David Banks explains what Mr Latour, Mr Callon and Mr Law named the Actor-Network Theory by defining that “ANT describes human and nonhuman ‘actants’ with the same language, and grants them equal amounts of agency within ‘webs’ or ‘actor-networks’” (Banks, 2014). While reading other intelligent people’s works and attempts to define this arguably rather over-complicated system, I came to the conclusion that it is an approach to describe how network internal interaction consists of all its nodes, including human and non-human ones, working equally and on the same level together.
Thus I understand that I can only create this blog-post in order to have previous knowledge about the Actor-Network Theory, which several online readings kindly provided. To be able to access the websites that urge to explain the Actor-Network Theory as well as to post this blog, I need to have firstly an Information Communication Technology, a.k.a. my beautiful old and white MacBook, and access to the internet. Aiming to serve all my needs and desires, the Macbook incorporates numerous systems, technologies and electronics including the five basic elements storage, arithmetic and logical unit, control unit, input device, output device (ecsmy, 2014), which all again include a whole range of other devices, nodes and systems. All of them transmit information and obey orders and connect me with the internet as well as the internet with me. Similarly, the internet, with whom I stay in connection for publishing this piece of text, depends on systems such as infrastructure, telecommunication companies abilities and their employees’ effort to make our reciprocal connection work. The internet and I are in a state of communicational interchange, my MacBook serves me and my pre-knowledge of how to use Information Communication technology and the internet and the online publishing platform. This I gained over the last years from books, peers, friends, teachers, other communication devices and the internet itself through “learning by doing”, thus enable me to do this here.
This exercise teaches me that all these actors within my network all have to actively work to enable and influence my conscious participation in the network. As Sidorova & Sarker (2014) explain, I have to convince all of those network nodes and actors/actants to create an alignment for my interest with their interest.
Luckily, I know that we don’t have to take the Actor-Network Theory too literal as I would then have to consider relationship therapy with my motherboard instead of transferring the solely technological problem to a specialist in that big glass building on George street.
- Banks, D., 2014. A Brief Summary of Actor Network Theory » Cyborgology. [online] Thesocietypages.org. Available at: <http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/12/02/a-brief-summary-of-actor-network-theory/> [Accessed 19 Aug. 2014].
- ucdenver.edu, 2014. [online] Available at: <http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/itc/ant_dff.html> [Accessed 19 Aug. 2014].b
- ECSMY, 2014. [online] Available at: <http://www.ecsmy.com/> [Accessed 19 Aug. 2014].