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Antoine Doré

Department of Sociology East Lansing, Michigan State University

GOverning and Managing Animals by Standards and Information Infrastructures



Annual meeting: 2017

Fields-Topics: P7 Economics, Social Sciences

Type of talk: Fellows Speed Presentation

GOverning and Managing Animals by Standards and Information Infrastructures

Biography

My main areas of interest and academic expertise cover science and technology studies, organization studies, sociological studies of human/animal relationships, infrastructure studies, biopolitics as well as mapping and interpreting controversies. The focus of my research is set on the agricultural and environmental domains, specifically on the management and governmental of life. I have conducted research on politics of nature (in the controversial management of wolf population), organization and governance of risk (in the management of Desert Locust Outbreaks in West Africa), “systems of professions” in the social worlds of livestock production (professional identities in dairy cattle sector). As a permanent researcher at INRA in Toulouse (UMR AGIR Agrosystems and Territorial Development), I am currently conducting research about the organization of animal genetic resources and the genomic selection. My objective is to conduct robust qualitative approaches that jointly examine two phenomena: the “genomics revolution” (particularly related to the development of high-throughput sequencing) and the “digital revolution” (particularly related to the development of digital information technology).

Abstract

GOverning and Managing Animals by Standards and Information Infrastructures

The development of genomic selection impacts the breeding activities in cattle and started to be a matter of concern for other species a few years ago, especially with regards to organizational studies. These changes are coupled with simultaneous socioeconomic evolutions and governmental withdrawal. The overall objective of this research project is to jointly examine two phenomena: the “genomics revolution” (particularly related to the development of high-throughput sequencing) and the “digital revolution” (particularly related to the development of digital information technology). These technological changes are accompanied by organizational, economic and social changes that this project aims to understand better. The rising usage of biological standards in public and private policy making and the increasing availability of big data in biology and agriculture are part of the political and economic shift from governmental to neoliberal governance of animal resources management. Hence, the theoretical and methodological challenge of this innovative project is to explore the opportunities and limits of interaction between the analytical framework of the Social Studies of Standards and the analytical framework of the Information Infrastructure Studies. My objective is to conduct profound qualitative research that analyses the change in management instruments and measures as well as the transformation of relationships between farms, science and industries in animal selection activities. The empirical survey aims at describing and analyzing the dynamics of production, usage and circulation of knowledge and standards at different levels (farming systems, breeding schemes, research organizations, forms of governance). Furthermore the survey identifies how these changes influence actual and create new forms of biopolitics and genetic resources (breeds, animal populations, herds and flocks). This project focuses on the dairy cattle sector. It integrates the study of two countries (USA and France) in order to analyze a diversity of organizational forms and usage of genetic Tools.

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