IS 376 Resisting Technology Issues and Effects

Document Sample
IS 376 Resisting Technology Issues and Effects Powered By Docstoc
					                IS 376
Resisting Technology: Issues and Effects

            Dr. Kapatamoyo

    Technology Determinism
•   Technological determinists view technology
     – as an autonomous force,
     – beyond direct human control, and
     – as the prime cause of social change (Chandler, 1995).

•   Determinists view the expansion of technology as
     – Discontinuous,
     – technological growth not as a gradual, evolutionary process, but as a
       series of revolutionary leaps forward (McCormack, 1994).

•   Determinists commonly have either a radically utopian or
    radically dystopian opinion on technology (Kaplan, 1996).

          Utopia vs. Dystopia
• Utopian determinists believe that technology is

   – a positive and uplifting force that will, over time, mitigate or eliminate
     most or all of the ills that afflict humanity.

   – That technology is leading society towards an ever more utopian

• Dystopian determinists believe
   – that technology is an inherently evil, or dehumanizing, force that will lead,
     inevitably, to the moral, intellectual, or physical destruction of humankind

                        Dystopia Cases
Collective                               Individual

•       Ned Ludd                         Ted Kaczynski
    •        Neo Luddites (collective)
Amish (collective)
Green Peace (collective)
Open source movement (collective)

                 The Hacker

• A hacker is ”a person who enjoys exploring the
  details of programmable systems and how to stretch
  their capabilities" and one who is capable of
  "creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations”.

               The Hacker Ethic
q The hacker ethic formulated by Steven Levy in his 1984 book
  "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" outlines the
  hacker tenets:

    1. Access to computers should be unlimited and Total.

    2. All information should be free.

    3. Mistrust authority - promote decentralization.

    4. Hackers should be judged by their hacking not bogus
       criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.

    5. You create art and beauty on a computer.

    6. Computers can change your life for the better.
Trespass, Unauthorized Access
      and Hacktivision
q Dorothy Denning.
   q Access to computers – and anything which might teach you
     something about the way the world works – should be unlimited
     and total (1996).

q Neil Patrick and six Milwaukee teenagers (1983)
   q Convicted of computer trespassing
   q Claimed “we were just playing a game.”
   q The “Game” involved hacking into Los Alamos National
     Laboratory and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY

q Many people do not see an exact parallel between
  trespassing on a computer system and physical

q Hacktivism:

   q A fusion of politics and activism.

   q A policy of hacking, phreaking or creating technology to
     achieve a political or social goal.

   q “Forges conscience with technology and girds us against
     the disagreeable nature of conflict. It allows us to mount
     better arguments, rally unseen allies, and take on any
     tyranny” (by Oxblood Ruffin of the Cult of the Dead Cow).

            Civic Participation
§ How much do we know about the rhetorical dynamics of
  internet protests?

§ Do mass Web protests campaigns make a difference?

§ Do the speed and reach of online communication bring the
  same features to electronic protests?

        Best Practices

§ Web based or Web enabled?

          What is CyberActivism?
• Use of ICTs, e.g. e-mail, list-serv, and the Web, by individuals
  and groups to

   – Communicate with large audiences,

   – Galvanizing individuals around a specific issue or set of

   – And attempt to build solidarity towards meaningful
     collective actions.

• Changes in patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural
  production are changing

   – and that the way information and knowledge are made
     available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can
     create and express themselves.

          Observed Outcomes
• Successful outcomes transform existing structures of

   – Cultural,

   – Economic, and

   – Political power

           Success or Failure

• Success is not measured in terms of the
  achievement of absolute concrete goals or
  concessions from those in power, but rather
  a transformation of consciousness and a
  source of moral vision and voice.

§ The Web is capacious enough to accommodate protests with
  more elongated timelines.

§ The Web intensifies the Internet’s non-hierarchical structure.

§ Can mobilize globally.

§ Web protests are more efficient than text and e-mail based

          New Social Movements
• Accompanying the emergence of “post-industrial” societies,
  in which advanced technology and service-based economies
  are centrifugal, has been the rise of “new” social movements

   – based on identity-issues and operate at the grassroots

   – consist of networks of relations between a plurality of
     actors, a sense of collective identity, and shared
     conflictual issues.

         New Social Movements

• Because the ties between new social movement actors are
  flexible, participants are able to reach wide and
  heterogeneous audiences that can organize from different
  angles to form broad coalitions across various movement

           New Social Movements
• Groups that are marginal and blocked by the prevailing
  institutions can link together and cooperate in ways that
  transcend these institutions.

• Such movements create “subversive invisible connections
  across state boundaries and the established channels
  between them…these interstitial networks translate human
  goals into organizational means”.

• Frames are ways of packaging and presenting ideas and are
  used as a source of persuasive communication to convince
  others to join a particular struggle (McAdam, 1996).

• To mobilize support, organizers must create simple and
  concise yet broad movement goals to attract diverse
  constituencies – an organizing strategy characterized by a
  “master frame” (Snow and Benford, 1992; Benford, 1993).

• Gamson, (1992): for a frame to go from
  understanding to motivating action it must have the
  elements of injustice, identity and agency.

   – Framing helps explain the articulation of grievances,

   – the dynamics of recruitment and mobilization, and

   – the maintenance of solidarity and collective identity.


• Acting collectively requires the development of solidarity and
  an oppositional consciousness that allows a challenging
  group to identify common injustices, to oppose those
  injustices, and to define a shared interest in opposing the
  dominant group or resisting the system of authority
  responsible for those injustices (Taylor and Van Dyke, 2003)

        Social Movement Theory

• Social movement theory is an interdisciplinary study
  within the social sciences that generally seeks to
  explain why social mobilization occurs, the forms
  under which it manifests, as well as potential social,
  cultural, and political consequences.

   – More recently, the study of social movements has been
     subsumed under the study of contentious politics (e.g.
     environment, new technology, political economy).

         Social Movement Theory
• Social movement theory recognizes the implications of
  globalizing trends and how they affect collective action.

   – One defining feature of the growing number of transnational
     movements is that they tend to frame, interpret, and attribute their
     grievances to global issues, including global standards of justice.


Shared By: