Women Scholars Held Reading Group Meeting of 2019 at the Beijing Center

January 4, 2019

On January 3, women scholars from Beijing Normal University, Central University of Finance and Economics, China Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, and Remin University of China, held their first reading group meeting of 2019 at the University of Chicago Beijing Center. Running from 2pm to 6pm, the meeting was centered on a discussion of Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory by the famous French scholar Bruno Latour, published in 2006. In particular, the participants explored how to make use of the “Actor-network-theory” (ANT) into their own qualitative studies, and to what extent the ANT, as promising research methodology, would lead to rather different research effect from the classic sociological studies. Although there is no consensus achieved, the participants all agree that “the social” should not be taken for granted as some pre-given, fixed thing, while so called “social explanation” is to be challenged. It is also decided for the next reading group meeting, ANT is to be further examined to see how it would help to overcome the micro/macro dualism and the criticism of research being “fragmented”, often encountered by women scholars in terms of their research subjects.

2019年1月3日下午2-6点,京城女教师相聚在芝加哥大学北京中心,开启了新年第一次读书会。读书会成员来自北京大学、中国人民大学、北京师范大学、中央财经大学、中国社会科学院等在京院校。讨论书籍为法国学者布鲁诺 拉图尔 (Bruno Latour) 于2006年出版的英文专著《重组社会:行动者网络理论》(Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory)。大家主要针对拉图尔提出的“网络”概念进行了深入探讨,结合各自的质性田野调查,讨论行动者网络理论作为一种方法论,可以在实际研究中达成与经典社会学人类学质性研究怎样不同的研究效果与意义。虽然此次讨论没有达成定论,大家一致同意拉图尔强调的研究前提,即不将“社会”作为先验、固定的存在而对其进行研究、做出所谓的“社会解释”。“行动者网络理论”如何帮助我们克服宏观/微观二分以及应对“研究碎片化”的常见指责,将是下一次读书会讨论的主题。