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

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Publication details

JournalThe Sociological Review
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2019
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)247-263
Early online date28/02/19
Original languageEnglish


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.

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© The Author(s) 2019. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

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

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