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Accepted Contribution:

On patterns of abuse across disciplines – STS is no different from elsewhere, so what can it do? And what should it learn?  
Quentin Louis

Short abstract:

Toxicity and abuse are ubiquitous in our contemporary societies. Through stories of abuse in STS and elsewhere that I have experienced or been witness to, I try to tell what STS can learn from others and how its constructivist stance can make us better at institutioning.

Long abstract:

Toxicity and abuse permeate our contemporary social spaces. From interpersonal harm to generational trauma, to attachment issues and the loneliness epidemic, we all know people who have been abused. If we have not actively cut links with abusers – which is not necessarily a bad thing, as they also do need help – we live along them in our social circles. That STS can be a place of abuse is therefore no surprise, but becomes a reality check for a discipline so concerned with ‘the good’. I like to think of abuse in the framework of contemporary psychotherapy and cognitive anthropology broadly understood. After a general introduction regarding our need as humans to connect and feel understood, I will briefly describe 3+1 spaces (one of them in STS) where I have experienced or noticed abuse first hand. I aim to show the continuities and similarities between spaces and take seven conclusions from these experiences which I actively now try to implement in the collectives that I engage in. I suggest that STS can learn from psychotherapy and cognitive anthropology as abuse is now well understood there and that it can in turn provide the world with a worldview that is consistent with our knowledge of how abuse comes about and to help us be better builders. For a constructivist discipline, perhaps this is fair trade.

Combined Format Open Panel P265
Transforming STS via #WeDoSTS
  Session 1