Tommaso Venturini

Introducing the Cartography of Controversies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Controversies, social cartography, science and technologies studies, actor-network theory, methodology of social research

The cartography of controversies is a collection of techniques to observe and describe social issues developed by Bruno Latour as an applied version of Actor-Network Theory. Originally, it was used to guide students in the exploration of scientific and technological debates. The scope and interest of the cartography of controversies, however, go beyond its didactic origin. Adopted in several universities and further developed by a number of international projects, the cartography of controversies is today a full research methodology. In this article, I draw on my experience as Latour's teaching assistant, to introduce some of the main ideas and techniques of the cartography of controversies. The purpose of this article is to trace the intellectual genealogy of this methodology, to sketch its present articulation (in particular by comparing it with ethnographic methods) and to envision its future developments.

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