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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Toward Technology Studies That Matter

Toward Technology Studies That Matter

(p.241) 11 Toward Technology Studies That Matter
Technically Together

Taylor Dotson

The MIT Press

This chapter provides a summary of the book’s argument. It begins by drawing analogies between the contemporary provision of belonging in technological societies and the Oneida religious commune. The two are more similar than one might first expect. Next, the book’s arguments are summarized. The preceding analysis is described as presenting the networking of community as a case of technological lock-in: The sociotechnical makeup of many so-called advanced nations has made any mode of life other than networked individualism increasingly difficult to realize. Not only do artifacts, techniques, infrastructures and organizations stymie citizens’ efforts but policies, dominant economic arrangements, cultural norms and beliefs, and entrenched practices, in turn, reinforce and stabilize their influence. The chapter ends with a discussion of the advantages of the reconstructivist approach to the question concerning technology and community taken in this book and a call for more technology studies research to focus explicitly on providing assistance ordinary citizens. If technology scholars are not on the forefront of exploring how a more desirable technological civilization might be realized, who will be?

Keywords:   Oneida community, Technological lock-in, Networked individualism, Reconstructivism, Science and technology studies

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