Advertisement

Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 403–421 | Cite as

Actor-Network Theory, Gabriel Tarde and the Study of an Urban Social Movement: The Case of Can Ricart, Barcelona

  • Isaac Marrero-Guillamón
Article

Abstract

This article explores the possibilities that a deeper engagement with the work of Gabriel Tarde opens for Actor-Network Theory (ANT). It argues that the combination of ANT’s methodological and analytical orientation and Tarde’s neo-monadology offers a useful framework for the study of new forms of political activism. Findings from an ethnographic project on the conflict surrounding the eviction and demolition of the Can Ricart factory in Barcelona are used to discuss: a) how ANT transforms the objects of inquiry into performative, relational entanglements (or monads); and b) how Tarde’s neo-monadology helps to re-imagine the political in ANT, moving away from the design of new parliamentary forms and towards a politics of invention. Three key moments of invention in the conflict of Can Ricart are examined: the assemblage of a new activist collective, the fabrication of the very factory the movement was trying to save, and the generation of a bifurcation in the conditions of possibility in which the conflict was taking place.

Keywords

Barcelona Urban sociology Social movements Ontology Ethnography Monadology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Rafa Reina (www.rafaelreina.es) for granting me permission to use his images. I am also grateful to the guest editors and the anonymous reviewers for their detailed feedback on previous versions of the article. Last but not least, I would like to thank Theo Lorenc, with whom I have been fortunate to discuss the work of Gabriel Tarde at length.

References

  1. Aibar, E., and W.E. Bijker. 1997. Constructing a City: the Cerdà plan for the extension of Barcelona. Science, Technology & Human Values 22(1): 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajuntament de Barcelona. 2000. Modificació del PGM per a la renovació de les arees industrials del Poblenou—Districte de activitats 22@BCN. Text refós. Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  3. Ajuntament de Barcelona. 2001. Pla Especial de Reforma Interior del sector Parc Central de la MPGM per a la renovació de les àrees industrials del Poblenou—districte d’activitats 22@bcn-. Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  4. Amin, A. (ed.). 1994. Post-Fordism: a reader. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Badiou, A. 2007. The century. London: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Callén, B., M. Domènech, D. López, I. Rodríguez, T. Sánchez-Criado, and F. Tirado. 2011. Diásporas y transiciones en la Teoría del Actor-Red. Athenea Digital 11(1): 3–13.Google Scholar
  7. Callon, M. 1986. Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. In Power, action and belief: a new sociology of knowledge, ed. J. Law, 196–233. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Books.Google Scholar
  8. Callon, M., P. Lascoumes, and Y. Barthe. 2009. Acting in an uncertain world: an essay on technical democracy. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Candea, M. (ed.). 2010. The social after Gabriel Tarde. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Castells, M. 1977. The urban question. A Marxist approach. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  11. Castells, M. 1983. The city and the grassroots: a cross-cultural theory of urban social movements. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  12. Chesters, G., and I. Welsh. 2005. Complexity and social movement(s): process and emergence in planetary action systems. Theory, Culture & Society 22(5): 187–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cia, B. 2005. Movimientos en torno a Can Ricart. El País, 8 December.Google Scholar
  14. Clavera, J. 1973. Una forma local de capitalisme monopolista: el desmantellamnet de la indústria situada a la zona litoral de Barcelona. In Economia Critica: Una Perspectiva Catalana, ed. F. Artal, 251–287. Barcelona: Edicions 62.Google Scholar
  15. Davies, A.D. 2012. Assemblage and social movements: Tibet Support Groups and the spatialities of political organisation. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37(2): 273–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari. 2004. A thousand Plateaus. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  17. Deleuze, G., and C. Parnet. 2007. Dialogues II. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Farías, I. 2009. Introduction: decentring the object of urban studies. In Urban assemblages: how actor-network theory changes urban studies, ed. I. Farías and T. Bender, 1–24. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Favà, M. 2005. El Poblenou s’organitza per evitar un enderroc per sorpresa de CanRicart. Avui, May 26.Google Scholar
  20. Fòrum de la Ribera del Besòs, 2005. Can Ricart: Carta al President. Avui, May 21.Google Scholar
  21. Grup de Patrimoni Industrial del Fòrum de la Ribera del Besòs. 2005a. Can Ricart–Parc Cental. Nou projecte. Barcelona: Self-published.Google Scholar
  22. Grup de Patrimoni Industrial del Fòrum de la Ribera del Besòs. 2005b. Can Ricart. Estudi de sòl i sostre. Barcelona: Self-published.Google Scholar
  23. Hardt, M., and A. Negri. 2001. Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hardt, M., and A. Negri. 2005. Multitude: war and democracy in the age of empire. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  25. Laclau, E. 2005. On populist reason. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  26. Latour, B. 1996. Aramis, or the love of technology. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Latour, B. 1999. On recalling ANT. In Actor network theory and after, ed. J. Law and J. Hassard, 15–25. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Latour, B. 2002. Gabriel Tarde and the end of the social. In The social in question. New bearings in history and the social sciences, ed. P. Joyce, 117–132. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Latour, B. 2004. Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Latour, B. 2005. Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Latour, B. 2010. Tarde’s idea of quantification. In The social after Gabriel Tarde: debates and assessments, ed. M. Candea, 145–162. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Latour, B., and V.A. Lepinay. 2010. The science of passionate interests: an introduction to Gabriel Tarde’s economic anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Latour, B., and P. Weibel (eds.). 2005. Making things public: atmospheres of democracy. Karlsruhe and Cambridge: MIT Press and ZKM.Google Scholar
  34. Latour, B., and S. Woolgar. 1979. Laboratory life: the construction of scientific facts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Latour, B., P. Jensen, T. Venturini, S. Grauwin, and D. Boullier. 2012. “The whole is always smaller than its parts”—a digital test of Gabriel Tardes’ monads. The British Journal of Sociology 63(4): 590–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Law, J. 2004. After method: mess in social science research. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Law, J., and J. Hassard (eds.). 1999. Actor network theory and after. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  38. Lazzarato, M. 2006. Por una política menor. Acontecimiento y política en las sociedades de control. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños.Google Scholar
  39. Marrero-Guillamón, I. 2003. ¿Del Manchester catalán al Soho Barcelonés? La renovación del barrio del Poble Nou en Barcelona y la cuestión de la vivienda. Scripta Nova: revista electrónica de geografía y ciencias sociales 7(146–137). Accessed 1 Aug 2013 at http://www.ub.edu/geocrit/sn/sn-146(137).htm.
  40. Marrero-Guillamón, I. 2008. La fábrica del conflicto: terciarización, lucha social y patrimonio en Can Ricart, Barcelona (PhD Thesis). University of Barcelona, Department of Anthropology. Available at: http://www.tdx.cat/TDX-0430109-110459.
  41. Marres, N. 2012. Material participation: technology, the environment and everyday publics. Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayer, M. 2009. The “Right to the City” in the context of shifting mottos of urban social movements. City 13(2–3): 362–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McFarlane, C. 2009. Translocal assemblages: space, power and social movements. Geoforum 40: 561–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McFarlane, C. 2011. Assemblage and critical urbanism. City 15(2): 204–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Montaner, J. M. 2005. Can Ricart y el 22@. El País, April 19.Google Scholar
  46. Nadal, J., and X. Tafunell. 1992. Sant Martí de Provençals, pulmó industrial de Barcelona. Barcelona: Columna.Google Scholar
  47. Nau 21. 2006. Can Ricart: un espai urbà pel S. XXI. Un patrimoni viu: obert, productiu, creatiu, en xarxa. Barcelona: Self-published.Google Scholar
  48. Oliva, A. 2003. El districte d’activitats 22@ Poblenou. Barcelona: Aula Barcelona, CIDOB.Google Scholar
  49. Papadopoulos, D. 2011. Alter-ontologies: towards a constituent politics in technoscience. Social Studies of Science 41(2): 177–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pickvance, C. 2003. From urban social movements to urban movements: a review and introduction to a symposium on urban movements. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27(1): 102–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Plataforma Salvem Can Ricart. 2005. Manifest per Can Ricart. Barcelona: Self-published.Google Scholar
  52. Plataforma Salvem Can Ricart. 2006. Can Ricart. Proposta de Pla d’Usos i Activitats: patrimoni, ciutadania, creativitat i productivitat. Self-published booklet, Barcelona.Google Scholar
  53. Roca, J., and P. Faigenbaum. 2003. Le front de mer de Barcelone: chronique d’une transformation. Cités 11: 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rodríguez-Giralt, I. 2011. Social movements as actor-networks: prospects for a symmetrical approach to Doñana’s environmentalist protests. Convergencia, Revista de Ciencias Sociales 18(56): 13–35.Google Scholar
  55. Tarde, G. 2010. Social laws: an outline of sociology. Kitchener: Batoche Books.Google Scholar
  56. Tarde, G. 2012. Monadology and sociology. Melbourne: Re-press.Google Scholar
  57. Tatjer, M., and A. Vilanova. 2002. La ciutat de les fàbriques. El patrimoni industrial del Poblenou. Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona and 22@bcn.Google Scholar
  58. Vargas, E.V., B. Latour, B. Karsenti, F. Aït-Touati, and L. Salmon. 2008. The debate between Tarde and Durkheim. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26(5): 761–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Virno, P., and M. Hardt (eds.). 1996. Radical thought in Italy: a potential politics. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyGoldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations