Erroneous Realities: Criticising Ontological Achievements

Ingmar Lippert

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Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a transnational Fortune 50 company headquarters' environmental management team, this paper opens up a range of situations that took part in enacting the company's carbon footprint. Common to all these situations is that the environmental realities enacted have been categorised by some members as erroneous or as not good enough. Thus, in the unfolding of these enactments, members achieved to modalise particular realities as problematic, with the performative consequence of changing reality. Members' (first-order) critique played, therefore, a key role in shaping reality. These enactments of erroneous realities, the paper proposes, can be generatively analysed by drawing on the partially different, partially complementary sensibilities offered by Annemarie Mol's and Helen Verran's work. The paper uses ethnographic vignettes of the erroneous enactments to investigate the possibilities of a second-order critique that Mol and Verran's notions of ontological and ontic open up. In short, the paper studies members' (first-order) critiques of erroneous effects by employing two key scholars of the ontological turn whilst questioning how (and which) versions of second-order critique may be generated with these scholars' work. By focussing on the capacities and modes of critique, the paper questions the character of the political in these authors' versions of ontological and ontic politics. This comparison of the possibilities and modes of criticising within the field (first, order, infra-critique) as well as with these two authors intends to contribute to the identification and problematisation of the theoretical and political “mechanics” in the ontological turn.
Publikationsdatomar. 2016
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2016
Begivenhed3rd ISA Forum of Sociology - Vienna, Østrig
Varighed: 10 jul. 201614 jul. 2016


Konference3rd ISA Forum of Sociology


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