Lucy Suchman: Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions, 2nd ed (2007)

13 February 2013, dusan

“This 2007 book considers how agencies are currently figured at the human-machine interface, and how they might be imaginatively and materially reconfigured. Contrary to the apparent enlivening of objects promised by the sciences of the artificial, the author proposes that the rhetorics and practices of those sciences work to obscure the performative nature of both persons and things. The question then shifts from debates over the status of human-like machines, to that of how humans and machines are enacted as similar or different in practice, and with what theoretical, practical and political consequences. Drawing on scholarship across the social sciences, humanities and computing, the author argues for research aimed at tracing the differences within specific sociomaterial arrangements without resorting to essentialist divides. This requires expanding our unit of analysis, while recognizing the inevitable cuts or boundaries through which technological systems are constituted.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2007
Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives series
ISBN 052167588X, 9780521675888
314 pages



Harold Garfinkel: Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967/2006) [English/Spanish]

19 August 2012, dusan

This is one of the major classics of contemporary sociology. Studies in Ethnomethodology has inspired a wide range of important theoretical and empirical work in the social sciences and linguistics. It is one of the most original and controversial works in modern social science and it remains at the centre of debate about the current trends and tasks of sociology and social theory.

Ethnomethodology – the study of the ways in which ordinary people construct a stable social world through everyday utterances and actions – is now a major component of all sociology and linguistics courses. Garfinkel’s formidable reputation as one of the worlds leading sociologists rest largely on the work contained in this book.

Publisher Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1967, 288 pages
Translated to Spanish by Hugo Antonio Perez Hernaiz, published under the title Estudios en Etnometodologia by Anthropos Editorial, Barcelona, 2006. ISBN 8476587856, 331 pages.

google books

PDF [English]
PDF [Spanish]

Stephan Fuchs: Against Essentialism: A Theory of Culture and Society (2001)

19 March 2012, dusan

Against Essentialism presents a sociological theory of culture. This interdisciplinary and foundational work deals with basic issues common to current debates in social theory, including society, culture, meaning, truth, and communication. Stephan Fuchs argues that many mysteries about these concepts lose their mysteriousness when dynamic variations are introduced.

Fuchs proposes a theory of culture and society that merges two core traditions–American network theory and European (Luhmannian) systems theory. His book distinguishes four major types of social “observers”–encounters, groups, organizations, and networks. Society takes place in these four modes of association. Each generates levels of observation linked with each other into a “culture”–the unity of these observations.

Against Essentialism presents a groundbreaking new approach to the construction of society, culture, and personhood. The book invites both social scientists and philosophers to see what happens when essentialism is abandoned.

Publisher Harvard University Press, 2001
ISBN 0674006100, 9780674006102
380 pages

google books