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

Casper Bruun Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Volume25
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)832 – 850
Number of pages19
ISSN0263-7758
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this

@article{e7ec98e0735111dc8979000ea68e967b,
title = "Infrastructural Fractals: Revisiting the Micro-Macro Distinction in Social Theory",
abstract = "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.",
author = "{Bruun Jensen}, Casper",
year = "2007",
doi = "10.1068/d420t",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "832 – 850",
journal = "Environment and Planning D: Society and Space",
issn = "0263-7758",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "5",

}

Infrastructural Fractals : Revisiting the Micro-Macro Distinction in Social Theory. / Bruun Jensen, Casper.

In: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Vol. 25, No. 5, 2007, p. 832 – 850.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Infrastructural Fractals

T2 - Revisiting the Micro-Macro Distinction in Social Theory

AU - Bruun Jensen, Casper

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

U2 - 10.1068/d420t

DO - 10.1068/d420t

M3 - Journal article

VL - 25

SP - 832

EP - 850

JO - Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

JF - Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

SN - 0263-7758

IS - 5

ER -