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Materialising social ontology

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journal contribution
posted on 21.07.2017 by Dave Elder-Vass
Social theorists increasingly recognise that material things often play vital roles in the causation of social events. However there is substantial disagreement on how to theorise these roles. Several members of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group have made important contributions in the form of their work on the ontology of technological objects. This paper builds on their work to develop an ontology of socio-technical structures: social entities composed of both humans and technological objects, with causal powers that depend on how these parts relate to, and interact with, each other. The implication is that material things are not just significant in their own right, or as parts of technical complexes, but that they can play a central role in social structures themselves. Indeed many of the most important and consequential social structures in contemporary societies, and in particular in contemporary economies, are socio-technical structures.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Cambridge Journal of Economics

Volume

41

Issue

5

Pages

1437–1451

Citation

ELDER-VASS, D., 2017. Materialising social ontology. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(5), pp. 1437–1451.

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society.

Publisher statement

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Cambridge Journal of Economics following peer review. The version of record ELDER-VASS, D., 2017. Materialising social ontology. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(5), pp. 1437–1451 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bex038

Acceptance date

15/06/2017

Publication date

2017-08-28

ISSN

0309-166X

eISSN

1464-3545

Language

en

Exports