Author Archives: joseossandon

How to write after performativity? (part 1)

[Este es una prueba de un nuevo tipo de post en este blog. El nombre de la sección por ahora es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es un primer intento. Es un borrador de la primera parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Por cierto, sugerencias sobre como debería seguir la historia son muy bienvenidos]

How to write after performativity? José Ossandón.

First installment of a chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Non-proof read draft.

I. The question

The editors of this volume confronted each invited contribution with a question. The question posed for this chapter is ‘how to write after performativity?’ What is this chapter about?


This chapter is not about performativity at large. It is not about the ‘performativity turn’ (Muniesa 2014) in the social sciences and humanities. It is not about the philosophy of language of Austin and Searle, it is not about Butler or Derrida, and it is not about Lyotard. It is about the particular extension of Actor-Network theory initiated by Michel Callon to the study of markets, movement which is normally associated with the word performativity[1]. The chapter does not deal with all the different theories Callon has successfully introduced in the study of economic problems. The chapter only tangentially touches issues such as Callon’s particular approach to the qualification of goods (Callon et al 2002), hybrid forums, affected groups and technological democracy (Callon 2009, TCS), and innovation (Akrich et al 2002). The chapter focuses on what Callon has – in part in order to distinguish his own emphases from the many other branches of the performativity turn – termed ‘performation’[2]: his theory to explain the ‘emergence and logic of calculative agencies’ (Callon 1998a: 24).

After performativity

After, writes Peter Sloterdijk, ‘is the name for a break, an epoche, in the traditional sense of the word, which indicates both the caesura and also the time following it’ (Sloterdijk 2016: pp[3]). After performativity is, then, not against, versus, or even beyond performativity; it refers to the possibilities that have been opened and were not before the breach introduced by the theory of interest here. It is, as it were, about the performativity of performativity. Continue reading


Sociology outside the United States: Sociology in Argentina

[Hace poco apareció en Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews una reseña de la reciente sociología argentina escrita por Claudio Benzecry y Mariana Heredia. La revisión, que refiere a varios trabajos de distinguidos participantes de este blog, usa la imagen de una ‘sociología en clave menor’ para describir una forma de investigación que es descriptiva y preferentemente cualitativa, a la vez que abierta a la mezcla de tradiciones conceptuales a la hora de explicar sus resultados. El artículo comienza así…]    

Sociology outside the United States

Sociology in Argentina

Claudio E. Benzecry

Mariana Heredia

“In a couple of recent review essays in the American Journal of Sociology, Andrew Abbott adopts the nom de plume “Barbara Celarent” to discuss two books first published in Argentina, one from the nineteenth century, Domingo Sarmiento’s Facundo, and a second one from the late 1970s, Gino Germani’s Authoritarianism, Fascism, and National Populism. Abbott uses the first text to remind sociologists not to lose sight of how good social science is “inextricably bound up with fiction, history, travelogue, polemic, and sheer egomania” (Celarent 2011:723); from Germani, he highlights the multi-method character of the relationship between social structure and the style of political mobilization known as Peronism (Celarent 2013).

We want to continue this work and extend this well-informed genealogical foray into the history of Argentinean sociology into the present. In the first section of this essay, we briefly expand on Abbott’s insights to show the imprinting power of Germani’s scholarship over the first two generations of Argentinean sociologists. In the second section, we provide an overview of the successive generations that have restructured the local field, as well as some current main topics of research, and of how contemporary approaches relate to and depart from the foundational topics and logics of inquiry” Continue reading

Positive psychology’s promise of happiness: A new form of human capital in contemporary neoliberal governmentality

[Nuevo artículo de Rodrigo de la Fabián y Antonio Stecher en Theory & Psychology]

Positive psychology’s promise of happiness: A new form of human capital in contemporary neoliberal governmentality


The article seeks to contribute to governmentality studies by looking anew at the subjectivities posited by neoliberalism and especially by positive psychology. Focusing in particular on Sam Binkley’s critical work on this psychological sub-discipline, we offer a political analysis of the new ways of becoming a subject it proposes. For Binkley, positive psychology operates as a subjectivising vector by promoting a specific kind of work on oneself. His approach, we suggest, rests on a conception that relies on the classical disjunction between production and effort, on the one hand, and consumption and satisfaction, on the other. With references to Foucault, Marx, Becker, and Schultz’s conceptions of work and subjectivity, the article shows that positive psychology’s novelty is to enable a new happy subjective perspective from where happiness, rather than a long-term objective, is considered to be a precondition of work, a radical new form of human capital. Continue reading

The Elective Affinity between Elite Journalists and Mainstream Economists in Brazil

[Nuevo artículo de Antonio Pedroso y Tomás Undurraga en Journalism Studies]

The Elective Affinity between Elite Journalists and Mainstream Economists in Brazil


This article explores the ties between elite economic journalists and mainstream economists in Brazil. It does so by investigating the influence of mainstream economists on journalists’ careers, and therewith, on Brazil’s public discussion. Using mixed methods, we study the main achievements that help to explain economic journalists’ position. We present a multiple correspondence analysis of 53 economic journalists, 30 who are in elite positions and 23 who are from the same cohort but are not in elite positions. Elaborating on 58 interviews, we explore the field’s professional dynamic, examining the sources that produce scoops, how journalists formed their economic perspectives and how economic sources link to the press. We find that there are two elites of economic journalists in Brazil with different career paths. Although careers among elite journalists might diverge, there is a manifest elective affinity between them and financial elites. Key economic journalists reached elite positions by sharing the doxa of mainstream economists. Journalists who worked in the Central Bank, economic ministers or private banks tended to rise in their professional careers. The familiarity with key financial agents of non-elite journalists, by contrast, is more limited. The article concludes by discussing the implications of this elective affinity for the public sphere in Brazil. Continue reading

Knowledge-production in journalism: Translation, mediation and authorship in Brazil

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Undurrage en The Sociological Review]

“Knowledge-production in journalism: Translation, mediation and authorship in Brazil”

Tomás Undurraga


Based on a multi-site ethnography of two influential newspapers in Brazil, this article examines how Brazilian journalists mediate knowledge claims made by experts, policy makers and the lay public. It asks whether and how these journalists experience themselves as knowledge-makers. More specifically, it argues that Brazilian journalists index their production of knowledge in reference to four main characteristics: depth, authorship, influence, and expertise. Journalists tend to consider newsmaking a contribution to knowledge when: (1) they have the resources to do proper investigative reporting (depth); (2) they are able to help define the public agenda through their reporting and to express their opinion (authorship); (3) they have impact on the polity, the economy or other fields they cover (influence) and (4) their journalistic knowledge is recognized by readers and by specialists (expertise). In practice, however, there are multiple obstacles that make Brazilian journalists hesitant about their contribution to knowledge, including intensified working conditions, the lack of plurality within the mainstream presses, and their informal methods for dealing with knowledge claims from other fields. This research reveals that Brazilian journalists have different understandings of the nature of knowledge in journalism. These understandings cluster around two distinct poles: an expert notion of knowledge associated with disciplinary boundaries, and a distinct conception associated with journalists’ capacity to mediate between jurisdictions. When journalists’ production is assessed from the former point of view, the informality of their methods is seen as undermining their knowledge credentials. By contrast, when journalists’ contribution is assessed from the latter point of view, their ‘interactional expertise’ comes to the fore.

Continue reading

Sourcing newness: ways of inducing indeterminacy

[Nuevo artículo de Michael Hutter & Ignacio Farías en Journal of Cultural Economy]

“Sourcing newness: ways of inducing indeterminacy”

Michael Hutter & Ignacio Farías


This paper engages with the question of the new as the first stage in what may, at a later time, turn into an innovation. Taking our cue from John Dewey, the new is here interpreted as a consequence of indeterminacy. We study practices that induce indeterminacy in order to ‘source’ the new. Based on findings from a collective research programme, we distinguish three ways of inducing indeterminacy: configuring situations, creating things and risking valuations. For each of these ways of inducing indeterminacy basic variations are described and discussed in greater detail. The three ways of inducing indeterminacy are shown to correspond to a present-centred concept of time that distinguishes the now from a past and a future horizon. The cases presented affirm the claim that the new is not an inevitable consequence of the increasing entanglement of technoscience and the economy but something that needs to be sought for, cared for and actively produced.

KEYWORDS: Innovation, Dewey, indeterminacy, novelty, studio studies, artistic interventions, translation, valuation, critique Continue reading

Ethical living: relinking ethics and consumption through care in Chile and Brazil

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Ariztía, Nurjk Agloni, Léna Pellandini-Simányi en British Journal of Sociology]

“Ethical living: relinking ethics and consumption through care in Chile and Brazil”

Tomás Ariztía, Nurjk Agloni, Léna Pellandini-Simányi


Mainstream conceptualizations of ‘ethical consumption’ equate the notion with conscious, individual, market-mediated choices motivated by ethical or political aims that transcend ordinary concerns. Drawing on recent sociology and anthropology of consumption literature on the links between ordinary ethics and ethical consumption, this article discusses some of the limitations of this conceptualization. Using data from 32 focus groups conducted in Chile and Brazil, we propose a conceptualization of ethical consumption that does not centre on individual, market-mediated choices but understands it at the level of practical outcomes, which we refer to as different forms of ‘ethical living’. To do that, we argue, we need to depart from the deontological understanding of ethics that underpins mainstream approaches to ethical consumption and adopt a more consequentialist view focusing on ethical outcomes. We develop these points through describing one particular ordinary moral regime that seemed to be predominant in participants’ accounts of ethics and consumption in both Chile and Brazil: one that links consumption and ethics through care. We show that the moral regime of care leads to ‘ethical outcomes’, such as energy saving or limiting overconsumption, yet contrary to the mainstream view of ethical consumption emphasizing politicized choice expressed through markets, these result from following ordinary ethics, often through routines of practices.

Continue reading

New book: Markets and the Arts of Attachment

[Routledge acaba de publicar un nuevo libro – Markets and the Arts of Attachment, editado por Franck Cochoy, Joe Deville, Liz McFall – de posible interés para los lectores de este blog]

Markets and the Arts of Attachment (Hardback) book coverMarkets and the Arts of Attachment, edited by Franck Cochoy, Joe Deville, Liz McFall

Table of Contents

Introduction: Markets and the Arts of Attachment, (Liz McFall, Franck Cochoy, Joe Deville)

  1. From Social Ties to Socio-Economic Attachments: A Matter of Selection and Collection, (Franck Cochoy)
  2. Manufacturing the Consumer’s Truth: The Uses of Consumer Research in Advertising Inquiry, (Tomas Ariztia)
  3. Marketing and the Domestication of Social Media, (Kevin Mellet)
  4. Interfacing Attachments: The Multivalence of Brands, (Carolin Gerlitz)
  5. You are a Star Customer, Please Hold the Line…’: CRM and the Socio-Technical Inscriptions of Market Attachment, (Alexandre Mallard)
  6. The Market will Have you: The Arts of Market Attachment in a Digital Economy, (Liz McFall and Joe Deville)
  7. ‘My Story has no Strings Attached’: Credit Cards, Market Devices and a Stone Guest, (José Ossandón)
  8. From Market Relations to Romantic Ties: The Tests of Internet Dating, (Emmanuel Kessous)
  9. Acquiring Associations: On the Unexpected Social Consequences of Possessive Relations, (Hans Kjellberg)

Afterword: The Devices of Attachment, (Michel Callon)

Continue reading

Lanzamiento libro: “La producción de la pobreza como objeto de gobierno”

María Paz Trebilcock, Directora del Departamento de Sociología de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales tiene el agrado de invitar al lanzamiento del libro “La producción de la pobreza como objeto de gobierno” de Claudio Ramos Zincke. El libro será presentado por Paulette Landon, Decana de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Doctora en Arquitectura y Estudios Urbanos. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Tomás Ariztía, PhD en Sociología, London School of Economics and Political Science, y Profesor del Departamento de Sociología de la Universidad Diego Portales. Director del Magíster en Métodos de Investigación Social de esa universidad y Manuel Gárate; Doctor en Historia y Civilizaciones de la Escuela de Altos Estudios de Ciencias Sociales de París, Francia y Director del programa de Licenciatura en Historia de la Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Martes 6 de junio 18:30 hrs. Sala 108 / Casa Esperanza, Erasmo Escala 1822, Metro Los Héroes.


Sociología del Mercado en América Latina

El último número de Sociológica incluye un artículo de Javier Hernández que seguro será de interés de los lectores de este blog.

“Sociología del Mercado en América Latina: Hacia una agenda de investigación”


La sociología económica estudia los aspectos fundamentales de la vida económica  y del rol de los mercados en la sociedad, pero ello no se ha abordado convenientemente en América Latina. Se propone una agenda de investigación enfocada en problemas como los mecanismos que definen las fronteras para los mercados; la formación de mercados específicos; el vínculo entre dinamismo de los mercados y la estratificación social; las formas de regulación de los mercados; y los aspectos culturales e institucionales que modelan los mercados y  la innovación. Se proveen ejemplos basados en el caso de Chile, que funciona como  un caso extremo en materia de economía de mercado y de una estructura económica elitista y jerarquizada. Continue reading