Resistance to New Technology: Nuclear Power, Information Technology and Biotechnology

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This book compares resistance to technology across time, nations and technologies, concentrating on nuclear power, information technology and biotechnology. The focus is on post-1945 Europe, with comparisons made with the United States, Japan and Australia. The main thesis of the book is that resistance is a constructive force in technological development, giving technology its particular shape in a particular context. While many people still believe in the positive contribution made by science and technology, many have become skeptical. The book takes the idea that modernity creates effects that undermine its own foundations, and explores various forms and effects of resistance throughout the postwar period. This presents a unique interdisciplinary study, and includes contributions from historians, sociologists, psychologists and political scientists.

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Editorial Reviews

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'… Bauer [suggests] that resistance to new technology ... performs a function analogous to acute pain in the body - as an alarm signal. It might be hard to persuade the biotechnologists to accept that idea. But as we move into the century of biology, they may need to begin thinking along these lines if the future is not to be marked by conficts. They should start by studying this thought-provoking collection.' Jon Turney, New Scientist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521599481
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Resistance to new technology and its effects on nuclear power, information technology and biotechnology Martin Bauer; 2. The crisis of 'progress' Alain Touraine; 3. Reinterpreting 'Luddism': resistance to new technology in the British industrial revolution Adrian J. Randall; 4. The changeability of public opinions about new technology: assimilation effects in attitude surveys Danckler D. L. Daamen and Ivo A. van der Lans; 5. 'Technophobia': a misleading conception of resistance to new technology Martin Bauer; 6. Patterns of resistance to new technologies in Scandinavia: an historical perspective Kristine Bruland; 7. Henry Ford's relationship to 'Fordism': ambiguity as a modality of technological resistance John M. Staudenmaier; 8. Resistance to nuclear technology: optimists, opportunists and opposition in Australian nuclear history Roy M. Macleod; 9. New technology in Fleet Street, 1975–80 Roderick Martin; 10. The impact of resistance to biotechnology in Switzerland: a sociological view of the recent referendum Marlis Buchmann; 11. The politics of resistance to new technology: semiconductor diffusion in France and Japan until 1965 Antonio J. J. Botelho; 12. User resistance to new interactive media: participants, processes and paradigms Ian Miles and Graham Thomas; 13. The impact of anti-nuclear power movements in international comparison Dieter Rucht; 14. In the engine of history: regulators of biotechnology, 1970–86 Robert Bud; 15. Product, process, or programme: three cultures and the regulation of biotechnology Sheila S. Jasanoff; 16. Learning from Chernobyl for the fight against genetics? Stages and stimuli of German protest movements - a comparative synopsis Joachim Radkau; 17. Individual and institutional impacts upon press coverage of sciences: the case of nuclear power and genetic engineering in Germany Hans Mathias Kepplinger; 18. Forms of intrusion: comparing resistance to information technology and biotechnology in the USA Dorothy Nelkin; 19. Towards a functional analysis of resistance.

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