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How Matter MattersObjects, Artifacts, and Materiality in Organization Studies$
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Paul R. Carlile, Davide Nicolini, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671533.001.0001

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Untangling Sociomateriality

Untangling Sociomateriality

Chapter:
(p.197) 9 Untangling Sociomateriality
Source:
How Matter Matters
Author(s):

Matthew Jones

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671533.003.0009

A central metaphor in accounts of sociomateriality is that of entanglement—the social and material are not just mutually influential, but inextricably related. These accounts, however, employ several different terms, sometimes interchangeably, to characterize the nature of this entanglement, such as inseparability, interpenetration, relationality, and embodiment, and to refer to what is entangled, for example the social and the material, humans and technology, work and technology. While such variation may be justified on aesthetic or stylistic grounds, treating these terms as synonyms may be seen as conflating different ontological claims. This chapter seeks to identify these claims and to explore their consequences through an analysis of nursing in a critical care unit, a context that is, at the same time, both highly suffused by technology and intensely social. In common with the majority of sociomateriality literature much of the focus of this analysis will be on technology, but the implications for materiality more generally and for process research on organizations are also considered.

Keywords:   sociomateriality, ontology, entanglement, inseparability, interpenetration, relationality, embodiment, technology

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