Technology roadmaps have become an essential part of the European Commission’s (EC) nanotechnology policy strategies. They represent socio-technical landscapes and evolving pathways, suggesting the underlying or otherwise supportive metaphorical patterns and narrative structures. For the same reason, however, roadmaps are problematic assemblages: they can simplify and distort reality, and filter things that don’t fit. The presented study combines cognitive linguistics with narratology to scrutinise the European Commission’s nanotechnology roadmapping as a discursive formation. It targets the systematic metaphors in approximately two-hundred news and reports on nanotechnology, compiled ad hoc from the CORDIS database (between the years 1999–2015). It is argued that the identified metaphors correspond to a discourse topology of ‘locations’, ‘events’, and their structures, especially as regards to the dilemma of ‘path dependence’, overcoming ‘knowledge gaps’, and reaching ‘nanoworld’. These are accompanied by a narrative climax of developing mature science policy model, in the arrangement of actions and roles for the European governments, science (nanotechnology), policy, and the public. The study demonstrates how systematic metaphors engage all the actors in the narrative of ‘innovation journey’ to form stabilised structures of meaning, that is, spatio-temporal consolidation of nanotechnology policy. It is imperative to continuously assess the context of such consolidation, being less overt but not necessarily less effective, in privileging some meanings, interests, and practices over the others, thereby excluding other political alternatives.
For the Bulgarian Muslims in Spain wedding videos are a popular device for socializing, overcoming nostalgia and keeping pace with the news and events that take place back home in Bulgaria. The mediatization of the ritual allows an extension of the ritual across time and space. Watching the videos is a re-enactment of the celebration and has become part of the ritual itself. Subsequently, this extension of the ritual through a mediated device has led to its subtle transformations. At the same time, wedding videos and the particular mode of use produce a social effect beyond the structure of the ritual. They contribute to the extending and re-creating of a migrant community that spreads over space transnationally and temporally between the past of home and the present of life in migrancy. Drawing on ethnographic material and using the analytical tools of actor-network theory, the main aim of this paper is to trace the uses and effects of wedding videos for transforming the wedding ritual through postponing and re-enacting it on one hand, and for sustaining the phantasm of an imagined virtual community on the other. The broader problem that this paper seeks to address is the specific role that material devices play for producing social effects for migrant communities.
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