Lee Nelson MA Thesis defense: Bourdieu & #Latour in STS

Congratulations to Lee Nelson, who successfully defended his MA Thesis!

Bourdieu and Latour in STS: “Let’s Leave Aside All the Facts for A While”

The Final Oral Examination
For the Degree of

(Science and Technology Studies)

B.A., Dalhousie University, 2008
M.A., Aarhus University, 2011

Monday, September 15, 2014, 1:00 pm

Bourdieu and Latour in STS: “Let’s Leave Aside All the Facts for A While”

Dr. Stephen Petrina (Supervisor)
Dr. John Beatty (Examiner)

Through the lens of the English-speaking Science and Technology Studies (STS) community, the relationship between Pierre Bourdieu and Bruno Latour has remained semi-opaque. This thesis problematizes the Anglo understanding of the Bourdieu-Latour relationship and unsettles the resolve that maintains the distance that STS has kept from Bourdieu. Despite many similarities between these two scholars, Bourdieu has remained a distant figure to STS despite his predominance in disciplines from which STS frequently borrows and the relevance of his corpus to topics dear to the heart of STS. This is in part due to Latour’s frequent criticisms of Bourdieu by name, Latour’s philosophical disagreements with Kant and neoKantians, and Latour’s prestige in STS, and partially due to Bourdieu’s somewhat indirect or orthogonal ways of addressing natural and physical sciences and technology. Due to the fact that the writings of both needed to be translated from the original French to be received by Anglo audiences, important cultural, stylistic, and rhetorical nuances were lost, mistranslated, or not translated across the linguistic and geographical divides. Including these distinctions is invaluable to understanding their relationship and further weakens the justification for Bourdieu’s absence from STS.

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