In my recent 'fieldwork' I stumbled upon a couple of incidences where it occurred to me that actually the agency of things plays a crucial role. Just as Woody Allen expressed in the conference for his latest movie 'To Rome with Love' cities for example often have agency themselves.
In my personal example it is the importance of cups, dogs, signs or possibly crouches for the beggar. They 'mark' him as a beggar and signify his neediness. Without those 'signs' he is hardly recognizable as somebody who wants 'something for nothing'. This on the other hand protects him from the police - because begging in the UK still is a criminal act. If there is no cup, nobody can prosecute him to a certain extent. Without being able to so far further follow this route, I would be interested in your opinion on the topic.
1. Is ANT in general something anthropologists work with? Are there possibly approaches that follow a similar route (regard things as agents) just under a different name? Do you possibly have example of studies where this notion was used?
2. Do you think it might be interesting to work with this idea also in the context of the beggar?