Ethnography of high-tech: about the Aramis case

Ethnography of high-tech: about the Aramis case application/pdf icon

In Pierre Lemonnier (editor) Technological Choices -Transformations in Material Culture since the Neolithic, Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp.372-398, 1993


The first task of the anthropology of techniques is to establish a common ground between those who study traditional techniques and those, called sociologists, technologists, historians of technology or economists, who study modern, central or high-tech pieces of machinery. But even once this common ground is established, the main problem of this type of anthropology remains: how can we understand the social construction of artefacts together with the technical construction of society. After summarizing the Aramis case study, this article tries to understand why it is so difficult to do an ethnography of objects, especially of high tech objects; it analyzes the origin of the dualist model of explanation -not only social but also technical- and shows how another model may account for the common life of techiques and societies


1994: Espagnol / Spanish
« Ethnografia de un caso de ‘alta tecnologia’: sobre Aramis » in Politica y Sociedad, Madrid, n°14/15, pp.77-97

2002: Traduction suédoise en recueil de texte voir / Swedish translation in reader see CT(ii)

2006: Allemand / German
« Ethnografie einer Hochtechnologie: Das Pariser Projekt 'Aramis' eines automatischen U-Bahn-Systems » in Werner Rammer and Cornelius Schubert (editors) (translated by Werner Rammer) Technografie. Zur Mikrosoziologie der Technik. Campus Verlag, pp. 25-60