Assemblage Ethnography: Configurations Across Scales, Sites, and Practices

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Understanding how human societies are organised has been at the very core of anthropology since its inception as a scientific discipline in the nineteenth century. While early twentieth-century social anthropologists set out to characterise the kinship, economic, and political systems that shaped the social life of ‘communal’ societies, by the end of the century, a new style of ethnography had emerged. This chapter provides a genealogy of ‘assemblage ethnography’, showing how it developed as a methodological response to the challenge of understanding social organisation across scales, sites, and practices in a ‘hypercomplex’ technologising and globalising world through three iterations: (1) governmentality-inspired ethnographies that take dispositifs as their object; (2) multi-sited ethnographic studies of how biomedicine is being harnessed to administer and enhance ‘life itself’; and (3) approaches that have deployed a more fluid understanding of assemblages to capture the rhizome-like ways that macro, meso, and micro scales are connected. Assemblage ethnography has become a key approach within anthropology generally, and the anthropology of technology specifically, because of its ability to locate sited ethnographies within the broader complexes that are characteristic of a world in which daily lives are constantly (re-)shaped by technoscience, laws, regulations, technocracies, institutions, and forms of expertise.
TitelThe Palgrave Handbook of the Anthropology of Technology
RedaktørerMaja Hojer Bruun, Ayo Wahlberg, Rachel Douglas-Jones, Cathrine Hasse, Klaus Hoeyer, Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, Brit Ross Winthereik
ForlagPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Trykt)978-981-16-7083-1
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-981-16-7084-8
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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