Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
From its inception at the beginning of the 1980s, actor-network theory (ANT) has enjoyed considerable success in the social sciences; it is drawn upon in sociology, geography, organizational studies, political science, and cultural studies. One of the key dimensions of this is the fact that ANT is not—properly speaking—a theory; that is, it does not constitute a set of interlinked, conditional propositions that make predictions about states of the world. Rather, ANT is a malleable set of conceptual tools and methodological strategies that enable researchers to investigate and organize empirical materials and helps us understand the dynamics of actions involving key actors in issues of science and science policy. As such, it provides context for understanding patterns of communication in these areas. ANT's interest in the interaction between science, technology, and society should make it an attractive resource for science communication students and scholars. A factor that has contributed to ...