How to Write after Performativity?

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This chapter is about the extension of Actor-Network Theory initiated by Michel Callon to the study of markets. From this perspective, a theory is successful when it is actualised in practical interventions that make those involved in their use to act differently. Homoeconomicus is the particular type of economic agency performed with economic theory; economic actors become homoeconomicus as they act the roles prefigured in the theories used to organise markets. New theories, however, do not only perform as they change their object of research. They also produce new research personae: They teach and retrain future researchers in new ways of relating with their object of study. In this sense, Callon’s performativity thesis has no doubt been immensely successful. It introduced a new approach to the study of markets, which has been enacted by an army of callonised researchers. The chapter attempts to identify the research persona enacted after Callon’s performativity thesis. The argument unfolds in two steps. The first part identifies the instructions (the roles and scripts) Callon’s theory set for market researchers. The second part inspects how Callon’s theory has been re-enacted in some of the main contributions to the recent debate on performativity and markets. The way in which capital features or not as a fully-fledged operation of translation in each is discussed. A few suggestions are offered in addition for a more accomplished transformation of ANT into a critical anthropology of capitalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Actor-network Theory
EditorsAnders Blok, Ignacio Farias, Celia Roberts
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9781138084728
ISBN (Electronic)9781315111667
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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