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Merchant Marine Deck Officer Agency Through Performative Acts
I bring together ethnographic interviews with deck officers, studies in actor-network theory, explicit and tacit knowledge theory, and performativity theory in this work. I prove that bridge technologies produce what are called mimeomorphic (repeatable with some variation) actions that contain no deck officer collective tacit knowledge. I argue that deck officer bridge watch situated actions are mostly polimorphic (actions can vary depending on social context), and these actions are in fact performatives (in an Austin sense) derived from a more oral than literate performance production process. These performatives constantly build the mariner's identity within the maritime deck officer community and their successful performatives give deck officers agency in the form of an oppositional view to deskilling. These same performative acts are the value of the mariner's experiential technological knowledge within the ship's bridge technology framework.