Toward an Anthropology of Graphing: Semiotic and Activity-Theoretic Perspectives

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Juli 2003



Toward an Anthropology of Graphing: Semiotic and Activity-Theoretic Perspectives presents the results of several studies involving scientists and technicians. In Part One of the book, 'Graphing in Captivity', the author describes and analyses the interpretation scientists volunteered given graphs that had been culled from an introductory course and textbook in ecology. Surprisingly, the scientists were not the experts that the author expected them to be on the basis of the existing expert-novice literature. The section ends with the analysis of graphs that the scientists had culled from their own work. Here, they articulated a tremendous amount of background understanding before talking about the content of their graphs. In Part Two, 'Graphing in the Wild', the author reports on graph usage in three different workplaces based on his ethnographic research among scientists and technicians. Based on these data, the author concludes that graphs and graphing are meaningful to the extent that they are deeply embedded in and connected to the familiarity with the workplace.


1 Toward an Anthropology of Graphing: An Introduction.
- 1.1 Graphing is Pervasive.
- 1.2 Nature of Practice.
- 1.3 Reading Graphs as Semiotic Practice.
- 1.4 Graphs as Sign Objects.
- 1.5 Graphing as Rhetorical Practice.
- 1.6 Graphs as Conscription Devices.
- 1.7 Conclusion and Outlook.- One: Graphing in Captivity.- 2 From 'Expertise' to Situated Reason: The Role of Experience, Familiarity, and Usefulness.
- 2.1 How Competent are 'Expert' Scientists?.
- 2.2 Data and Model of One 'Expert' Reading.
- 2.3 What is Missing from the Standard Model?.
- 2.4 Reading versus Interpreting.
- 2.5 Critique of the Traditional Expert Model.
- 2.6 Disciplinary Critique of the Population Graph.- 3 Unfolding Interpretations: Graph Interpretation as Abduction.
- 3.1 Abduction.
- 3.2 Between Ecology and Representation.
- 3.3 Proliferation of Inscriptions.
- 3.4 Perceptual Structures and Interpretants.
- 3.5 Reference, Sense and Meaning.- 4 Problematic Readings: Case Studies of Scientists Struggling with Graph Interpretation.
- 4.1 Toward an Alternative to Mental Deficiency.
- 4.2 A Graph that Does not Convey any Information.
- 4.3 Graph Demands Knowledge of Population Ecology.
- 4.4 Graphs as Open Texts.
- 4.5 Are Scientists Experts and Others Novices?.- 5 Articulating Background: Scientists Explain Graphs of their Own Making.
- 5.1 From Interpreting to Reading Graphs.
- 5.2 Transparent Graphs in Scientific Research.
- 5.3 Graphing and Activity Systems.
- 5.4 Doing Puzzles versus Articulating Work.- Two: Graphing in the Wild.- 6 Reading Graphs: Transparent Use of Graphs in Everyday Activity.
- 6.1 From Captivity to the Wild.
- 6.2 Practical Competence in Everyday Situations.
- 6.3 Creek, Community, and History.
- 6.4 Graphs and the Concrete Lived-in World.
- 6.5 Division of Labor.
- 6.6 Graphs as Sites of Struggle.
- 6.7 Knowing Graphs in Context.- 7 From Writhing Lizards to Graphs: The Development of Embodied Graphing Competence.
- 7.1 Graphs: Inside and from Outside.
- 7.2 From Writhing and Biting Lizards to Docile Graphs.
- 7.3 Fieldwork and Embodied Understanding.
- 7.4 Ecological Fieldwork is Coordination Work.
- 7.5 Taming Nature: Measuring.
- 7.6 Measurement: Adequatio Rei et Instrumenta.
- 7.7 Calculating at Last.
- 7.8 Mathematization of Professional Vision.- 8 Fusion of Sign and Referent: From Interpreting to Reading of Graphs.
- 8.1 Introduction.
- 8.2 Experimenting and Visual Topology.
- 8.3 Laboratory and People.
- 8.4 One Data Run.
- 8.5 Continuity of the Object.
- 8.6 Transformations.
- 8.7 Into the Community.
- 8.8 Mutual Stabilization of Graph and 'Natural Object'.- Appendix: The Tasks.- A.1 Plant Distributions.- A.2 Population Dynamics.- A.3 Isoclines.- A.4 Scientists' Graphs.- Notes.- References.
EAN: 9781402013744
ISBN: 1402013744
Untertitel: Semiotic and Activity-Theoretic Perspectives. 2003. Auflage. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2003
Seitenanzahl: 342 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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