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Humanist technology understanding and the promises of posthumanism

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Today, it seems that a general awareness and concern about the consequences of digitalisation and data on our daily lives, is widely acknowledged. So central points from STS, namely that technology has agential and political qualities and unforeseen consequences, seems to have become mainstream. As an example of this, in Denmark a new course in public school has been proposed, that focuses on technology understanding. The new course entitled “Teknologiforståelse” is based upon fields neighbouring to STS, such as Design thinking, computational thinking and participatory design. In this paper, I will present and analyse the different conceptions of technology, design and human agency proposed in the written descriptions of course and relate them to posthumanist STS. A crucial point, I wish to make, is that the description to a large degree promote and articulate a social determinist understanding of technology. In the different learning practices and objectives described in the course, technology is mainly depicted as an object, we as human beings can unpack, de-scribe, scrutinise and re-design in order to allegedly master and take control of it and the digital. Admittedly, these ambitions are difficult to disagree with, but they also nonetheless continue a primarily humanist and instrumentalist understanding of technology. Thereby, missing other types of being and thinking with technology, that are perhaps more adequate and in then end more promising.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventEASST4S2020: Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds - Prag, Poland
Duration: 18 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


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