Co-construction of Machines and Social Groups



Contributed date

July 19, 2018 - 8:44pm

Critical Commentary

Co-construction of Machines and Social Groups : The Development of Agricultural Machinery Technology and the Formation of Mechanics Groups in Thailand(<Special Theme>Anthropology of Science and Technology)
Author: Atsuro Morita
Keywords: Thailand, machinery, practice, arrangement, social groups, social categories, heterogeneity
This article looks at the mutual relationship between the development of agricultural machine technology and the formation of social groups of mechanics. By describing technical development as a process of the co-construction of machines and mechanics, I explore the origin of social groups and its relation to technical practices. I discuss neither social actions nor social relations as a basis of the formation of social groups, but instead sociality transpired from technical practices and their heterogeneous arrangements. In the course of my argument, I develop the notion of the "arrangement" of practice, borrowing a phrase from a philosopher of practice, Theodore Schatzki. The term "arrangement" refers to the combination of heterogeneous elements, such as mechanics, machines, machinery parts, tools, farmers, soil, weeds, etc. that comprise the technical practices of repair, development, and the use of machines. 

* The full English abstract is available at the end of the PDF file.

This article is a part of a special issue: Anthropology of Science and Technology (ed. Kimio Miyatake), 2007 Bunkajinruigaku 71 (4)





Cite as

Atsuro Morita, "Co-construction of Machines and Social Groups", contributed by Yoko Taguchi, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 12 August 2018, accessed 20 May 2022.