Kuechler, S; Were, G; (2009) Empathy Avec La Matiere: Comment repenser la nature de l'action technique. Techniques&Culture (52-53) 190 - 212.
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Materials are often downplayed in the analysis of social and technical systems and yet materials shape the very basis of the world we live in. This paper sets out to challenge this oversight by drawing attention to the nature of materials and the acts of calculation they engender. The transformative potential of materials, we argue, plays a fundamental role in their selection and uptake and is met with an empathy that is shared intersubjectively, the nature of this emathy with materials being crucial for explaining how individuals interpret their social world in abstract, generalizabel and often unchanging ways. We examine the nature of empathy with materials through a series of chase studies taaken from the Pacific, where the role of the concrete in social imagination has figured prominently in ethnographic studies, yet where artefact collections have curiously remained bystanders to the depiction of social worlds.
|Title:||Empathy Avec La Matiere: Comment repenser la nature de l'action technique|
|Keywords:||Materials, emapthy, logic, calculation, Oceanic collections|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology|
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