Intimate Entanglements: Affects, more-than-human intimacies and the politics of relations in Science and Technology

Joanna Elizabeth Latimer, Daniel López Gómez

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This paper introduces Intimate Entanglements by proposing three interrelated shifts that result from juxtaposing experiences with different world-making practices at the intersection of care, technoscience and theoretical engagements with affect theory and science and technology studies (STS). The first shift positions intimacy as not only relevant in STS but also as a more general epistemic concern of social scientific enquiry. The second shift is an exploration of the heterogeneous materiality of the intimate and, in particular, of its more-than-human constituencies. The third shift both reclaims and speculates about other politics of relations, including practical challenges (not only conceptual) to the way we do research. The paper shows that the beings entangled, the materialities involved, the affects conveyed and the extension of the intimate all come to matter when science and technology is critically analysed, and that they challenge the traditional limits and geographies of the intimate. It also argues that this has important political implications for science and technology, because it counters the invisibilisation of affect and all the “intimate work” usually associated with the emotional, domestic, and even infrastructural, and contests the ready-made framing of the intimate as naturally bound to the interpersonal, corporal and private, which the authors argue is a way to make visible the politics of relations that scientific and technological settings silently enact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-263
Number of pages17
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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  • affects
  • care
  • intimacy
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • more-than-human

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