ANT and Translations

What is translation?

 Inscriptions and translations go hand in hand. As discussed above, inscriptions are a result of a series of transformations. (Mouritsen et al. 2008). Thus it can be deduced that high quality transformations/translations will lead to high quality inscriptions.

 Translation “is a verb which implies transformation and the possibility of equivalence, the possibility that one thing (for example an actor) may stand for another (for instance a network).” (Law 1992, 5-6). Akrich states that “technical objects participate in building heterogeneous networks that bring together actants of all types and sizes, whether human or nonhuman”. (Akrich 2000, 206). Law et al. (1999) state that actor-network theory is “intentionally oxymoronic, a tension which lies between the ‘centered’ actor and the ‘decentered’ network on the other” (Law et al. 1999,5). There is tension because actors have their own interests and translation plays a vital role in acquiring stability among this chaos. Translation acts helps re-interpret, re-present other’s ideas as one’s own ideas. In order to align interests, stability and social order are continually negotiatied “as a social process of aligning interests”. (Hanseth et al. 1998). 

 In the translation process, the designer who creates the artifacts intends for them to be used in a certain manner, this is then inscribed into the tool. For example, once a piece of technology is created, the technology becomes an actor and imposes its inscription on its users. When studying the use of technical artefacts one necessarily shifts back and forth “between the designer’s projected user and the real user” in order to describe this dynamic negotiation process of design (Akrich 1992, p. 209).

 A theory of Systems Thinking is a theory of how conceptual systems behave. From a bricoleur’s lens all aspects of DSRP function simultaneously creating a self similarity process; where the same thing repeats over and over again.

 Based on our experience too we are choosing DSRP and especially perspective to view bricolage. Many other researchers have talked about systems thinking but according to us all concepts work in unification.

When do translations take place? 

Translations take place as the project is taken and adapted by actors, as interests and solutions are developed and evolved.

 Robson (1992, 691-692) describes an inscription as “a material translation of any setting that is to be acted upon. Inscriptions have to travel between the context of action and the actor remote from that context”.

 Translation “is a verb which implies transformation and the possibility of equivalence, the possibility that one thing (for example an actor) may stand for another (for instance a network).” (Law 1992, 5-6). Akrich states that “technical objects participate in building heterogeneous networks that bring together actants of all types and sizes, whether human or nonhuman”. (Akrich 2000, 206).

 Law et al. (1999) state that actor-network theory is “intentionally oxymoronic, a tension which lies between the ‘centered’ actor and the ‘decentered’ network on the other” (Law et al. 1999,5). There is tension because actors have their own interests and translation plays a vital role in acquiring stability among this chaos. Translation acts helps re-interpret, re-present other’s ideas as one’s own ideas. In order to align interests, stability and social order are continually negotiated “as a social process of aligning interests”. (Hanseth et al. 1998).

 In the translation process, the designer who creates the artifacts intends for them to be used in a certain manner, this is then inscribed into the tool. For example, once a piece of technology is created, the technology becomes an actor and imposes its inscription on its users. When studying the use of technical artefacts one necessarily shifts back and forth “between the designer’s projected user and the real user” in order to describe this dynamic negotiation process of design (Akrich 1992, p. 209).

 “Translation is the interpretation given by the fact or technology builders of their own interests and those of the actants they seek to enroll in order to transform their claim to a matter of fact (Latour 1987, 108).” A successful translation will lead to a network of indispensable network. Every version of each actor’s interest translates every other, and all together acquire a “sort of hegemony” (Latour 1987, 121). Their interests and goals become a part of a black box. As mentioned earlier, these black boxes need to be maintained over time due to threat of new actors/elements.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: