Infrastructural Fractals: Revisiting the Micro-Macro Distinction in Social Theory

Casper Bruun Jensen

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The relationship between the supposedly small-the micro-and the supposedly large-the macro-has been a long-standing concern in social theory. However, although many attempts have been made to link these two seemingly disjoint dimensions, in the present paper I argue against such an endeavour. Instead, I outline a fractal approach to the study of space, society, and infrastructure. A fractal orientation requires a number of related conceptual reorientations. It has implications for thinking about scale and perspective, and (sociotechnical) relations, and for considering the role of the social theorist in analyzing such relations. I find empirical illustration in the case of the development of electronic patient records in Danish health care. The role of the social theorist is explored through a comparison of the political and normative stance enabled, respectively, by a critical social theory and a fractal social theory.
TidsskriftEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)832 – 850
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2007