Multiple enactments? An actor network theory approach to studying educational research practices

Rimpilainen, Sanna (2009) Multiple enactments? An actor network theory approach to studying educational research practices. In: Laboratory for Educational Theory Conference, 2009-06-26 - 2009-06-27, University of Stirling.

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    Abstract

    Actor Network Theory (ANT) is one of the more controversial approaches in social sciences. It arose in the early 1980s out of criticism towards the more traditional Sociology, which tended to disregard the role of the material and the natural in the constitution of ‘social reality’. In ANT terms, the social is not seen as the ‘glue’ holding society together, but as something made up of essentially non-social components (human, non-human, animate, inanimate entities) constituting networks of relations and being constituted by them. (Latour 2005, 4-5; Law 2007.) The main aim of ANT is to overcome the subjectobject divide, the distinction between the social and the natural worlds and to see the reality as enacted. Over the years the ANT approaches have developed into various directions in the hands of different thinkers and disciplines. The aim of the paper is to disentangle some of the conceptual messiness of ANT1 while considering the potential of applying a strand of the approach in my PhD study, which is linked to an interdisciplinary (Education and Computer Sciences) research and development project Ensemble2 . The project studies case based learning in a number of disciplines in Higher Education and the potential of semantic web applications for enhancing that learning. The PhD study focuses on following the research team as they work on studying cases in the discipline of Archaeology, and as they translate these findings into semantic web applications for the use by the discipline