Author:Mariacristina Sciannamblo (Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute)
Paper short abstract:
This paper seeks to unfold the performative character of research and the ethical concerns such character implies. Drawing upon 2 years of ethnography in a telecommunication company, I will present two versions of one particular story to underline the process of writing as onto-epistemic practice.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper, I would like to offer a creative example of my engagement with field research through the powerful interrogative suggested: what happens if we take Barad's call for ethico-onto-epistemology seriously? Drawing upon 2 years of ethnography in a telecommunication company, I will present two versions of one particular story. I have tooled and re-tooled such story — concerning the struggle of a newcomer to fit in her new community of practice — according to some sensitizing concepts and theoretical frameworks that inform my research, namely STS and workplace studies (first version) on the one hand, and feminist technoscience studies (second version) on the other.
With such proposal, I aim to unfold the performative character of research practice and the ethical concerns such productive character imply. (Law and Urry, 2004). I shall specifically discuss the situated position of the researcher in the field as well as the character of methodologies as "thinking technologies" (Lykke et al., 2008) and scientific practice as a "story-telling practice" (Haraway, 1986). Theoretically speaking, the enactive moment of making knowledge through writing marks out a shift from empiricist realism (the assumption that there is a single reality "out there" to be described) to ontological multiplicity (Mol, 1999), namely the understanding that reality is done and enacted rather than simply observed. Such understanding of writing as onto-epistemic practice solicits ethical concerns and, therefore, it matters for its power of accounting for — thus producing — multiple realities that differ in terms of power, knowledge, gender, location and visibility.
Considering the performativity of our own research practices