Friday, 20 February 2009

Actants or objects

Czarniawska writes about using an idea of following objects as a technique for doing field work. She says the idea is associated with actor network theory being "a narratology inspired approach". Narratologists study narrative. Narratives feature characteristics that acquire traits through actions but the "only thing that can be distinguished is anything that acts or is acted upon; Greimas called it an 'actant'" (p91)

So this object gets called an actant, but how is an actant different from a boundary object? Perhaps a boundary object is a particular type of actant in that it can be acted on by more than one character, must be acted on by more than one character. It's an object that helps sense-making.

I don't know that this is a methodology I intend to follow, but I might observe objects on the way.

Czarniawska, B. (2001) Shadowing: and other techniques for doing field work in modern societies. 815

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