[Air-L] Technology as ideologically neutral?

Marcus Leaning Marcus.Leaning at winchester.ac.uk
Thu Jul 5 07:40:37 PDT 2012

Hi Charles, 
A couple of old but good ones@

Bruno Latour's article which he published under the Johnson pseudonym:

Johnson, J. (1988). Mixing Humans and Nonhumans Together: The Sociology of a Door-Closer. Social Problems, 35(3), 298-310.

Daniel Chandler's Shaping and Being Shaped Engaging with Media article from 1996 in the Journal of CMC http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1996/feb/chandler.html 

Andrew Feenberg's articles and books: Questioning Technology, 

And my own very meagre submission  Marcus Leaning (2009)The Internet Power and Society: Rethinking the Power of the Internet to Change Lives, Chandos: Oxford.

Which is neither landmark nor foundational but, you never know, may be of some small use.



Dr. Marcus Leaning 
Head of Department  
School of Media and Film 
University of Winchester 

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Cagla Taskin
Sent: 05 July 2012 15:15
To: Charles Ess; Air list
Subject: Re: [Air-L] Technology as ideologically neutral?

Langdon Winner's "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" instantly pops into my mind, also to be found in his book "The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology".



> From: Charles Ess <charles.ess at gmail.com>
>To: Air list <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
>Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2012 4:48 PM
>Subject: [Air-L] Technology as ideologically neutral?
>Dear AoIRists,
>I'm trying to gather both accessible and, to some degree, "landmark" or 
>foundational literature that can be used to (gently) challenge a view I 
>keep encountering in certain circles lately - namely, that technology 
>in general and the Internet in particular is "ideologically neutral".
>Such a view was around in the U.S. in the early days of the Internet - 
>but countered in at least two ways; those who took up Social 
>Construction of Technology and related theory from ST studies, 
>including discussion of "affordances", etc. - and then the very ideological claims (roughly:
>California libertarian technological utopianism) that went from claims 
>such as "the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes 
>around it" to claims that the Internet embedded and fostered specially 
>U.S. (neoliberal) values of individualism, freedom of expression, and free market capitalism.
>For better and for worse, however, my impression is that in our 
>communities, at least, the recognition that the technologies embed and 
>foster specific cultural values and communicative preferences (as I 
>like to put it on the basis of the CATaC conferences) has been more or 
>less a given for quite some time.  Hence, having to re-visit and 
>re-establish these understandings for those for whom this recognition 
>is apparently quite new is a bit of a challenge.
>Any suggestions for literature, etc., would be most appreciated.
>Many thanks in advance,
>- charles ess
>Until August 31, 2012: Professor MSO
>Media Studies, Institute for Aesthetics and Communication Aarhus 
>University Helsingforsgade 14
>8200 Aarhus
>From 1. Sept. 2012: Associate Professor in Media Studies Department of 
>Media and Communication Forskningsparken II Gaustadalléen 21
>0349  Oslo  Norway
>Lifetime member, AoIR
>³At vove er at miste fodfæstet for en stund, ikke at vove er at miste 
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>to lose yourself] - Kierkegaard
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