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Sep 27, 2023

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A Critique of Technological Determinism: Unraveling the Complex Web of Technological Influence


The interplay between science, technology, and society has been a subject of fascination, debate, and scholarly inquiry for decades. Among the various perspectives that attempt to elucidate this intricate relationship, technological determinism has emerged as a dominant framework. Technological determinism posits that technology is an autonomous, self-propelling force that drives societal change, often portraying it as an unstoppable juggernaut reshaping human existence. However, this essay seeks to present a critique of technological determinism, drawing upon the findings of alternative theories that have gained prominence in recent years. Specifically, we will delve into the theories of social shaping of technology, social construction of technology, actor-network theory, and feminist new materialism, highlighting their nuanced perspectives on the interaction between technology and society. To illustrate these critiques, we will analyze the example of the smartphone as a technological artifact that embodies the complex relationship between technology and society.

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