Modernity and Technology

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Overview

If asked, most people would agree that there are deep connections between technology and the modern world, and even that technology is the truly distinctive feature of modernity. Until recently, however, there has been surprisingly little overlap between technology studies and modernity theory. The goal of this ambitious book is to lay the foundations for a new interdisciplinary field by closely examining the co-construction of technology and modernity.The book is divided into three parts. Part I lays the methodological groundwork for combining studies of technology and modernity, while integrating ideas drawn from feminism, critical theory, philosophy,sociology, and socioeconomics. Part II continues the methodological discussion, focusing on specific sociotechnical systems or technologies with prominent relations to modernity. Part III introduces practical and political issues by considering alternative modes of technology development and offering critiques of modern medicine, environmental technology, international development, and technology policy. The book as a whole suggests a broad research program that is both academic and applied and that will help us understand how contemporary societies can govern technologies instead of being governed by them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An interesting and well-integrated collection..." Peter Beech First Monday
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262633109
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 433
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Misa is ERA-Land Grant Professor of the History of Technology at the University ofMinnesota, where he directs the Charles Babbage Institute. His books include Modernity andTechnology (coedited with Philip Brey and Andrew Feenberg; MIT Press, 2003).

Philip Brey is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Philosophy at theUniversity of Twente, the Netherlands.

Andrew Feenberg is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology at theSchool of Communication at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of Critical Theory ofTechnology, Alternative Modernity, QuestioningTechnology, Transforming Technology, and Heidegger andMarcuse.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Workshop Participants
1 The Compelling Tangle of Modernity and Technology 1
2 Theorizing Modernity and Technology 33
3 Modernity Theory and Technology Studies: Reflections on Bridging the Gap 73
4 Critical Theory, Feminist Theory, and Technology Studies 105
5 Modernity under Construction: Building the Internet in Trinidad 139
6 Surveillance Technology and Surveillance Society 161
7 Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems 185
8 Creativity of Technology: An Origin of Modernity? 227
9 The Contested Rise of a Modernist Technology Politics 257
10 Technology, Medicine, and Modernity: The Problem of Alternatives 279
11 The Environmental Transformation of the Modern Order 303
12 Technology, Modernity, and Development: Creating Social Capabilities in a POLIS 327
13 Modernity and Technology - An Afterword 359
References 373
About the Authors 409
Index 413
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