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Bland provrör och spektrometrar. Materiens agens och materiell dysfunktionalitet
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2018 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, Vol. 39, no 4, p. 31-50Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study considers academic chemistry environments and showshow both daily consumables and precious research instrumentsinteract with students and teachers. In such an environment – alaboratory, a classroom, a staff room – language, discourse, culture,and matter are entangled, without the possibility to clearly distinguishthem as separate entities. It is this entanglement the presentarticle aims to illustrate. By using Barad’s feminist theory of agentialrealism and the concept of ‘culture’ on empirical data constructedduring field work where chemistry professors where shadowed, Iinvestigate and discuss how the intertwinement of matter anddiscourse occurs. By using an example from the empirical data, theagency of matter is shown as part of the emergence of materialdiscursivepractices and it is also shown how such an agencysometimes has effects that extend far beyond the intended purposeand scope, sometimes creating limits for what is possible. In bothcases, there are consequences for participants who are eitherco-creators of the practice or who suddenly find themselves in analready existing one. In the article, I introduce the concept ofmaterial dysfunctionality and show that the absence of materialawareness poses a risk, primarily for students and other subordinatedparticipants, of finding themselves in non-optimal or evenimpossible situations. Participants who, due to the materialdysfunctionality of an educational or work environment, end up ina performance-unfavorable position, can be identified as incompetentand not recognized as a potential member of the discipline andthe culture. Such negative adhesion is more likely if the participant’sperceived shortcomings are reinforced by the fact that she is awoman in a male-dominated environment. Other categories ofdifferences may have similar consequences if perceived as challengingin the prevailing culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tidskrift för genusvetenskap , 2018. Vol. 39, no 4, p. 31-50
Keywords [en]
agential realism, chemistry, identity, material-discursive practices, material dysfunctionality, shadowing
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383186DiVA, id: diva2:1315054
Projects
In the borderland between academic disciplines and school science – Science faculty as teacher educators
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2014-939Available from: 2019-05-10 Created: 2019-05-10 Last updated: 2019-05-10

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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