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Culture and Technology

A Primer

Jennifer Daryl Slack and J. Macgregor Wise

From mobile phones to surveillance cameras, from fracking to genetically modified food, we live in an age of intense debate about technology’s place in our culture. Culture and Technology is an essential guide to that debate and its fascinating history. It is a primer for beginners and an invaluable resource for those deeply committed to understanding the new digital culture. The award-winning first edition (2005) has been comprehensively updated to incorporate new technologies and contemporary theories about them. Slack and Wise untangle and expose cultural assumptions that underlie our thinking about technology, stories so deeply held we often don’t recognize their influence. The book considers the perceived inevitability of technological progress, the role of control and convenience, and the very sense of what technology is. It considers resistance to dominant stories by Luddites, the Unabomber, and the alternative technology movement. Most important, it builds an alternative, cultural studies approach for engaging technological culture, one that considers politics, economics, space, time, identity, and change. After all, what we think and what we do make a difference.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Slack, Jennifer Daryl. [Culture + technology] Culture and technology: a primer / Jennifer Daryl Slack & J. Macgregor Wise. — Second edition. pages cm Second edition of Culture + technology / Jennifer Daryl Slack, J. Macgregor Wise. 2005. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Technology—Philosophy. 2. Technology—Social aspects. 3. Technology and civilization. I. Wise, J. Macgregor (John Macgregor) II. Title. T14.S58 303.48’3—dc23 2014033105 ISBN 978-1-4331-0775-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1450-2 (e-book)

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

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