Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95 (2008)
|Abstract||This essay presents a theory of the role of technology in the distribution and exercise of social power. The paper studies how technical artefacts and systems are used to construct, maintain or strengthen power relations between agents, whether individuals or groups, and how their introduction and use in society differentially empowers and disempowers agents. The theory is developed in three steps. First, a definition of power is proposed, based on a careful discussion of opposing definitions of power, and it is argued that a theory of power should have two components: a theory of power relations and a theory of empowerment. Second, an analysis of power relations is presented, in which five basic types of power relations between agents are distinguished, and this analysis is applied to technology, resulting in an account of the possible roles of technical artefacts in power relations. Third, I analyse how technology can lead to or contribute to empowerment and disempowerment, and what resistance strategies are possible against disempowerment through technological means. The theory of technology and power presented in this paper is claimed to be an essential ingredient of a critical theory of technology, which is a theory that analyses and critiques the role of technology in the distribution and exercise of power in society. In the final section of this paper, it is argued that the theoretical analysis of power and technology presented in this paper provides an adequate basis for the further development of such a critical theory of technology. I study how it may, specifically, be used to develop strategies for the democratization of technology.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Peter Morriss (2002). Power: A Philosophical Analysis. Manchester University Press.
Amy Allen (1998). Power Trouble: Performativity as Critical Theory. Constellations 5 (4):456-471.
Amy Allen (1998). Rethinking Power. Hypatia 13 (1):21 - 40.
Graeme Kirkpatrick (2008). Technology and Social Power. Palgrave Macmillan.
Andrew Feenberg (2009). Radical Philosophy of Technology. Radical Philosophy Review 12 (1/2):199-217.
Wade Rowland (2005). Recognizing the Role of the Modern Business Corporation in the "Social Construction" of Technology. Social Epistemology 19 (2 & 3):287 – 313.
Ciaran Cronin (1996). Bourdieu and Foucault on Power and Modernity. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (6):55-85.
Brian Thomas (2011). Unraveling and Discovering: The Conceptual Relations Between the Concept of Power and the Concept of Empowerment. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):443-463.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads53 ( #19,343 of 549,070 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #25,703 of 549,070 )
How can I increase my downloads?