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Meaning making as a becoming: Sociomaterial orientations towards meaning making in organizational settings
Institutt for Informatikk, Universitet i Oslo. (Design av Informasjonsystemer)
Mittuniversitet.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics. (Informatik)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4160-4348
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola . (Teknovetenskapliga studier)
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2013 (English)In: First Nordic STS Conference, 2013Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

“In my agential realist account, meaning making is not a human-based practice, but rather a result of specific material reconfigurations of the world.” (Barad 2007:465n116)

 In the introductory quote Karen Barad states her non-anthropocentric positioning on meaning making.  Her position is rooted in ‘agential realism’ with which she gestures to a symbiotic relationship between meaning and matter.  From a standpoint of agential realism subjects and objects are not constituted as pre-fixed entities with specific properties; rather, they are performed and becoming in intra-actions through which boundaries and properties emerge and make meaningful (such) phenomena and concepts (Barad 2007).

 In this paper we bring forth Barad’s account on agential realism to unpack the mutual workings of subjects and objects within three different organizational setting. Accordingly, with Barad’s take on meaning making and the inseparableness of meaning and matter, we aim at unfolding how humans, activities, practices, things, technologies, and working life come into being, matters, and effects the very organization of (the) work (they do together).

 We draw on Barad and fellow STS scholars when asking the following questions:  What do the reconfiguring and redeployment of subjects and objects mean and how do they matter?  For whom?  In what way?  And with what effects?

 Thus, in re-entering a reading of meaning making through an optic of ‘agential realism’ we present three vignettes from different domains of working life that all feed into the questions raised above.  One vignette is situated in a meeting taking place in a project on IT systems design in a government agency, another vignette tells a story about a municipal planning project and the third zooms in on a project on care technologies in ICT based nursing homes (aka smart houses).  Different as they are, these vignettes all shed light on and seek to further our understands on how meaning is a becoming that happens in the very reconfiguration and redeployment of subjects and objects.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Meaning Making, Sociamaterial
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-26003DiVA: diva2:624584
Conference
First Nordic STS Conference Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture/TIK Centre, University of Oslo and Department for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture/KULT at NTNU
Available from: 2013-06-01 Created: 2013-06-01 Last updated: 2015-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Finken, SisseMörtberg, Christina
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Citation style
  • apa
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