Dreamscapes of modernity : sociotechnical imaginaries and the fabrication of power

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Dreamscapes of Modernity : Sheila Jasanoff :

By introducing the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries, Jasanoff and Kim calm some of the restless battles of boundaries and binaries Science and Technology Studies faces today. The concept offers a new approach to the relationship between technology and politics which cuts through many existing assumptions. Dichotomies of descriptive and normative, material and mental, agency and structure are seen here losing their charm in the face of a new analytical frame which cuts through some of these lines of demarcation.

The book features a range of diverse case studies which show how the idea of sociotechnical imaginaries could be useful in a huge range of very different contexts. Rhodes needed to envision and enact interrelated material and social orders to be able to share his imaginary with people of different interests. The third chapter by Michael Aaron Dennis readdresses Cold War science and the problem of state and military patronage of science.

State policies and the freedom of science and scientists are approached here from a new angle focusing on social imaginaries. The fourth chapter gives an account on the visions of telecenters and technological innovation in postgenocide Rwanda. In an age in which state and corporate actors have increasing power over our movements via technologies, these case studies return to important examples from the history of technology to explore how science and technology have an incredible power to shape subjectivity.

Whilst some chapters discuss European contexts, others discuss Africa and contribution by co-editor Sang-Hyun Kim brings Asia into the discussion, focusing on the relation between sociotechnical imaginaries and social movements in South Korea. Likewise, the eighth chapter by Suzanne Moon and the ninth chapter by Joshua Barker both center around social imaginaries in Indonesia. Visions of the New Order and of Onno Purbo, of freedom fighters and guerilla engineers are analyzed in details. The tenth chapter addresses visions of genetically modified rice in China and explores the relation between the traditional view of rice holds the nation together by easing the demographic tension and the visions of biotechnology as both a threat to what is Chinese and an opportunity to secure order and coherence for the nation.

These sections will be an important read for anyone interested in Chinese and pan-Asian politics. The final five chapters turn to the global context directly and discuss how corporate, state, local and not-for-profit parties use and might use technological innovation to achieve their ends. Such discussions make us acutely aware of the power of technology and how we must be both wary of its potential and able to use and harness its opportunities.

One focus is on sociotechnical imaginaries of different global securities. Manish Goel. The History of Human Space Flight. Ted Spitzmiller. Stepping Stones to the Stars. Terry C Treadwell. History of Technology Volume Frank James.

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Dreamscapes Of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries And The Fabrication Of Power

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