[Air-L] MA class on orgs and tech - need reading recommendations

Sam Ladner samladner at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 05:52:10 PST 2007


Hi Nicole,

I concur that the gender and technology approach might be helpful too, and
Hacker's work Doing IT the hard way would definitely be a good suggestion.

I might also suggest framing the course around the central question: how
does technology affect organizations?

>From this general problematic, I would suggest three lines of inquiry:

1. Technology as Savior: The Long Tail could work here, but I think the
Cluetrain Manifesto is a must read. Wikinomics fits in here.

2. Technology as socially constructed: SCOT approach suggests that tech and
orgs mutually affect one another. Good overview:
Williams, R., & Edge, D. (1996). The social shaping of technology. Research
Policy, 25, 865-899.

3. Feminist critiques: Technology and its design is indicative of gender
relations. Hacker would work here. or:
Cockburn, C. (1999). The Material of Male Power. In D. MacKenzie & J.
Wajcman (Eds.), The Social Shaping of Technology (pp. 177-198): Open
University Press.

4. Technology as tool of capital: Barney's work dismisses Marx as a
technological determinist:
Barney, D. (2000). Prometheus Wired: The Hope for Democracy In The Age of
Network Technology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

5. Technology as network actor: Actor Network Theory, with readings from
Akrich:
Akrich, M. (1992). The de-scription of technical objects. In W. Bijker & J.
Law (Eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical
Change (pp. 205-224). Cambridge: MIT Press.

and if you want to be really crazy, the easiest and (I think) most
interesting piece by Heidegger...

6. Technology as Shaper of Reality: phenomenologist approaches:
Heidegger, M. (1977). The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays
(W. Lovitt, Trans.). New York: Harper and Row.

Good luck!
-s.


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