A Sociology of Treason: The Construction of Weakness

Vasilis Galis, Francis Lee

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The process of translation has both an excluding and including character. The analysis of actor networks, the process of mobilizing alliances, and constructing networks is a common and worthwhile focus. However, the simultaneous betrayals, dissidences, and controversies are often only implied in network construction stories. We aim to nuance the construction aspect of actor–network theory (ANT) by shining the analytical searchlight elsewhere, where the theoretical tools of ANT have not yet systematically ventured. We argue that we need to understand every process of translation in relation to its simultaneous process of treason, and to add antonyms for Callon’s problematization, intressement, enrollment, and mobilization. This enables us to describe powerlessness not as a state but as a process. Our case focuses on the network building around measures for disabled people in the construction of the Athens Metro, during the period 1991-1993. The discussion highlights the efforts of disability organizations to intervene in the initial construction works of the metro project and the simultaneous actions of the Greek government to exclude disability organizations from the design process and to disrupt the accessibility-metro actor network.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalScience, Technology & Human Values
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)154-179
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • justice inequality protest politics power governance space/place/scale dynamics


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