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Human and technological redundancy.

Mort, Maggie and Michael, M. (1998) Human and technological redundancy. Social Studies of Science, 28 (3). pp. 335-400.

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Abstract

In this paper, we are concerned with the ways in which pain and redundancy might be accommodated within the framework of Actor-Network Theory. We pose the question: what are the consequences, both analytic and human, when technologies and humans are removed from sociotechnical networks? Taking the production of Trident as the `core business' of the nuclear submarine manufacturers VSEL, and addressing not only the process of technological innovation, but also of technological production, we explore how both workers and `alternative' technologies were rendered redundant, or `disenrolled'. However, we view these redundant actors as retaining a lingering presence, in the form of what we call `phantom intermediaries'. These, we argue, continue to shape the relevant sociotechnical network by `disciplining' the remaining actors. Over and above this, they also serve to signify preferred futures, and the possibility of resistance. Finally, we will draw out some of the broader implications of our approach for the study of sociotechnical networks and their relation to redundancy and pain.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Social Studies of Science
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
ID Code: 20873
Deposited By: Mrs Janet Harris
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2008 14:56
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:41
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/20873

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