Jus494 Politics Technology

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Jus494 Politics Technology

  1. 1. Politics of Artifacts <ul><li>JUS 494: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INEQUALITY </li></ul><ul><li>at Arizona State University </li></ul><ul><li>Tempe, 2 September 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Professor: Merlyna Lim </li></ul>politics of technology
  2. 2. the meaning of politics no, politics doesn’t equal government politics = ?
  3. 3. <ul><li>power </li></ul><ul><li>membership </li></ul><ul><li>authority </li></ul><ul><li>order </li></ul><ul><li>freedom </li></ul>politics refers to such things as:
  4. 4. <ul><li>how does particular technology change “power” relationships in society? </li></ul><ul><li>what kind of “authority” is associated with a particular technology? </li></ul><ul><li>do particular technologies exclude certain groups of people (“membership”)? </li></ul><ul><li>are there technologies that maintain “order”? </li></ul><ul><li>are there technologies that limit or enhance our “freedom”? </li></ul>how a technology can be political? can technological artifacts have politics?
  5. 5. political characteristics can be built into technology
  6. 6. power & authority
  7. 7. membership
  8. 8. order
  9. 9. freedom
  10. 10. <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>“ inherently political technologies” -- man made systems that appear to require or to be strongly compatible with particular kinds of political relationships </li></ul>ways of being political (langdon winner)
  11. 11. robert moses and the low bridges of long islands
  12. 12. baron haussmann & the wide streets of paris
  13. 13. how about this artifact? can it be political?
  14. 15. <ul><li>redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with a center arm to discourage overnight stays in its comfortable embrace </li></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>technology reflects a particular political situation or political design </li></ul><ul><li>the change in power relationships or access/membership was/is intended </li></ul><ul><li>how about the unintended one? </li></ul>from three cases what have we learned?
  16. 19. a univ california’s mechanical tomato harvester $50,000
  17. 20. are there technologies that inherently political?
  18. 21. <ul><li>centralization or decentralization? </li></ul><ul><li>egalitarian or inegalitarian? </li></ul><ul><li>repressive or liberating? </li></ul><ul><li>authoritarian or democratic? </li></ul>characterizing political technologies
  19. 23. <ul><li>some technologies are always political (inherently) </li></ul><ul><li>some technologies are usually associated with particular political arrangement </li></ul>technologies and politics

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