By John Law
We based ourselves on type; then, at a miles later date wc discovered a bit approximately ethnicity; extra lately we came upon gender; and extra lately nonetheless we discovered whatever - might be now not a great deal but - approximately age and incapacity. So may a white, heart type, center elderly guy with a normativcly authorized set of actual abilities write of the heritage of his sociology. So could he touch upon the best way he slowly realized that 'his' sociology had by no means spoken for 'us': that each one alongside the sociological 'wc' was once a Leviathan that had accomplished its (sense of) order by means of usurping or silencing the opposite voices.Even so, this used to be a sociology constantly pushed, not less than partially, through a priority with distribution - for differently it can by no means have realized of its isolation. It was once pushed by way of a priority with discomfort. It was once pushed by way of an ambivalent desire to study of and intrude approximately injustice. yet what may still count number as a distribution used to be fought through the years and time back within the retreat from a sovereign order. 'We* came upon it tricky to know category - for in the end, we're all unfastened and equivalent out there. And ethnicity, too, used to be sluggish to come back into concentration, maybe since it was once was hoping that this used to be underpinned by means of a common sense of sophistication. Then those that glance classification heavily - and, to make certain, those that didn't - came upon it tricky to realize gender. the place 'we* at the moment are, gender is slightly, yet merely a little, in concentration. nonetheless there are nice silences approximately gender. As there are approximately age, approximately incapacity.
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Additional info for A Sociology of Monsters Essays on Power Technology and Domination
No', she replied. 'Blue Cross decided to pay for the whole thing. ' In the years that followed I saw Jan's (now Janice) name once in a while in local feminist club announcements; she became an active leader in the women in business groups in the area. I never saw her again after that February, but continued to be haunted by the juxtaposition of the delicate 'high tension zone', the greed and hypocrisy of the insurance companies and physicians involved, and her own desperation. Another friend has told me of a similar phenomenon within the gender clinics which require candidates for transsexual surgery to dress and act as stereotyped females, and deny them surgery if they do not: 'They go from being unambiguous men, albeit unhappy men, to unambiguous women' (Stone 1989: 5 of MS).
31 See Latour (1987). 32 Of course, we never 'really' reduce our categories into those of our subjects. 33 Latour (1988). 34 And this. too. is the basis of Latour's obiection to the notion of power - that it deletes the alliances, the work, the viol&ces that constitute the -powerful. 35 Reported as being from F. Scott Fitzgerald's notebooks in Cohen and Cohen (1971); see Callon and Latour (1981). 36 See Latour (1988). 37 See Callon (1980), Law and Callon (1988) and Latour (1991b). 38 See, for instance, David and Bunn (1988).
The phenomenon Becker is pointing to in art is equally true in science and technology, if not more so, because there are so few instances of solitary or naive scientists (inventors are possibly a counterexample). Scientists and technologists move in communities of practice (Wenger 1990; Lave and Wenger, to appear) or social worlds (Clarke 1990b) which have conventions of use about materials, goods, standards, measurements, and so forth. It is expensive to work within a world and practise outside this set of standards; for many disciplines (high energy physics, advanced electronics research, nuclear medicine), nearly impossible.
A Sociology of Monsters Essays on Power Technology and Domination by John Law