chapter  7
12 Pages

Situated, relational and practice-oriented

The actor-network theory approach
WithRadhika Gorur

Actor-network theory (ANT) is a material-semiotic approach that offers theoretical and methodological resources that direct attention to the practices that create, mobilise, sustain or challenge relations between actors in any social phenomenon. Although ANT is not a 'policy theory' as such, it has much to offer a policy researcher who wishes to: ANT is a material-semiotic approach that offers theoretical and methodological resources. It does not use power as an explanation, as is common in many forms of sociology rather, it seeks to explain how power is achieved. Power is not offered as an explanation in ANT studies; it is the process by which power is achieved that ANT seeks to describe. Sometimes ANT research involves tracing actions in history, through the study of historical documents, letters and other artefacts. Accounts in education policy studies typically involve analyses of policy documents, studying media reports, observation and interviews.