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ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Callon Michel

Callon Michel

Professor of sociology, Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI), École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (MINES ParisTech), 60 Saint Michel blvd, 75272 Paris, Cedex 06, France.


Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of Saint-Brieuc Bay / Logos. 2017. № 2 (117). P. 49-94
annotation:  This paper outlines a new approach to the study of power, that of the sociology of translation. Starting from three principles, those of agnosticism, generalised symmetry and free association, the paper describes a scientific and economic controversy about the causes for the decline in the population of scallops in St. Brieuc Bay and the attempts by three marine biologists to develop a conservation strategy for that population. Four “moments” of translation are discerned in the attempts by these researchers to impose themselves and their degnition of the situation on others: 1) problematization — the researchers sought to become indispensable to other actors in the drama by defining the nature and the problems of the latter and then suggesting that these would be resolved if the actors negotiated the “obligatory passage point” of the researchers’ program of investigation; 2) interessemen — a series of processes by which the researchers sought to lock the other actors into the roles that had been proposed for them in that program; 3) enrolment — a set of strategies in which the researchers sought to define and interrelate the various roles they had allocated to others; 4) mobilization — a set of methods used by the researchers to ensure that supposed spokesmen for various relevant collectivities were properly able to represent those collectivities and not betrayed by the latter. In conclusion, it is noted that translation is a process, never a completed accomplishment, and it may (as in the empirical case considered) fail.
Keywords:  sociology of translation; generalised symmetry; problematisation; interessement; enrolment; mobilization; scallop
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