering is defined by the “sufferer” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem: living together peacefully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common solution: deliberation or some other pragmatic process, which determines a hierarchy of suffering (which works well as long as everyone plays along) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trivial 2: suffering is defined by some normative idea about what a non-suffering individual should look like </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem: these definitions produce too much suffering themselves (a forgotten critique against the Fordist welfare state) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common solution: none, business as usual </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. “ meaningful” <ul><li>Theory which does not turn to stone in the face of suffering </li></ul>
  5. 5. My Tools <ul><li>«Old» network theory (Castells/Sassen/Machiavellian ANT) </li></ul><ul><li>Irreversible and reversible translations (Michel Callon) and systematic relations between them </li></ul><ul><li>After method (John Law) </li></ul>
  6. 6. One origin of ANT: STS <ul><li>Technoscience: Science based on technology, technology based on science, everyday life completely permeated by both (if you like it or not, sorry) </li></ul><ul><li>Realism/Constructivism: Not many things left which are not made by people (if you like it or not, sorry). And those things made by people are in fact real! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Suffering and «old network theory» <ul><li>Sassen: Centres and margins of networks, globalisation from above and from below </li></ul><ul><li>Castells: 'Elites are global, people are local', global flows wash away the “self”, inciting opposition using “projected identities” </li></ul><ul><li>Machiavellian ANT: coalitions of people and things which act as mutual resources </li></ul><ul><li>Connected/Disconnected/Degrees of connectedness (number of connections) </li></ul>
  8. 8. New (?) network theory <ul><li>A history of associations: how stable are the associations (producing a certain kind of nodes) of a given network, how easily are they replaced by alternative associations? (Callon 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>The so-called feminist critique of ANT: Reproducing the worldview of the the system-builders excludes “invisible labour” one more time </li></ul><ul><li>Instead: Mutual dependency of sets of less and more stable associations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compensation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. Suffering? <ul><li>Not the number of links </li></ul><ul><li>Not the position within the network </li></ul><ul><li>But in the mutual production of more and less stable sets of associations </li></ul>
  10. 12. And now: After method (Law 2004) <ul><li>Let's not mistake unstable or stable networks for suffering </li></ul><ul><li>Let's accept that there are multiple, infinite, blurry objects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ fire objects” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ fluid objects” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>without having the project of turning them into “proper” objects </li></ul><ul><li>But for this a completely new kind of technoscience needed! </li></ul>