Tag Archives: Performatividad

How to write after Callon’s performativity? (final part)

[El nombre de esta sección es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es la tercera parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Las primeras dos partes están acá y acá. Una versión completa del texto en su versión actual está disponible acá]

How to write after Callon’s performativity? José Ossandón.

[Third and final instalment of chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Draft October 2018.]

Part III. The characters

The previous section was about the research persona created with Callon’s performativity thesis. It showed that Callon used Garcia-Parpet’s case to create a new position to approach markets. This section explores work conducted after Callon. It revises work that is not set against or beyond but that follows Callon’s performativity thesis, and that, a bit like Callon did with Garcia-Parpet, has enacted different research personae. The following lines distinguish three different characters, three different sets of instructions of how to write after Callon’s performativity.

Before moving on there are two disclaimers to make. Callon’s performativity thesis has inspired thousands of papers in several sub-disciplines (Cochoy 2014, McFall & Ossandón 2014). The distinction between the three different ways of writing after Callon proposed here is informed by years of close reading of this literature, but it cannot claim to be exhaustive. The typology should be read as a tentative classificatory hypothesis. Second, it is worth mentioning that some of the questions posed here have been asked before. Inspired by Ian Hunter’s (2006) critical historical analysis of recent humanities, Du Gay (2010) identified a tension in the work of Callon and colleagues. Sometimes, this work is descriptive and empirically oriented, while other times it is populated by empirically untestable statements. Jenle (2015) picked the label Du Gay uses, the ‘theoreticist’, to characterize the stance of work informed by Callon’s performativity program. He identifies two features: ‘a primary commitment to or prioritization of the development of generally applicable conceptualizations of markets’ and ‘a lack of concern with the object of study as constituted by an empirical state of affairs’ (Jenle 2015: 216). The exercise here is certainly inspired by these discussions. It will be argued, for instance, that Callon’s theory has enabled the development of different personae and that these have different stances in relation to empirical inquiry. The point here, however, is not to evaluate whether the orientation of the performativity thesis is empiricist enough. Neither is it to identify this theory’s overall stance. The point is rather to identify the type of research personae, the implicit characters and the rules set to them, enacted with and after Callon’s approach to markets. Continue reading

Pardo-Guerra en el diván de Fridman

[El nuevo podcast “Sociología con Acento” de sociocast se inaugura con una conversación donde Juan Pablo Pardo Guerra le cuenta sobre su trayectoria de la física a la sociología de las finanzas a Daniel Fridman]

“En el primer episodio de Sociología con Acento conversamos con Juan Pablo Pardo Guerra sobre su transición de la física a la sociología y sobre su investigación en sociología de las finanzas. Juan Pablo estudió en México y Escocia, y trabaja hoy en la Universidad de California San Diego, Estados Unidos”


Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago

[Nuevo artículo de Martín Tironi y Pablo Hermansen en Journal of Cultural Economy, ‘Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago, Chile’]

Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago, Chile

Martín Tironi & Pablo Hermansen


This article presents an empirical reflection on how the prototyping of an environmental enrichment device for chimpanzees at the National Zoo of Chile precipitates a cosmopolitical encounter. Using material produced by design students, zookeepers and the chimps Judy and Gombe, we describe how prototyping iterations establish open processes of dialogue and encounters among humans and nonhumans. The case will demonstrate how prototyping can go further than the generation of models of an original. On the contrary, the cosmopolitical encounter emerging from the prototyping process makes evident a truly ontological vocation, acknowledging humans and other-than-human beings as singular entities. Its provisional and malleable nature turns this device into a privileged locus for the exploration of interspecies entanglement. Although zoos are scientifically organized institutions, in this case we observe how its anthropocentric hierarchy was performatively reshuffled at certain moments of the prototyping process. The cosmopolitical qualities of the prototyping process analyzed derive from its capacity to deploy an ethics of attention and care between the agencies at play, that is, for unfold gestures of mutual vulnerability. Finally, we propose prototyping as a device for moving from cosmopolitics as a way of understanding the world to cosmopolitics as a matter of design. Continue reading

Consumer databases as practical accomplishments

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Ariztía en Journal of Cultural Economy, ‘Consumer databases as practical accomplishments: the making of digital objects in three movements’]

‘Consumer databases as practical accomplishments: the making of digital objects in three movements’

Tomas Ariztia


This paper aims to reflect on some key issues linked to the production of digital objects in business settings. In doing so, it problematizes current social science scholarship, which emphasizes the analysis of digital data and analytics, and reinforces the magnitude of its consequences and ‘data power’. The paper proposes making three corrective ‘movements’ that might enrich our approaches to how databases and analytics are assembled in business settings. The first movement involves the problem of ethnographic access to data-making practices. We propose taking seriously the issue of fabricating an ethnographic encounter where the process of making digital objects is exposed. The second movement concerns the visibility and the type of politics taking place in data practices. We argue for the need to displace attention from data impacts and results to the myriad of mundane practices and devices through which these objects are assembled. The third movement we suggest requires a focus on examining error and failure as key aspects of the manufacturing of consumer databases. Each of these movements is illustrated by ethnographic vignettes from a 9-month ethnographic experiment that involved participating in the first stages of the manufacturing of an online financial retail company’s consumer database. Continue reading

How to write after performativity? (part 2)

[El nombre de esta sección por ahora es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es la segunda parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. La primera parte está acá. Por cierto, sugerencias sobre cómo debería seguir la historia son muy bienvenidos]

How to write after performativity? José Ossandón.

[Second instalment of chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Non-proof read draft.]

Part II. The instructions

Callon’s performativity thesis reoriented the attention of researchers inspecting economic issues. The traditional critical stance towards the way economists portray economics actors and the economy is replaced by an increasing attention to those whose work involves formatting calculative agencies, among them economists themselves. The question ‘how to write after performativity?’ shifts the attention in a different direction. The focus here is not directed at the economic agents that are performed with economics, but at the research personae enacted with the performativity approach to the economy. To use a cinematographic analogy, it could be said that from this perspective, Callon is seen as a film director, and the researchers informed by his work are like cameramen following his instructions, and, in order to clarify the particular type of personae these researchers enact, what ought to be done first is to clarify the director’s guidelines.

In 1981, a new market place for the trading of table strawberries was set at the commune of Fontaines-en-Sologne in central France. This strawberry market became officially part of the social scientific discussion in 1986, when a paper about the case by Marie-France Garcia-Parpet (2007) was published in Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, the journal Pierre Bourdieu started in 1975. In 1998, Garcia-Parpet’s strawberries began a second life, when Michell Callon used her case study as the central empirical evidence of what it will become the more influential idea of his famous chapters in the edited collection The Laws of the Markets. In fact, Garcia-Parpet’s piece only appeared in English in 2007 when it was included in the edited collection – Do Economists Make Markets? – that consolidated the international academic influence of Callon’s thesis. What Callon did not make explicit in his chapters is that while taking Garcia-Parpet’s basic insight, his conclusions are radically different. In what follows, the modifications Callon introduced in relation to Garcia-Parpet’s case are used as entry points to identify his particular guidelines; the rules set to the research personae to be enacted with the performativity thesis.

Strawberries exchange forever

Continue reading

Llamado a concurso para ayudantes de investigación “Gobierno y autogobierno en la producción de nuevos traders”

[Ximena Zabala envía el siguiente llamado]

FONDECYT N° 11171075 titulado Gobierno y autogobierno en la producción de nuevos traders. Una investigación sobre los procesos de incorporación al trabajo en el sector financiero bajo la dirección de Ximena Zabala busca dos ayudantes de investigación.

El objetivo general de este proyecto es explorar los modos de gobierno y autogobierno que performan la subjetividad de los traders durante el proceso de incorporación al trabajo en bancos. Este estudio pretende reconstruir el ensamblaje relacional de elementos materiales, técnicos, discursivos y humanos que permiten agenciar nuevos traders. Para ello, utilizará como marco analítico preferente los estudios sociales de la ciencia y la tecnología y los aportes de los estudios de gubernamentalidad.

En concreto, se espera que los ayudantes colaboren con el trabajo de campo mediante (1) trabajo en archivo, (2) la realización de entrevistas en profundidad (3) observación participante de corte etnográfico  y (4) Análisis de datos. La participación en el proyecto está pensada como un trabajo de media jornada y tendrá una duración en principio de seis meses, partiendo lo antes posible. Continue reading

T. Undurraga reseña y comenta Freedom from Work de D. Fridman

Billedresultat[La categoría “debate” es una sección dedicada a discutir a partir de libros publicados por los contribuidores de Estudios de la Economía. En este post Tomás Undurraga comenta el libro Freedom from Work: Embracing Financial Self-Help in the United States and Argentina, (Stanford University Press 2017) de Daniel Fridman. El debate sobre “Freedom from Work” continuará con un comentario de Tomás Ariztía, para terminar con una respuesta de Daniel a los comentaristas] 

Based on careful ethnographic research, this book provides a compelling account of how financial self-help followers aim to change their economic thinking, adopt new practices and thereby reach financial freedom. Freedom from work investigates the expansion of neoliberalism not at a structural level, but rather at the micro level where self-governance is shaped. It follows financial self-help groups, artefacts and actors, paying attention to the philosophy and materiality of their actions – e.g. forums, board games, interactions. The book is based on a two-year ethnographic fieldwork (2008 – 2009) with groups of financial self-help fans in New York and Buenos Aires. Specifically, it focuses on the cult-like influence of Robert Kiyosaki’s bestselling books and how devoted readers adopted and spread their views, aiming to do business, gain new followers, and change their lives.

Fridman offers a comprehensive explanation of the logic of financial self-help circuits, the promises which engage fans, and the practices distinctive of the programme. According to Fridman, the popularity of Kiyosaki’s books can be explained by a powerful combination of motivational elements, engaging tools for the development of rational thinking, and his sociological interpretation of late capitalism changes. The book argues that it is the combination of these elements that makes Kiyosaki’s ideas so popular. First, financial fans are personally challenged to voluntarily change their economic perspective, developing the courage to overcome their fears about money. Second, this philosophy promotes discipline in acquiring new financial expertise and tools (literacy in economic history, business planning, accounting practices, taxes, investing). Fans are then encouraged to use these techniques to change their economic practices. Third, Kiyosaki’s programme offers a diagnosis of contemporary capitalism – e.g. the rise of globalisation, the state’s changing role in the economy, and the decline of working conditions – that helps readers make sense of their own personal experiences, and financial grievances. Kiyosaki thus criticises the crises of industrial capitalism, at the same time inviting followers to survive by themselves in this brave new world.

Freedom from work is at its most impressive in revealing the logic by which this financial self-help programme produces the ‘neoliberal self’. Continue reading

How to write after performativity? (part 1)

[Este es una prueba de un nuevo tipo de post en este blog. El nombre de la sección por ahora es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es un primer intento. Es un borrador de la primera parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Por cierto, sugerencias sobre como debería seguir la historia son muy bienvenidos]

How to write after performativity? José Ossandón.

First installment of a chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Non-proof read draft.

I. The question

The editors of this volume confronted each invited contribution with a question. The question posed for this chapter is ‘how to write after performativity?’ What is this chapter about?


This chapter is not about performativity at large. It is not about the ‘performativity turn’ (Muniesa 2014) in the social sciences and humanities. It is not about the philosophy of language of Austin and Searle, it is not about Butler or Derrida, and it is not about Lyotard. It is about the particular extension of Actor-Network theory initiated by Michel Callon to the study of markets, movement which is normally associated with the word performativity[1]. The chapter does not deal with all the different theories Callon has successfully introduced in the study of economic problems. The chapter only tangentially touches issues such as Callon’s particular approach to the qualification of goods (Callon et al 2002), hybrid forums, affected groups and technological democracy (Callon 2009, TCS), and innovation (Akrich et al 2002). The chapter focuses on what Callon has – in part in order to distinguish his own emphases from the many other branches of the performativity turn – termed ‘performation’[2]: his theory to explain the ‘emergence and logic of calculative agencies’ (Callon 1998a: 24).

After performativity

After, writes Peter Sloterdijk, ‘is the name for a break, an epoche, in the traditional sense of the word, which indicates both the caesura and also the time following it’ (Sloterdijk 2016: pp[3]). After performativity is, then, not against, versus, or even beyond performativity; it refers to the possibilities that have been opened and were not before the breach introduced by the theory of interest here. It is, as it were, about the performativity of performativity. Continue reading

Lanzamiento libro: “La producción de la pobreza como objeto de gobierno”

María Paz Trebilcock, Directora del Departamento de Sociología de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales tiene el agrado de invitar al lanzamiento del libro “La producción de la pobreza como objeto de gobierno” de Claudio Ramos Zincke. El libro será presentado por Paulette Landon, Decana de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Doctora en Arquitectura y Estudios Urbanos. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Tomás Ariztía, PhD en Sociología, London School of Economics and Political Science, y Profesor del Departamento de Sociología de la Universidad Diego Portales. Director del Magíster en Métodos de Investigación Social de esa universidad y Manuel Gárate; Doctor en Historia y Civilizaciones de la Escuela de Altos Estudios de Ciencias Sociales de París, Francia y Director del programa de Licenciatura en Historia de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Martes 6 de junio 18:30 hrs. Sala 108 / Casa Esperanza, Erasmo Escala 1822, Metro Los Héroes.


Free access to Review Symposium on the Provoked economy

[Tomamos esta noticia del sitio del Journal of Cultural Economy]

Journal of Cultural Economy is very pleased to be able to provide Free Access to a Review Symposium on Fabian Muniesa’s recent work The Provoked Economy: Economic Reality and the Performative Turn. The symposium features detailed Review Essays by Aaron Pitluck, Alberto Toscano, José Ossandón & Trine Pallesen, and a response by Muniesa.

Here follows some extracts of each, as well as links to the pieces in full. Continue reading