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Technically TogetherReconstructing Community in a Networked World$
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Taylor Dotson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036382

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036382.001.0001

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Techniques and Gadgets: Socializing Individuals or Developing Communitarian Beings?

Techniques and Gadgets: Socializing Individuals or Developing Communitarian Beings?

(p.107) 6 Techniques and Gadgets: Socializing Individuals or Developing Communitarian Beings?
Technically Together

Taylor Dotson

The MIT Press

This chapter begins with the observation that people must learn the dispositions, expectations and capacities necessary for thick communal life. Hence, the techniques and tools that make up everyday life from birth are just as important as urban form and the Internet. The “cry-it-out” method and the provision of private bedrooms enculturates an attachment to ideas of independence and self-reliance. The narrow provisioning of youth autonomy to automobile, information and retail networks teaches children that freedom comes from detaching from one’s ties. Traditionally, youth autonomy was afforded through community rather than outside of it. Technologies like air conditioning, television, and personal digital devices encourage private cocooning over public congregation. Technologies like the concealed carry handgun and social robots provide private alternatives to the collective provision of safety and intimacy. Finally, hard to repair or overly complex technologies stymie the development of communities of repair and tinkering.

Keywords:   Development, Socialization, Self-reliance, Communities of repair, Technological cocooning, Communitarian beings, Communal autonomy

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