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Watching Oppenheimer through Latour’s lens [1]

Andrzej Wojciech Nowak (Department of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland)

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

ISSN: 1746-5648

Article publication date: 7 February 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to demonstrate what myths of and about science are reproduced in this popular cultural work (movie – “Oppenheimer”). This is done by examining the unconscious hegemonic positions supported by the reproduction of stereotypical and mythical images of science.

Design/methodology/approach

Content/Text Analysis: The conceptual analysis of a cultural text – a film (“Oppenheimer”) – through a theoretical apparatus (B. Latour’s theory).

Findings

The film demonstrates its reproduction of three distinct elements. Firstly, it exhibits classic scientistic clichés pertaining to technoscience. Secondly, it highlights the replication of the individualized monomyth about the (super) hero, leading to the exclusion of the intricate conditions of technoscience’s existence. Lastly, the film aligns with the Californian ideology, as proposed by Barbrook.

Originality/value

The value of the text is twofold: (1) To show that the classical approaches of Bruno Latour are still relevant. (2) To show what hidden premises and myths about technoscience are being propagated through a work of pop culture (the film “Oppenheimer”) and, in effect, to show what kind of influence of cultural hegemony is at work here.

Keywords

Citation

Nowak, A.W. (2024), "Watching Oppenheimer through Latour’s lens [1]", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-10-2023-2605

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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