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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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Achieving Communitarian Techniques and Artifacts

Achieving Communitarian Techniques and Artifacts

(p.185) 9 Achieving Communitarian Techniques and Artifacts
Technically Together

Taylor Dotson

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the socio-political factors that ensure the obduracy of thinly communal domestic environments, child-rearing techniques, and consumer technologies. Sociopolitical support is lacking for heat sources that encourage congregation and for the practice of collective mealtimes. Cultural ideas and anxieties regarding sleep and child development deter parents from co-sleeping with their children. A lack of architectural imagination and municipal support makes it challenging to build vibrant and comfortable public spaces. Budget crunches and “warrior cop” culture stand in the way of more communal policing arrangements. Family members’ lack of sufficient experience working through conflict productively and several wrongheaded policies prevent the better integration of the aged into thick social webs. Finally, take back laws and tool libraries are likely be necessary if communities of repair are to flourish. In any case, targeting the artifacts that support networked individualism is probably more challenging than larger scale technologies, given the dominance of technologically liberal worldviews. Insofar as citizens see technologies as volition-enhancers rather than also barriers to desirable modes of life, any intervention is liable to be seen as infringing on their freedom.

Keywords:   Artifacts, Techniques, Technological liberalism, Community policing, Communities of repair, Co-sleeping, Obduracy, Domestic technology, Interpersonal conflict

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