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Experimentalizing the organization of objects: Re-enacting mines and landfills
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0693-5355
2016 (English)In: Organization, ISSN 1350-5084, E-ISSN 1461-7323, Vol. 23, no 6, 840-863 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we draw upon ‘After-ANT’ scholarship to generate openings for a shift from purely deconstructive studies of object organization to a more straightforward generation of concrete and specific alternative trajectories towards the future by way of ontological experimentation. Through careful empirical investigation of a mine and a landfill, and how these are enacted in practice in different topological registers, we show how mines and landfills are intertwined; enacted sometimes as similar and in other cases as different types of objects, thus shaping the paths of becoming for those bundles of relations that become enacted as either a ‘mine object’ or a ‘landfill object’. Mapping these practices generates openings for interventions suggesting how things could be made different in some specificity; in this case, for example, the appreciation of what constitutes ‘natural resources’. The overarching purpose of this article is to intervene in current debates regarding the potential merits of drawing upon Object-Oriented Philosophy as an inspiration in critical organizational studies. While we are highly sympathetic to calls for more experimental object studies, we are hesitant towards Object-Oriented Philosophy as a source of inspiration due to its specific metaphysical underpinnings. To clarify what we find to be at stake here, we conclude the article by situating After-ANT in a wider landscape of thought, discussing the contrast between broadly pragmatist research approaches, such as After-ANT, and Object-Oriented Philosophy. Finally, we try to spell out how we believe this contrast reverberates upon how we understand the purpose and potential of critical social science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 23, no 6, 840-863 p.
Keyword [en]
After ANT; metals; mining; object-oriented philosophy; ontological experimentation; topology
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198087DOI: 10.1177/1350508415624271ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84994761162OAI: diva2:1055432

QC 20161213

Available from: 2016-12-12 Created: 2016-12-12 Last updated: 2016-12-13Bibliographically approved

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