To claim that hunter-gatherers perceive their environment as a “wilderness” ―in contrast to a domesticity that one would be hard put to define― is to deny that they are aware that, in the course of time, they modify the local ecology by their techniques of subsistence. Over recent years, for example, Aboriginals have been protesting to the Australian government against its use of the term “wilderness” to qualify the territories that they occupy and by so doing frequently justifying the creation of natural reserves that they do not want. The notion of a “wilderness,” with all its connotations of terra nullius, of an original and preserved naturalness, an ecosystem to be protected against the degradations liable to be introduced by human beings, certainly runs contrary to the Aboriginals’ own concept of the environment and the multiple relations that they have established with it, and above all it ignores the subtle transformations that they have produced in it.
Hutchins (1995), `Cognition in the Wild’ Detailed study of the organisational and material aspects of navigation on a navy vessel. Not ANT – this study is located within a cognitive anthropology/distributed cognition framework – but similar in many ways in its crossing of allegedly obvious boundaries between the human and the non-human.
Latour (1988), `Mixing humans and nonhumans together: The sociology of a door-closer’ Latour, writing as Jim Johnson, performs a rather humorous introduction to key concerns of ANT. > Why pseudonym? See footnote. > More
Latour (1991), `Technology is Society Made Durable’ How is society sustained if networks are precarious? The answer lies in the different durability of different materials. Technologies embody social relations: they may be understood as translations of those relations into different material forms.
Latour (1992), `Where are the Missing Masses? Sociology of a Few Mundane Artefacts’ There are no purely ‘social’ relations. Instead, there are ‘socio-technical’ relations, embedded in and performed by a whole range of different materials, human, technical, ‘natural’, textual.
Law and Mol (1995), `Notes on Materiality and Sociality’ Explores a semiotic understanding of materiality: that it is a product of relations between entities which thereby achieve their material form. Traces this through actor-network theory to the less coherent materialities which are implied in the postructuralist fragmentation that follows the ‘loss’ of grand narrative.
Suchman (2000), `Organizing Alignment: a Case of Bridge Building’ Explores the human and non-human engineering work and practices involved in the design of a bridge.
Winance (1999), `Trying out the Wheelchair: the Mutual Shaping of People and Devices Through Adustment’ Carefully explores the way in which a person with muscular dystrophy and a wheelchair are mutually adgusted to produce an assemblage which departs from both in their initial conditions.