Monday, March 7, 2011

Socio-materiality: Creating words for the heck of it

While last week, I was in NTNU, Trondheim for a friend’s PhD defense, I decided to stay back and listen to a seminar on “Socio-materiality”. The “jargon monoxide” (super lol!!) to describe that technology, work and organization cannot be viewed separately. We’ve definitely heard that human & non-humans are an assemblage and cannot be looked at separately... and I completely agree that academics deserve ridicule, when they do such things!!

Nonetheless, after the seminar I couldn’t believe that the whole 3hrs, we repeatedly kept hearing that technology changes social behavior and that in turns shapes technology and there is a case of “entanglement” that makes the social/human and material/technology to be only looked at as a single object. The cases were interesting (especially the case of Gartner and their Magic Quadrants) and in each of the case we see the entanglement and mutual shaping. What I still don’t understand is that why we didn’t have an uproar from the audience (… and those much more interested in the concept than me) to this jargon monoxide!!

As researchers we continuously look at ways in which we understand the things around us. Language is one to interpret, understand and communicate the different interpretations inside our head. My father shouts out while I’m writing this, “Research is only searching again and again, what already exists and is probably already known”. If that were true, then jargon monoxide is the basis of research… We create new jargons and retire old ones!! Is that our primary job??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is there anything in the world which is original?? Wanda brings together all the old concepts of human+nonhuman and tries to unify all concepts from the multiple ANT papers. The jargon monoxide made me lol, but this is more than plain rewording!!