Technocriticism is a branch of
critical theorydevoted to the study of technological change.
Technocriticism treats technological transformation as historically specific changes in personal and social practices of
research, invention, regulation, distribution, promotion, appropriation, use, and discourse, rather than as an autonomous or socially indifferent accumulation of useful inventions, or as an uncritical narrative of linear " progress", " development" or " innovation".
Technocriticism studies these personal and social practices in their changing practical and cultural significance. It documents and analyzes both their private and public uses, and often devotes special attention to the relations among these different uses and dimensions. Recurring themes in technocritical discourse include the
deconstructionof essentialistconcepts such as " health", " human", " nature" or "norm".
Technocritical theory can be either "descriptive" or "prescriptive" in tone. Descriptive forms of technocriticism include some scholarship in the
history of technology, science and technology studies, cyberculturestudies and philosophy of technology. More prescriptive forms of technocriticism can be found in the various branches of technoethics, for example, media criticism, infoethics, bioethics, neuroethics, roboethics, nanoethics, existential riskassessment and some versions of environmental ethicsand environmental designtheory.
Figures engaged in technocritical scholarship and theory include
Donna Harawayand Bruno Latour(who work in the closely related field of science studies), N. Katherine Hayles(who works in the field of Literature and Science), Phil Agree and Mark Poster(who works in intellectual history), Marshall McLuhanand Friedrich Kittler(who work in the closely related field of media studies), Susan Squier and Richard Doyle(who work in the closely related field of medical sociology), and Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, and Michel Foucault(who sometimes wrote about the philosophy of technology). Technocriticism can be juxtaposed with a number of other innovative interdisciplinary areas of scholarship which have surfaced in recent years such as technoscienceand technoethics.
* [http://www.asbh.org/ American Society for Bioethics + Humanities]
* [http://www.uiowa.edu/~commstud/resources/bordercrossings/cyborgs.html Border Crossings: Cyborgs]
* [http://www.springeronline.com/sgw/cda/frontpage/0,11855,4-0-70-35553605-0,00.html?referer=www.wkap.nl Ethics and Information Technology]
* [http://www.indiana.edu/~tisj/ The Information Society: An International Journal]
* [http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/modern_fiction_studies/toc/mfs43.3.html Modern Fiction Studies 43.3/Fall 1997, Special Issue: Technocriticism and Hypernarrative]
* [http://rockethics.psu.edu/smtc/index.htm Science, Medicine and Technology in Culture Program at Penn State University]
* [http://www.litsci.org/ Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts]
* [http://technoculture.ucdavis.edu/ Technocultural Studies at the University of California at Davis]
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