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Dances with Categories: Anthropology of “Technology” and anthropology of technics

Coupaye, Ludovic; (2021) Dances with Categories: Anthropology of “Technology” and anthropology of technics. Artefact , 15 pp. 127-150. 10.4000/artefact.11426. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper suggests that “Technology” is a category vernacular to modernity which, when used, inscribes the phenomena to which it refers within a utilitarian, rationalist and Eurocentric frame. Building on the works of the Francophone Technologie Culturelle, the paper suggests going back to Marcel Mauss’s definition of technical acts, focusing on the issue of “efficacy”. The paper claims that it is by taking seriously the efficacy according to the actors themselves, whether computer engineers or shamans, that one can build a methodological frame able to empirically analyze technical (or ritual or aesthetic) phenomena, and their profound axiological import, without sacrificing their material or conceptual diversity, or their spatial or temporal complexity.

Type: Article
Title: Dances with Categories: Anthropology of “Technology” and anthropology of technics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4000/artefact.11426
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4000/artefact.11426
Language: English
Additional information: Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.
Keywords: Anthropology, technology, technics, techniques, magic, Mauss, efficacy, technical diversity.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10189564
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