Technological Determinism and Social Change

Technological Determinism and Social Change : Communication in a Tech-Mad World

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The aim of this book is to shed new light on this theoretically and practically significant issue, and questions the role of technology and culture in social change. It challenges us to reconsider and rethink the impact of new information and communication technologies on civil society, participatory democracy and digital citizenship in theoretical and methodological contributions, through the analysis of specific cases in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Colombia, Kenya, Netherlands and the United States. Access to information and communication technologies is a necessity, and the importance of access should not be trivialized, but a plea for digital literacy implies recognizing that access is the beginning of ICT policies and not the end of it. Digital literacy requires using the Internet and social media in socially and culturally useful ways aimed at the inclusion of everybody in the emerging information/knowledge society. Technology matters, but people matter more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 635.03g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 11 charts, 11 tables
  • 0739191241
  • 9780739191248

Review quote

[Jan Servaes] has edited a valuable collection of essays that oppose technological determinism and idealism, instrumentalism and quick-fix solutions to long-term problems. It should be widely read. European Journal Of Communication The struggle to apply contextually sensitive and genuinely participatory models and practices in the challenge of ensuring that the digital technologies are responsive to a multiplicity of needs is ongoing. The contributors to this book rightly insist that access to technology is never a sufficient underpinning for sustainable social change that is consistent with democratic values. This book should be widely read and its lessons integrated within all efforts to encourage theory and practice designed to empower people through their use of information and communication technologies. -- Robin Mansell, London School of Economics and Political Science Servaes has edited a wealth of essays about the relation of technology and social change. Most chapters debunk the popular instrumentalism and solutionism of new technologies. However, technology is both defining and enabling. The book shows that in the end social and human factors prevail. For example, digital media promise more democracy and access for all, but in practice they could also lead to control or oppression and inequality of actual benefits. -- Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, University of Twente A strong and compelling demystification of technology that should be read widely. The contributors deserve more than 3 A's for their intelligent and persuasive discussions that challenge prevailing views of technology's role in society. -- Janet Wasko, University of Oregon Technological determinism keeps haunting research and policy in the field of communication. This book provides-through its scholarly contents and excellent structure-essential guidance to understand how deterministic approaches stand in the way of putting people first and facilitating sustainable social change. Invaluable reading for researchers, teachers and policymakers! -- Cees J. Hamelink, University of Amsterdam Many of us see changes following the emergence of new technologies and believe that there is a causal relationship between the two. This book shows a different picture-one with the human factor accounted for, and explains why and how people matters in regard to ICTs and social change. -- Georgette Wang, National Chengchi Universityshow more

About Jan Servaes

Jan Servaes is chair professor and head of the Department of Media and Communication at the City University of Hong more

Table of contents

Part 1: Appetizers Chapter 1: The Same Old Theory, the Same Old Quick Fix. But Please add Efficacy to the Mix Chapter 2: From Ubicomp to Ubiex(pectations) Chapter 3: On Living in a Techno-Globalised World. Questions of history and geography Chapter 4: Intercultural Communication for Development in a Buddhist Perspective Part 2: Arguments Chapter 5: Technological Innovation and Social Change Chapter 6: Cultural Values and Digital Networks as Predictors of Sustainable Democratic Development Chapter 7: Being Meaningfully Mobile. Mobile phones and development Chapter 8: Digital technology and the construction of "glocal" information flows. Social movements and social media in the age of sustainability Chapter 9: A Trojan Horse in the city of stories? Storytelling and the creation of the polity Part 3: Applications Chapter 10: Communicating Neoliberal Development. A Critical Analysis of Grameen Bank Programs for Women Chapter 11: Visual Technology, Youth Interventions and Participation. Two Cases from the Netherlands Chapter 12: Analytical Antidotes to Technological Determinism. Learning from (Digital) Citizenship and Participation in Medellin, Colombia Chapter 13: Video Technologies and Participatory Approaches to Peace. From technological determinism to self-empowerment and social change: An experience from Kenya Chapter 14: Tiger Gate. A case study from China Part 4: A + A + A By way of Conclusion: People mattershow more