Montako meitä on? Kollektiivin koettelua kolmessa Bruno Latourin tutkimuksessa

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How Many Are We? The collective on trial in three studies by Bruno Latour

A constant theme in Latour's work is the critique of the traditional sociological concept of 'society'. He replaces it with the notion of 'collectivity' that alludes to associations, translations and mediations between different forces and actants, both humans and non-humans. It is the inclusion of non-humans in the collectivity that makes this concept radical; similarly, for Latour the capability of 'acting' is not limited to human beings. However, he does not seem to be interested in developing these concepts in abstract terms only; rather, for him they are tools for concrete empirical studies of specific cases and trials where the borders of collectivity are questioned, defined and negotiated. Thus, taking seriously the emphasis on empirical studies this article introduces Latour's thought and its relevance for social sciences through discussing three case studies: one on the history of science, another on the nature of innovative technological systems, and a third one on the networks of knowledge that make everyday life possible in a metropolis.