Dario Minervini, Filippo Barbera

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Introduction to the Symposium

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Actor-Network Theory, text analysis method, theoretical insights, new markets, education policy.

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is not a novelty any more. From the generalized symmetry between human and non-human actants, to the flat ontology, getting through the collapse of the sociological "great divide" between micro and macro, ANT has introduced a relevant innovation in social sciences, both in terms of new vocabulary and fresh theoretical perspective. After thirty years of researches and scientific debate, the main heuristic aim of the ANT scholars still remains the same: to trace and reconstruct how complexities and socio-technical phenomena are performed. Nowadays the ANT sensibility and analytical principles are adopted not only in sub-disciplines of social sciences as environmental sociology, organization studies or education, but also in other fields as Information Systems or Geography. This symposium presents a partial attempt to illustrate some recent uses of ANT's principles outside the customary boundaries of science and technology studies. The six articles could be subdivided in three categories: 1) methodological tools for doing empirical research with ANT; 2) theoretical hybridization of ANT with other approaches; 3) applications in the field of new markets and education policy analysis.

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