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The meshing of impersonal and personal forces in technological action.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/08/2006
JournalCulture, Theory and Critique
Number of pages16
Original languageEnglish


Many critical approaches ascribe a deficit of meaning to technology. The theory of technological action developed in the paper treats technology as an important, eventful terrain for collective life. Drawing on Michel Foucault's idea of problematisation, it places contemporary technological actions in settings suffused by power relations. It finds in the work of Gilbert Simondon ways of explaining how technological action overflows social norms, forms, identities and structures. Based on analysis of processes of abstraction and concretisation in a spectrum of symptomatic examples, it contends that cultural theory should develop understandings of the potentials that give rise to technological acts as a way of being with others. The paper suggests how cultural theory can engage with the specificities of these actions.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Sociology