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Follow the White Rabbit

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Follow the White Rabbit

  1. 1. Follow the White Rabbitwhy controversy mapping (and digital methods) willchange everything you know about sociologyTommaso Venturini
  2. 2. Ecole des Minessome 20 years ago
  3. 3. Ecole des Minessome 20 years agoI decided not to give courses of STS anymore. I just ask the student to follow for ayear a technical or scientific controversy…they learn much more about sciencewithout even being aware of it…From the two cultures debate tocosmopolitics (Latour, 2001)
  4. 4. Follow the White Rabbitwhy controversy mapping (and digital methods) willchange everything you know about sociologyTommaso Venturinitommaso.venturini@sciences-po.frThe strabismusof social sciencesQualitative methods vsquantitative methodsPhoto credit – tarout_sun via Flickr - ©
  5. 5. The quali/quantitative dividerich data, small populationslarge populations, poor data
  6. 6. The thread or thefabric
  7. 7. Sui generis social factsThe collective self is not a simpleepiphenomenon of its morphologicbase, precisely as the individual self is not asimple efflorescence of the nervous system.For the collective self to appear, a sui generissynthesis of individual self has to be produced.This synthesis creates a world offeelings, ideas, images that, once come tolife, follow their own laws.Emile Durkheim, 1912Le formes élémentaires dela vie religieuse
  8. 8. The bootstrapping ofsociety Thomas Hobbes, 1651The Leviathan
  9. 9. Gulliver sociology Gullivers TravelsJonathan Swift, 1726
  10. 10. Sui generis social facts?Gabriel Tarde vs Emile Durkheim
  11. 11. Against emergenceIt is surprising to see the men of sciences, soready to repeat that nothing is ever created fromnothing, admitting implicitly (as if it was self-evident) that the connections among differentbeings can become beings themselves (p. 67)Tarde, 1893Monadologie et sociologie
  12. 12. Macro-structures andmicro-interactions
  13. 13. Macro-structures frommicro-interactions
  14. 14. And then STSarrived H. Collins (1975) “The Seven Sexes”.Sociology, 9(2): 205-224.
  15. 15. It is as though epistemologists are concerned with thecharacteristics of ships (knowledge) in bottles (validity)while living in a world where all ships are already inbottles with the glue dried and the strings cut.A ship within a bottle is a natural object in thisworld, and because there is no way to reverse theprocess, it is not easy to accept that the ship was everjust a bundle of sticks (p. 205)Scientific structuresin the making H. Collins (1975) “The Seven Sexes”.Sociology, 9(2): 205-224.
  16. 16. How the ship getsin the bottle
  17. 17. The symmetry principle David Bloor, 1976Knowledge and Social Imagery1. It would be causal, that is, concerned with the conditions which bringabout belief or states of knowledge.2. It would be impartial with respect to truth andfalsity, rationality or irrationality, success or failure. Both sidesof these dichotomies will require explanation.3. It would be symmetrical in its style of explanation. Thesame types of cause would explain say, true and false beliefs.4. It would be reflexive. In principle its patterns of explanation would have tobe applicable to sociology itself.
  18. 18. Following the white rabbitof controversies
  19. 19. Science in textbooks Research in laboratoriesScience in ActionBruno Latour (1987)
  20. 20. Science in ActionBruno Latour (1987)
  21. 21. The fortunate wreck ofsociology of science“Whereas [our closet colleagues] have decided that socialtheory works even on science, we have concluded that, overalland in details, the social theory has failed on science soradically that it’s safe to postulate that it had always failedelsewhere as well” (p. 94)“By taking this failure as a springboard – no social explanationof science is possible – a new path opens up for social theory:the social has never explained anything; the social has to beexplained instead” (p. 97)Bruno Latour (2005)Reassembling the social
  22. 22. Actor-Network TheoryPhoto credit – Alessandro Coco via bonnierskonsthall.se - CCTomas Saraceno, Galaxy Forming alongFilaments, like Droplets along the Strandsof a Spider’s WebBiennaleVenice2009
  23. 23. The quali/quantitative dividerich data, small populationslarge populations, poor data
  24. 24. Controversies are microand macro
  25. 25. The media as anobject of studyPhoto credit – Brandon Doran via Flickr - ©
  26. 26. The media asa carbon paperChris Harrison, 2004Internet connections
  27. 27. Large populations Paul Butler, 2010Visualizing Friendships
  28. 28. Rich data AOL user 711391 search historywww.minimovies.org/documentaires/view/ilovealaska
  29. 29. Large populationand rich dataGoogle Fluwww.google.org/flutrends
  30. 30. Large populationand rich dataGoogle Fluwww.google.org/flutrends
  31. 31. Large populationand rich dataGoogle Fluwww.google.org/flutrends
  32. 32. NaturalexperimentsSnow, J. (1855). On the Mode ofCommunication of Cholera
  33. 33. NaturalexperimentsSnow, J. (1855). On the Mode ofCommunication of Cholera
  34. 34. NaturalexperimentsSnow, J. (1855). On the Mode ofCommunication of Cholera
  35. 35. Climategatee-mail network computationallegalstudies.com
  36. 36. Climategatee-mail verbatim« I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the realtemps to each series … to hide the decline »« I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as alegitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we shouldencourage our colleagues in the climate research communityto no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal »« I cant see either of these papers being in the next IPCCreport. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if wehave to redefine what the peer-review literature is! »
  37. 37. Zooming in and outTop 50 US blogsBen Fry, 2006http://nymag.com/news/media/15972/linkology
  38. 38. DatascapesexplorationLinkscapeLinkscape©by Linkfluence©
  39. 39. Alice sociology Alices Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll, 1865
  40. 40. tommaso.venturini@sciences-po.frLatour, B., Jensen, P., Venturini, T., Grauwin, S., & Boullier, D. (2012). The Whole isAlways Smaller Than Its Parts:€ • A Digital Test of Gabriel Tarde Monads.British Journal of Sociology.Venturini, T. (2012). Great expectations: méthodes quali-quantitative et analysedes réseaux sociaux. In J.-P. Fourmentraux (Ed.), Média Praticable.Venturini, T., & Latour, B. (2010). The Social Fabric: Digital Traces and Quali-quantitative Methods. Proceedings of Future En Seine 2009.
  41. 41. controverses.sciences-po.fr/archiveindex/
  42. 42. The 10 layers of acontroversy-websiteGlossaryDocumentation repositoryScientometricsWeb cartographyDebate scaleDisagreement TreeActor-networks diagramTable of cosmosDebate dynamicsReflexive mapping
  43. 43. Glossary ofnon-controversial elementshttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/implantscochleaires/
  44. 44. Documentation repositoryhttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/bisphenol/bibliographie.html
  45. 45. Scientometrics
  46. 46. Web cartographyhttp://www.medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2010/Hadopi2/index.php?cat=ondaweb&subcat=carto
  47. 47. Debate scalehttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/hypersensibiliteondes/index.php/perspectives/
  48. 48. Tree of disagreementhttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/fertilisationoceans/flash/fertilisation_ocean.swf
  49. 49. Diagram ofactors-networkshttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/statistiquesethniques/reseau_acteurs.php
  50. 50. Table of cosmoshttp://medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2007/marees_vertes/schemassi.swf
  51. 51. Table of cosmoshttp://medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2011/scube/decroissance/schema.html
  52. 52. Debate dynamicshttp://controverses.medialab.sciences-po.fr/archive/mediator/chrono.html
  53. 53. Reflexive mappinghttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/classementsuniversites/fr/pag12-Votre-
  54. 54. controverses.sciences-po.fr/archiveindex/
  55. 55. tommaso.venturini@sciences-po.frLatour, B., Jensen, P., Venturini, T., Grauwin, S., & Boullier, D. (2012). The Whole isAlways Smaller Than Its Parts:€ • A Digital Test of Gabriel Tarde Monads.British Journal of Sociology.Venturini, T. (2012). Great expectations: méthodes quali-quantitative et analysedes réseaux sociaux. In J.-P. Fourmentraux (Ed.), Média Praticable.Venturini, T., & Latour, B. (2010). The Social Fabric: Digital Traces and Quali-quantitative Methods. Proceedings of Future En Seine 2009.

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