Mariano Croce

Ethnography of contingence: Postcritique as an inquiry into connections

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Critique; Latour; Meanings; Mediation; Postcritique.

This article sets forth a tentative genealogy of postcritique and in particular of how some of Bruno Latour's insights on epistemology and the methodology of social sciences have paved the way for a postcritical approach to the study of the social. To this end, I centre on two major breaks with critical paradigms. First, the rejection of an understanding of knowledge as a self-referential system of classification. Second, the dismissal of the idea that social action always occurs within a broader context. Based on the refusal of these two tenets, the article goes on to illustrate an understanding of theory that I call "ethnography of contingence", one that is meant to account for the way actors assemble the social. The article concludes by commenting on the political edge of this approach. I advocate a conception of postcritique as an invitation to get closer to things to make sense of the movements by which actors piece together, maintain and innovate their own contexts.

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