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February 05 , 2009

Agency without Actors?

New Approaches to Collective Action


The question of agency is a key issue in social theory and research. The discourse of human agency as an effect of social relations is deeply intertwined with the history of sociological thought. However, in most recent discussions the role of non-humans gains a substantial impact concerning agency. Agency without Actors? New Approaches to Collective Action asks: Are nonhumans active, do they have agency? And if so: how and in which different ways?

Consequently, Agency without Actors? New Approaches to Collective Action

  • outlines a wide range of novel accounts that link human and non-human agency
  • tries to understand social-technical, political and environmental networks as different forms of agency that produce discrete and identifiable entities
  • asks how different types of (often conflicting) agency and agents are distinguished in practice, how they are maintained and how they interfere with each other.

By studying the substantial impact of the role of non-humans in connection with human relations, the book aims to advance the discourse on agency and investigates into the different possible modes of human and nonhuman interplay.

This book is essential reading for students and scholars of sociology, science and technology studies, social anthropology, animal studies, environmental studies and social theory.

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