By John Law
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Additional resources for A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology, and Domination
This essay speaks to the second point: how to make multiplicity primary for some of the concerns about power appearing now in science studies. The following example illustrates some common aspects of the problems of standards and invisible work. On being allergic to onions I am allergic to onions that are raw or partially cooked. When I eat even a small amount, I suffer stomach pain and nausea that can last for several hours. In the grand scheme of things this is a very minor disability. However, precisely because it is so minor and yet so pervasive in my life, it is a good vehicle for understanding some of the small, distributed costs and overheads associated with the ways in which individuals, organizations and standardized technologies meet.
What is lost is the Power, technologies and the phenomenology of conventions ability to authentically represent personal experience. (Stone 1989: 9 of MS) Here is a socio-technical network, an exercise of power - and a certain kind of loss. What would it have taken to preserve the 'high tension' of Jan's non-membership, the impurity of being neither male nor female? This high tension zone is a kind of zero point between dichotomies (see Latour 1987;in Irreductions, in Pickering 1991) or between great divides: maletfemale, societyltechnology, eitherlor.
G. Scott 1991). From one point of view, discussions of racism and sexism use reified concepts to manipulate tired old social theory to no good ends except guilt and boredom. From another, the political order described in actor network theory, or in descriptions of the creation of scientific facts, they describe an order which is warlike, competitive, and biased toward the point of view of the victors (or the management). Yet both agree that there are important joint issues in opening the black boxes of science and technology, in examining previously invisible work, and, especially, in attempting to represent more than one point of view within a network.
A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology, and Domination by John Law