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Living in a Material WorldEconomic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies$
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Trevor Pinch and Richard Swedberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162524

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162524.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Command Performance: Exploring What STS Thinks It Takes to Build a Market

Command Performance: Exploring What STS Thinks It Takes to Build a Market

(p.88) (p.89) 3 Command Performance: Exploring What STS Thinks It Takes to Build a Market
Living in a Material World

Philip Mirowski

Edward Nik-Khah

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses Science and Technology Studies, actor-network theory (ANT), the current version of ANT (ANT 6.5), the performativity of the economy, commercialization, operations research (OR), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctions. Actor-network theory has been promoted as a Theory of Everything and many attributes of it can be found in a relatively developed form in OR. The performativity thesis of Michel Callon has been considered as an important contribution to economic sociology, and in The Laws of the Markets, Callon claims that the economy is embedded in economics, not in society. In 1994, the FCC started the practice of auctioning communications spectrum licenses to the highest bidder and game theorists recruited by the FCC conceptualized an auction as a Bayesian learning game. Game theorists pursue the criterion of ex post Pareto optimality, whereas experimentalists pursue ex ante Pareto optimality.

Keywords:   performativity, actor-network theory, sociology, game theory, experimentalists

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