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Passports: identity and airports
Passports: identity and airports

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4.2 Airports and hybrids

This analysis has constantly been hinting at the fact that it is impossible to separate humans from the material objects and artefacts that surround us all. This is why some sociologists think it makes more sense to talk about ‘hybrids’.

You should now watch a second extract from ‘Materiality and the airport’ that discusses hybrids in the context of the airport.

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Airports and hybrids
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Much of the analysis of materiality or matter that you have just watched was based on the writings of social theorist Bruno Latour. Please take some time to read the Latour chapter extract below. Pay attention to the way that Latour is concerned with the distribution of competences (such as agency or morality) between humans and non-human material artefacts. He uses an example that you have already come across (of starting a car without a seat belt) but he also introduces another example from everyday life – the door.

Activity 5

You should read the extract now:

‘Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts’ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , from Bijker, W. E. and Law, J. (eds) (1992) Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, pp. 225–58.