December 1, 2010

Social domains and their interaction with technology

Any social history of the telephone, must examine it in conjunction with the following areas:
Which groups use it; how is the telephone integrated into their lives; what adjustments do they have to make to accommodate it?
Do working practices change?  Are existing hierarchies within a business changed/reinforced/subverted?  This has to do with power relations - what happens to those power relations when a new technology is introduced?
Perhaps it is too deterministic to ask 'how technology affects culture' (and too simplistic and naive), because culture is too vast and complicated to be affected by just one concept.  Perhaps it would be more productive follow the traces technology leaves in its wake when the two spheres (culture and technology) overlap.  How pervasive is technology in our beliefs, our metaphors, our hopes for the future, our nightmares, our art?  As a medium, do we still talk about it, or has it become transparent (invisible) through overuse?
Class, gender
Once more, beware of transferring definitions between eras.  But having said this, has technology reinforced or subverted existing structures?  Did it force to re-evaluate our preconceptions of these terms?

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Digital Telephone Book by Elizabeth Chairopoulou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.