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  • Aircraft Stories: Decentering the Object in Technoscience

    Author(s):
    Pages: 264
    Illustrations: 23 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
    Series: Science and Cultural Theory
  • Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2812-4
  • Paperback: $25.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2824-7
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  • Acknowledgments

    1. Introduction

    2. Objects

    3. Subjects

    4. Cultures

    5. Heterogeneities

    6. Aesthetics

    7. Decisions

    8. Arborescences

    9. Pinboards

    Notes

    References

    Index
  • “Through this lively text, John Law guides us on a tour of the TSR2 that will be a rich resource for anyone interested in the question of how new artifacts come into being. Writers, readers, engineers, and aircraft are inseparable components of the project, which involves simultaneously achieving the singularities and recovering the multiplicities of stories and things. Crafting together a complex architecture of subject/object relations, Aircraft Stories offers a prototype for a new form of technoscience storytelling.”—Lucy Suchman, author of Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication — N/A

    “What is a military aircraft? John Law shows in his beautiful analysis that it is a constant oscillation between multiplicity and singularity. It (sometimes) flies, it (possibly) drops nuclear bombs, it (certainly) reproduces a very conservative social order, it interpellates and entices young men, and yet it still remains a military aircraft. John Law invents what could be a monadology in which there is no longer preestablished harmony.”—Michel Callon, CSI Ecole des mines de Paris — N/A

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  • Description

    In Aircraft Stories noted sociologist of technoscience John Law tells “stories” about a British attempt to build a military aircraft—the TSR2. The intertwining of these stories demonstrates the ways in which particular technological projects can be understood in a world of complex contexts.
    Law works to upset the binary between the modernist concept of knowledge, subjects, and objects as having centered and concrete essences and the postmodernist notion that all is fragmented and centerless. The structure and content of Aircraft Stories reflect Law’s contention that knowledge, subjects, and—particularly— objects are “fractionally coherent”: that is, they are drawn together without necessarily being centered. In studying the process of this particular aircraft’s design, construction, and eventual cancellation, Law develops a range of metaphors to describe both its fractional character and the ways its various aspects interact with each other. Offering numerous insights into the way we theorize the working of systems, he explores the overlaps between singularity and multiplicity and reveals rich new meaning in such concepts as oscillation, interference, fractionality, and rhizomatic networks.
    The methodology and insights of Aircraft Stories will be invaluable to students in science and technology studies and will engage others who are interested in the ways that contemporary paradigms have limited our ability to see objects in their true complexity.

    About The Author(s)

    John Law is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Science Studies at Lancaster University in England. He is the author and editor of many books and articles, including Organizing Modernity and Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change.

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