Reducing Urban, expanding STS

“Indeed, Latour’s central thesis is that an actor is its relations. All features of an object belong to it; everything happens only once, at one time, in one place. But this means that Latour rejects another well-known feature of traditional substance: its durability. We generally speak of the same dog existing on different days over many years, but for Latour this would ultimately be no more than a figure of speech. It would entail that we abstract an enduring dog-substance or dog-essence from an entire network of relations or trials of strength in which the dog is involved at each moment of its life. ultimately the unified ‘dog’ is a sequence of closely related heirs, not an enduring unit encrusted with shifting accidents over time.”

Graham Harmann (2009: 17), Prince of Networks