Reference : Assembling Interdisciplinary Energy Research through an Actor Network Theory (ANT) Frame
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Sustainable Development
Assembling Interdisciplinary Energy Research through an Actor Network Theory (ANT) Frame
Wong, Catherine mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Energy Research and Social Science
[en] Actor-network theory ; Energy ; Inter-disciplinary research
[en] Much has been achieved over the last decade to highlight the need for energy research to look beyond the technical dimensions of energy systems to include the social elements of energy consumption and production. Inter-disciplinary research in this area has thus been growing. The degree of penetration by the social sciences into technical energy analysis, however, has largely been weak not just within academic research but also in policy and decision-making. This paper introduces Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a frame and mode of thinking about inter-disciplinary energy research in practice. In presenting a short history of its classical status, evolution and more contemporary applications, this paper highlights the concepts of social-material heterogeneity, enrolment, enactment and translation and some applications to energy research. It argues that an ANT approach: (1) expands the purview of analysis to the larger web of people and things that co-constitute energy systems; (2) gives visibility to previously inconspicuous actors and processes; (3) actively engages with ignorance and uncertainty in scientific experimentation; and (4) identifies alternative ways of assembling technologies, people and environments that are fairer and more sustainable.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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