Recently, normativity-in-the-making has emerged as a concern in STS research. This track invites papers on empirical studies on values and/ or on the normativity that STS researchers produce when writing about these practices.
Recently, normativity-in-the-making has emerged as a concern in STS research. Normativity is approached in two ways.
First, STS analyses values, norms and ways of establishing worth enacted by the sciences and the other fields we study, through their use of methods, technologies, cut-off points, lab animals, and so on. We may then ask, for instance, what 'registers of valuing' (e.g. economic and aesthetic ones) emerge in practice, how do they relate, and what escapes these? Issues may concern matters of life and death, and what it means to be 'human'. How is the worth of living (survival, prevention, longevity, quality of life, etc) shaped when human life is extended in new ways? What kind of care work can robots do, and which parts are 'strictly human'?
Second, there is the normativity of doing STS work itself. Following feminist critiques on the seemingly descriptive tasks that STS research has appointed for itself, there has been much debate about the ways in which STS research enacts values and or takes position. New images, sensitivities and meanings come to life in ethnographic accounts of practices and technologies, and present participants with new ways to think about their practices. In this way STS research also interferes in normative debates that surround the practices studied. How do we interfere? Is there still a space for 'critique' or are there 'other means'?
This track invites papers on empirical studies on values and/ or on the normativity that STS researchers produce when writing about these practices.