Monadology and ethnography: Towards a Tardian monadic

Marrero-Guillamón, Isaac. 2015. Monadology and ethnography: Towards a Tardian monadic. Ethnography, 16(2), pp. 240-261. ISSN 1466-1381 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article outlines the project of a ‘monadic ethnography’ based on Gabriel Tarde’s monadology. Tarde’s key contention is that ‘everything is a society’, i.e. that the world is made up of composite and relational entities of infinitesimal complexity called monads. These assemblages of heterogeneous elements engaged in relations of mutual possession constitute the object of study of ‘monadic ethnography’. Their analysis, in turn, has a series of methodological and formal implications, including a transformation of concepts of scale, spatiality and temporality and the need to find representational strategies suitable for conveying the monads’ dynamic qualities. A fieldwork example which discusses the making of a car part in a small workshop based in the Can Ricart factory in Barcelona is provided. Throughout the article, the idea of ‘monadic ethnography’ is discussed in relation to the recent rediscovery of Tarde’s work, the work of Bruno Latour and Gilles Deleuze, and the so-called ‘ontological turn’ in the social sciences.

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actor-network theory, Gabriel Tarde, Methodology, Monadology, Ontology

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June 2015Published
10 July 2014Published Online

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Date Deposited:

10 Feb 2016 12:12

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2021 14:18

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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