Panel 32

Big politics of small things

Organizers: Andrzej Wojciech Nowak (1); Wiktoria Woźniak-Konieczka (2)

1: Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Philosophy, Poland; 2: Adam Mickiewicz University, Doctoral School of Humanities

Topics: Sociomaterialities of conflict and peace; Knowledge co-creation, citizens science, co-design processes, material publics and grassroot innovation; Technoscientific promises, imaginaries and expectations; Everyday life and design of the mundane; Postcolonial technoscientific futures; Sociotechnologies of (in)secure worlds to come; Technofeminism and interspecies solidarities; Innovation imaginaries, practices and policies; Ethics, innovation and responsibility in technoscience; Embodied identities, genders and interests; Building alliances in public participation and engagement

Keywords: small science, hegemony, ontological politics

Since the turn of the century, a concern with small ways of knowing and doing science has been noticeable. We want to draw attention to the revolutionary potential of the so-called small science within STS research and find examples of research and theoretical directions that reveal previously invisible hegemonic processes appropriating the spaces of technology. We aim to intentionally recognize the ontological politics embedded in practices, rituals, things, technologies, and artifacts to give them an emancipatory direction. We want to find examples of small science research that could help answer the question of how technologies are used to maintain political hegemony. Our goal is to show that small science in the area of STS allows us to detect unconscious hegemonic policies often and then take political action.

We raise the question: How can the so-called small science in STS research reveal various hegemonic actions that we are unaware of and seemingly imperceptible? One example is technofeminist research, which aims to discover and explain the usually unnoticed inequalities inherent in technological systems and find answers to how to combat them. This is an example of peripheral science that focuses not only on detecting excluding and violent processes, but also on reflecting on possible change, the potential of technology, and the need to take action, and is often associated with social activism.

We welcome contributions, both theoretical and empirical, that show how STS research helps to reveal political hegemony and political practices through which, for specific purposes, empty meanings are filled, and empty signifiers are defined. We are also interested in research showing how the political and hegemonic processes detected in the technological area can be re-used for positive ends.