Sociology Gold: The sociology research of Goldsmiths, University of London

Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics (2013)

Noortje Marres

What is the role of things in political participation? This innovative book develops a fresh perspective on everyday forms of engagement, one that foregrounds the role of objects, technology and settings in public involvement. It makes a distinctive contribution to debates about the role of things in democracy, but it also offers empirical analyses of contemporary devices of participation, such as smart meters, demonstrational eco-homes and sustainable living gadgets. Through case studies of mundane technologies of environmental engagement, this book then develops a set of concepts and methods for the social and political analysis of specifically material forms of participation. Material Participation explores the next steps to be taken in social studies of participation, technology and the environment, focusing our empirical, critical and creative attention squarely on the materials and devices of the public. 

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