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Jus494 Politics Technology
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  • 1. Politics of Artifacts politics of technology JUS 494: S,T, INEQUALITIES at Arizona State University Tempe, Fall Term 2009 Professor: MERLYNA LIM
  • 2. DESIGN .........GOVERNANCE
  • 3. the meaning of politics politics = ? no, politics doesn’t equal government
  • 4. politics refers to such things as: power membership authority order freedom
  • 5. how a technology can be political? how does particular technology change “power” relationships in society? what kind of “authority” is associated with a particular technology? do particular technologies exclude certain groups of people (“membership”)? are there technologies that maintain “order”? are there technologies that limit or enhance our “freedom”? can technological artifacts have politics?
  • 6. political characteristics can be built into technology
  • 7. power & authority
  • 8. membership
  • 9. order
  • 10. freedom
  • 11. ways of being political (langdon winner) invention, design, or arrangement of a specific technical device or system becomes a way of settling an issue in the affairs of a particular community “inherently political technologies” -- man made systems that appear to require or to be strongly compatible with particular kinds of political relationships
  • 12. robert moses and the low bridges of long islands
  • 13. baron haussmann & the wide streets of paris
  • 14. how about this artifact? can it be political?
  • 15. redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with a center arm to discourage overnight stays in its comfortable embrace
  • 16. from three cases what have we learned? technology reflects a particular political situation or political design the change in power relationships or access/ membership was/is intended how about the unintended one?
  • 17. a univ california’s mechanical tomato harvester $50,000
  • 18. are there technologies that inherently political?
  • 19. characterizing political technologies centralization or decentralization? egalitarian or inegalitarian? repressive or liberating? authoritarian or democratic?
  • 20. technologies and politics some technologies are always political (inherently) some technologies are usually associated with particular political arrangement