Making and dissolving the sociotechnical network of the fácil word processor: elements for an ethnography of technology

This paper examines the association and dissolution of the sociotechnical network surrounding the Fácil word processor. This software program was conceived and developed in Blumenau (Santa Catarina) during the 1980s and 90s, and eventually sold over 100,000 copies. Inspired by the analyses of technoscience pursued by Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and John Law, the paper attempts to reconstitute ethnographically the composition and decomposition of the Fácil program's sociotechnical network. To this end the paper is divided into seven sections: (i) a brief contextualization of the technoscience framework is followed by (ii) an examination of the software's history, (iii) a description of the process involved in creating the local network, (iv) its establishment as an obligatory point of passage, (v) a discussion of the weakening of the local network, and (vi) the progressive isolation and dissolution of the Fácil word processor's sociotechnical network. In the final section (vii), the text offers some conclusions on the sense and meaning of the analysis of technoscience for anthropology as a whole.

Sociotechnical Network; Technology; Fácil Word Processor; Associations; Ethnography

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