research approach



Local Links
Research approach
Research projects
STS papers
STS issues
Contact & Cv

External Links
OU Sociology
Newcomers to the farm
Manchester Capitalism

First, I’m interdisciplinary. Part sociologist and part from STS (science, technology and society), I’ve worked with anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, engineers, medical practitioners, historians, geographers, linguists and students of STS. The world doesn't fit disciplines, and it demands an interdisciplinary approach.

Second, I assume that the world is materially heterogeneous, a mix of the social, economic, material, human, ‘natural’, and technical. We need rigorous ways of thinking and studying these heterogeneous processes. That’s why I’ve worked with actor-network theory and its successor ‘material-semiotic’ projects including post-colonial STS. ANT isn’t the only way of thinking about heterogeneity but, suitably modulated, its material-semiotics is a useful toolkit (certainly not a theory!) for catching some of the important processes of social life.

Third, I assume that the world is discursively heterogeneous. I’m fascinated and horrified by the exclusions of the social. Systems both depend on and Other people, collectivities and realities that fail to fit. If there’s an enemy here in addition to injustice then it is hubris. In my research I go looking for gaps, aporias, and subaltern realities. Increasingly, I draw on postcolonial sensibilities to imagine alternative knowledge spaces, and alternative less 'Western' versions of STS.

Finally, I’m concerned with the performativity of method. The argument is that methods tend to produce – though often in unanticipated and contradictory ways – the worlds they claim to be describing. This is not a complaint – but it does deserve careful exploration.


I’m lucky enough to work closely with colleagues in a range of disciplines and locations including: Kristin Asdal (Oslo), Solveig Joks (Guovdageaidnu), Marianne Lien (Oslo), Wen-yuan Lin (Hsinchu, Taiwan), Annemarie Mol (Amsterdam), Ingunn Moser (Oslo), Evelyn Ruppert (Goldsmiths), Vicky Singleton (Lancaster), Heather Swanson (Aarhus), and Liv Østmo (Guovdageaidnu).

Page last edited:
15 February 2017