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Which clippings match 'Cultural Understanding Of Technology' keyword pg.1 of 1
11 JUNE 2016

Digital Sociology: Beyond the Digital to the Sociological

"Where sociologists differ from many other social researchers in researching digital media is their awareness that digital data, like any other type of data, are socially created and have a social life, a vitality, of their own. They are not the neutral products of automatic calculation, but represent deliberate decisions by those who formulate the computer algorithms that collect and manipulate these data (boyd and Crawford 2012; Cheney-Lippold 2011; Ruppert et al. 2013). The data that these devices and software produce structure our concepts of identity, embodiment, relationships, our choices and preferences and even our access to services or spaces. Without the knowledge of digital technology users, algorithms measure and sort them, deciding what choices they may be offered (Beer 2009, 2013a). Algorithms and other elements of software, therefore, are generative, a productive form of power (Lash 2007)."

(Deborah Lupton, 2013, p.4)

Deborah Lupton 'Digital Sociology: Beyond the Digital to the Sociological', Paper presented at The Australian Sociological Association 2013 Conference, Monash University, 27 November 2013.



2013 • algorithms • cultural concept of technologycultural practicescultural technologycultural understanding of technologyculture and societyDanah Boyd • David Beer • Deborah Lupton • digital data • digital media • digital sociology • digital technologyembodiment • Evelyn Ruppert • identity • John Cheney-Lippold • Kate Crawford • material culturemediated interactionMonash Universitynew mediaScott Lashsocial mediasocial policysocial researchsocial theorysociology • sociomateriality • software affordancestechnology practicesUniversity of Sydney


Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2013

Some have always distrusted new things...

"Skepticism is not new to education. Emerging technologies are often viewed with fear and resistance. Just look at some of the history surrounding educational change.

'Students today can't prepare bark to calculate their problems. They depend upon their slates, which are more expensive. What will they do when the slate is dropped and it breaks? They will be unable to write.'–Teachers Conference, 1703

'Students today depend upon paper too much. They don't know how to write on a slate without getting chalk dust all over themselves. They can't clean a slate properly. What will they do when they run out of paper?'–Teachers Association, 1815

'Students today depend upon store–bought ink. They don't know how to make their own. When they run out of ink, they will be unable to write words or cipher until the next trip to the settlement. This is a sad commentary on modern times.'–Rural American Teacher, 1929

'Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students use these devices and then throw them away! The American virtues of thrift and frugality are being discarded. Business and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries.'–Federated Teacher, 1959"

(Michael Bloom, Professional Associates for Consultation and Training)



1703 • 1815 • 19291959 • authentic practices • authenticity of thingsballpoint pen • bark • chalkconservative attitudesconstantly evolving technological platformcultural understanding of technologydistruste-learning • educational change • emerging technologiesfear of technologyinstrumental conception of technologylearning and teachinglooking backwards to the futureluddite • meaningful learning experiences • mistrust • naive perspectives • no batteries requiredorthodoxypaperparadigm shiftpen and inkpen and paper • resistance to change • resistant behaviourritualskeptical perspective • skepticism • slatestudent learning • teacher professionalism • teachingtechnical skilltechnological advancementstechnology and its impacttechnology as neutraltraditional processtraditional techniques • try out new ideas • unhealthy suspicion • use of technology


Simon Perkins
08 NOVEMBER 2013

The struggle for technology: instrumentalism versus culture

"This age–old conflict about social status remains at the heart of present–day struggles over the meanings of technology. On one side, defenders of technicians view technologies as creative expressions of human culture. In this view, technology is imbued with human values and strivings in all their contradictory complexity. I term this position the 'cultural' approach to technology. On the other side are those who see technological action as a narrow form of rationality that seeks only the best means for a given end. For such people, technology is something purely technical, essentially uncreative and devoid of values, subordinate to ends given by others. I call this second position the 'instrumental' conception of technology. ...

the discourse of technology favors the instrumental over the cultural. An entire tradition of philosophical critique is based on a reduction of technology to instrumental rationality. But technological enthusiasts also embrace the instrumental definition of technology. From their perspective, our modern technological civilization represents the embodiment of reason in the world, with new technologies as the vanguard of progress. Technological utopians like Kevin Kelly epitomize this instrumental perspective. In contrast, the cultural understanding of technology recognizes the creativity expressed in everything from steam engines to iPhones. But the cultural approach is definitely in the minority. This view is most common among people like me, historians of technology and other scholars who connect technological choices to specific aspects of culture and society."

(Eric Schatzberg, Rethinking Technology)



aesthetic creativity • aesthetic sensibility • aristocratic hierarchies • concrete material practices • contradictory complexity • craft skills • creative expression • creativity and craft • cultural concept of technologycultural practicescultural technologycultural understanding of technologyculture and society • Eric Schatzberg • fear of technology • formal knowledge • genius of the individualhuman agencyinstrumental conception of technology • instrumental means • instrumental rationality • instrumentalism • inventive genius • just a tool • Karl Capek • Kevin Kellylate modernitymaterial culture • means to an end • modern technological civilization • new technologies • non-technical qualities • out of controlprogress narrativesscientific knowledgesocial hierarchiessymptomatic determinism • technical elite • technical skill • technician • technological action • technological choices • technological determinism • technological enthusiasts • technological instrumentalismtechnological utopianismtechnology as neutral • technology discourse • technology is a tooltechnology neutralitytechnology transparency • transparent technologies • value ladenvalues


Simon Perkins

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