Researching a Posthuman World

Interviews with Digital Objects

Authors: Adams, Catherine, Thompson, Terrie Lynn

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    • Aids understanding of how to critically assess the role of digital things in personal and professional lives
    • Draws on a wide range of research from Actor Network Theory to phenomenology 
    • Engages with numerous theoretical frameworks to question the place of digital things in teaching, learning, and other professional and research practices 
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About this book


This book provides a practical approach for applying posthumanist insights to qualitative research inquiry. Adams and Thompson invite readers to embrace their inner – and outer – cyborg as they consider how today’s professional practices and everyday ways of being are increasingly intertwined with digital technologies. Drawing on posthuman scholarship, the authors offer eight heuristics for “interviewing objects” in an effort to reveal the unique – and sometimes contradictory – contributions the digital is making to work, learning and living. The heuristics are drawn from Actor Network Theory, phenomenology, postphenomenology, critical media studies and related sociomaterial approaches. This text offers a theoretically informed yet practical approach for asking critical questions of digital and non-digital things in professional and personal spaces, and ultimately, for considering the ethical and political implications of a technology mediated world. A thought-provoking and innovative study, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of technology studies, digital learning, and sociology.

About the authors

Catherine Adams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta, Canada. Using a phenomenology of practice, her research investigates technology integration across K-12 and post-secondary educational environments; her focus is on the digital’s pedagogical, relational, epistemological, and ethical implications. Terrie Lynn Thompson is a Lecturer of Digital Media in The Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, UK. Her research explores how professional work-learning practices are changing globally with the integration of web and mobile technologies. She is editor of the ProPEL Matters blog that critically debates professional practice and learning.

Reviews

“In this very timely text, Adams and Thompson provide us with a clearly formulated set of heuristics to enact reflectively a posthumanist research practice. In this practice, nonhuman actors are given a voice. Deploying their heuristics carefully will enliven fields of inquiry and produce research that is buzzing with agency, in which the humans no longer are the only ones that speak. This flourishing of otherness is desperately needed in our research accounts. I hope the transformative potential of Researching a Posthuman World will find its way to the research practices of many researchers, across a wide variety of disciplines.” (Lucas Introna, Professor of Organisation, Technology and Ethics, University of Lancaster)

Researching a Posthuman World is a concise and highly readable overview of the theories and perspectives clustering around posthumanism. Students and researchers in all disciplines concerned with understanding digital society will find Adams' and Thompson's proposed set of research heuristics of great value. This book is a very welcome contribution to the project of building research practices aligned with contemporary cultural theory.” (Sian Bayne, Professor of Digital Education, University of Edinburgh)

„In their superb scholarly Researching a Posthuman World, Cathy Adams and Terrie Lynn Thompson bring us face to face with the riddle of the Digital, and the puzzling significance of the Posthuman. They show how the Digital pervades, mediates, and technologizes virtually all dimensions of our quotidian lives. Yet, in spite of its ubiquitous presence, the Digital remains largely hidden and unnoticed. They explore our enigmatic human entanglements with the evanescent properties of “things” that surround us and that we constantly (re)turn to; they show how the “objects” in our lives disturbingly and quite insistently object to their objectification. The result is a remarkably fascinating account of “interviewing things” and “conversing with objects”. We wonder: are the exterior things and objects that we encounter in our lives intimate “others” or, ultimately and more accurately, do things constitute our interior selves? What could a human existence possibly look like without things? In our present age where scientific speculations of dark matter and parallel universes become increasingly posited, the birth of virtual and augmented realities of our posthuman world turn evidentially more real than real as they are digitally diffracted and deepened, and phenomenally intensified. I warmly recommend this phenomenologically engaging and eloquently accessible text to anyone who wants to understand the wondrous world in which we live.” (Max van Manen, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-57162-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Researching a Posthuman World
Book Subtitle
Interviews with Digital Objects
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-57162-5
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-57162-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-57161-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 139
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics