Rodger, K., Moore, S. A., & Newsome, D. (2009). Wildlife tourism, science and actor network theory. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(4), 645-666. Retrieved from http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1624/1/wildlife_tourism.pdf
Kate Rodger, Susan A. Moore, and David Newsome (2009) conducted this study to see how the increased tourism rates in Antarctica affected native penguins. While their overall focus was on how wildlife tourism affected Antarctica as a whole, they chose to focus on penguins as their non-human actor because 94.2% of the tourists they survived said they were most interested in interacting with penguins and because there was an increase in tourism each year when the penguins stayed on the shore to breed. They discovered that there were roughly 27,000 visitors in 2005, a 23% increase from 1993. Based on this surprising increase, the researchers expected 1.5 million visitors per year by 2010. The study was conducted from 1994-2004 and used Actor Network Theory (ANT) to analyze human, non-human (penguins), and related scientific reports.
During the study, Rodger, Moore, and Newsome (2009) conducted interviews with their human actors, a small group of wildlife tourism scientists and the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC). These human actors observed the penguins in question for the duration of the 10-year stud. Rodger et all (2009) discovered that interessement occurred when the human actors tried to recruit other actors to form alliances. Throughout the duration of the study, the human actors tired to reinforce these alliances, which resulted in a black-box for the remaining eight years of the study.
Funding was allocated elsewhere, unfortunately causing actors in the study to be reassigned. Because actor-networks are only possible if all the actors remain enrolled in the network, the study was disbanded before the research could be completed. Rodgers et al (2009) suggest that, despite the study’s unexpected ending, their findings during the study still support using ANT to study similar situations. In order to complete a similar study, Rodgers et all (2009) also suggest pulling data from “current and past efforts in the sociology of science” for support.
This case study was not as helpful as I thought it was going to be, since I was anticipating more of a focus on the actual penguins and not solely on the human actors. Rodgers et al (2009) also neglect to include the data from the studying the penguins, which is what I was hoping to use as an example for my project. Nevertheless, this study does provide an interested analysis through ANT that could prove useful. In terms of application to our class, however, I do not seem much that I could draw from in terms of visual rhetoric. It would have been helpful if Rodgers et al (2009) had at least included their findings from analyzing their interviews with the wildlife tourism scientists and the ASAC. I was hoping I could apply their approach to the interview I want to conduct as part of my project, but alas these findings were not supplied. Instead, this study will act purely as an example for conducting and reported on a study based on the ANT methodology and will not be one of my primary sources.