(actor-net) Working Bodies and Representations: Tales from a Training Field

Title(actor-net) Working Bodies and Representations: Tales from a Training Field
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMulcahy, D
JournalScience, Technology & Human Values
Date Published01/1999
Publication Languageeng
AbstractThis article seeks to locate the body and embodiment more centrally among the concerns of actor-network theory by exploring working bodies. Using a newly introduced national system of vocational training as an exemplary case, it explores the tension between representations of skilled human bodies—‘competencies’—as given to trainers and the ways in which these representations are incorporated into their everyday practice. Vocational training has had a long struggle with the apparent separability of subject and object—between what can be felt and experienced as distinct from what can be stated, measured, and expressed in words. The argument is made that paying attention to bodies in vocational training can shed light on this struggle. Paying attention to bodies in networks can also strengthen network analyses. Like texts and other forms of materiality, ‘the body’ is not singular but multiple. Furthermore, body politics constitutes an important actor-network them e.