From mobile phones to surveillance cameras, from fracking to genetically modified food, we live in an age of intense debate about technology's place in our culture. Culture and Technology is an essential guide to that debate and its fascinating history. It is a primer for beginners and an invaluable resource for those deeply committed to understanding the new digital culture. The award-winning first edition (2005) has been comprehensively updated to incorporate new technologies and contemporary theories about them. Slack and Wise untangle and expose cultural assumptions that underlie our thinking about technology, stories so deeply held we often don't recognize their influence. The book considers the perceived inevitability of technological progress, the role of control and convenience, and the very sense of what technology is. It considers resistance to dominant stories by Luddites, the Unabomber, and the alternative technology movement. Most important, it builds an alternative, cultural studies approach for engaging technological culture, one that considers politics, economics, space, time, identity, and change. After all, what we think and what we do make a difference.
Jennifer Daryl Slack is Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies in the Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University. She is the author of Communication Technologies and Society (1984), co-editor of The Ideology of the Information Age (1987), and editor of Thinking Geometrically (Peter Lang, 2002) and Animations (of Deleuze and Guattari) (Peter Lang, 2003). J. Macgregor Wise is Professor of Communication Studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of Exploring Technology and Social Space (1997), Cultural Globalization: A User's Guide (2008), co-author of MediaMaking (2nd ed., 2006), and co-editor of New Visualities, New Technologies: The New Ecstasy of Communication (2013).
Contents: Culture and Technology: The Received View - Representative Responses to the Received View - Cultural Studies on Technological Culture.