Intra-action is a concept introduced by Karen Barad (wiki ). It describes the mutual constitution of entangled agency, that is the mutual constitution of our ability to act. A
When two entities intra-act, they do so in co-constituitive ways. This means that agency is not a preexisting given. The ability to act emerges from within the relationship not outside of it. And this ability constantly changes and adapts according to processes it is involved in.
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- all phenomena are phenomena testify "the ontological inseparability of intra-acting agencies"
- people and things are intermingled, there is intra- not interaction: so the two intra-acting bodies are not completely separated from each other (whereas in inter-action all inter-acting elements maintain a level of independence: Each entity exists before they encounter one another.)
- a phenomenon is "made and unmade THROUGH interaction" with human and non-human actors; between nature, culture and technology
It's unlikely that many of us will inter-act with the Ebola virus, but we will all intra-act with the Ebola phenomenon and therefore we are all responsible for the matter produced in these interactions: the discourses, the materials and the subject positions.
- intra-actions defer and deflect (??) responsibility. In intra-actions responsibility is distributed among the constitutive entities.
- thinking in terms of intra-action means giving up subject-object dichotomies, linear time, cause-and-effect relationships as well as individual agency
- helps us understand simultaneity
# See also
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