Society and culture

The work of this cluster addresses the entanglements of technology and culture at all levels, from the question of subjectivity and the wiring of the neo-liberal brain to the place of technology in theories of historical progress. The work of the cluster addresses the social impact of technologies but also the ways in which social and cultural context shape new technology designs, not only in the sense that designers are social beings but through broader social and cultural processes that condition what we can expect (and hope for) from technology. We draw on all kinds of theory, from Rousseau to post-humanist theory, and have research ongoing that investigates a variety of technologies, from bicycles to 3-D printers. Our interest is critical as well as scientific and our research examines the use of digital technologies in specific social contexts, such as the criminal justice system and on issues of gender-inclusive and non-disabling design. We are also interested in questions of critical method and the historical mutability of the human/non-human divide.