Translation of science and technology projects through the TED infrastructure: a cultural capital perspective
This paper seeks to investigate the TED infrastructure as a dispositif (Agamben, 2006; Bussolini, 2010)for translating Science and Technology (S&T;) projects. We aim to adopt the concept of cultural capital as an interpretative lens for analyzing the dynamics enforced by or emerging from the TED infrastructure, questioning their relationship to selection and outcomes of presenter-related S&T; projects. In “Les trois états du capital culturel” (1979), Pierre Bourdieu outlined the three forms of cultural capital: the embodied state, the objectified state and the institutionalized state. For our purposes, we have chosen to focus on cultural capital within the embodied state and the institutionalized state, as these two seemed most relevant to the relationship building side of S&T; projects. The “embodied state” refers to the cultural capital that resides within an individual, whereas the “institutionalized state” refers to titles, diplomas and similar types of artefacts that represent achievements in the “cultural” domain. While cultural capital is most typically applied to education and educational systems, we believe that it is relevant to understanding not only how relationships between the shareholders in S&T; projects are constructed, but also how participation in the project reinforces individual and institutional cultural capital. Thus, we have chosen to analyze TED talks in order to identify the relationship between those with high levels of embodied state cultural capital and the S&T; projects they are associated with (i.e. close/weak relationship).