Symposium 6.1 – Actor Network Theory


Today’s symposium panel focused on the subject topic ‘actor network theory’ whilst drawing on the reading ‘On Actor Network Theory: A Few Clarifications 1/2’ by Bruno Latour.

Stacey and Meg were the members (well that showed up) for today’s symposium. Stacey showed a YouTube video on ‘actor network theory’ to assist the class – presenting the ‘socio-technical theory’.


Elliot brought the class through some of the key properties in actor network theory from the reading and told, “The theory takes into consideration all of the actors that can have an affect and connects them together to make a network. These connections are varied and fundamental”.


Stacey told, “The reading points out characteristics associated with actor theory. Stacey proceeded to provide examples (although these were completely over my head), Stacey explained “No network is considered bigger or small and is solely based on the intensity of the network. Additionally, a network is a positive notion that does not need negativity to be understood”.


Esther questioned whether the “theory” has a practical application.


Elliot voiced, “The actor network theory is essentially not a theory and that it acts as a lens into networks”. Elliot also spoke about distance within the theory. He relayed that distance is not physical, it’s temporal. Also he told how A is not the B, it’s how A affects the B. Interestingly, Elliot relayed that the theory was created in response to semiotics – disregarding meaning and the science of signs.


Meg commented, “If you’re not taking any meaning from an element, you’re essentially just mapping out the point of cause and effect. Again, what is the point?!”