Suffering in Networks
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Suffering in Networks






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    Suffering in Networks Suffering in Networks Presentation Transcript

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