Politics of Artifacts
   politics of technology
      JUS 494: S,T, INEQUALITIES
       at Arizona State University
      ...
DESIGN .........GOVERNANCE
the meaning of politics


politics =                        ?

  no, politics doesn’t equal government
politics refers to such things as:
              power
              membership
              authority
              orde...
how a technology can be political?
  how does particular technology change “power” relationships in society?

  what kind ...
political characteristics can be built into
               technology
power & authority
membership
order
freedom
ways of being political
                (langdon winner)
invention, design, or arrangement of a specific
technical device ...
robert moses and
the low bridges of long islands
baron haussmann &
the wide streets of paris
how about this artifact?
  can it be political?
redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with
a center arm to discourage overnight stays ...
from three cases
     what have we learned?
technology reflects a particular political situation or
political design
the c...
a univ california’s mechanical
       tomato harvester




 $50,000
are there technologies that
    inherently political?
characterizing
       political technologies

centralization or decentralization?
egalitarian or inegalitarian?
repressive...
technologies and politics
some technologies are always political (inherently)
some technologies are usually associated wit...
Jus494 Politics Technology
Jus494 Politics Technology
Jus494 Politics Technology
Jus494 Politics Technology
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Jus494 Politics Technology

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Jus494 Politics Technology

  1. 1. Politics of Artifacts politics of technology JUS 494: S,T, INEQUALITIES at Arizona State University Tempe, Fall Term 2009 Professor: MERLYNA LIM
  2. 2. DESIGN .........GOVERNANCE
  3. 3. the meaning of politics politics = ? no, politics doesn’t equal government
  4. 4. politics refers to such things as: power membership authority order freedom
  5. 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. 6. political characteristics can be built into technology
  7. 7. power & authority
  8. 8. membership
  9. 9. order
  10. 10. freedom
  11. 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. 12. robert moses and the low bridges of long islands
  13. 13. baron haussmann & the wide streets of paris
  14. 14. how about this artifact? can it be political?
  15. 15. redesigned to face contemporary urban realities this bench comes standard with a center arm to discourage overnight stays in its comfortable embrace
  16. 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. 17. a univ california’s mechanical tomato harvester $50,000
  18. 18. are there technologies that inherently political?
  19. 19. characterizing political technologies centralization or decentralization? egalitarian or inegalitarian? repressive or liberating? authoritarian or democratic?
  20. 20. technologies and politics some technologies are always political (inherently) some technologies are usually associated with particular political arrangement

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