200 pages | 4 B/W Illus.
This book demonstrates how technology and society shape one another and that there are intrinsic connections between technological experiences and social relationships. It employs an array of theoretical concepts and methodological tools to examine the technology–society nexus among three urban groups in India (traditional caste-based handloom weavers, subaltern Dalit communities, and informal female labour).
It provides evidence of how innovations such as industrial technologies, communication technologies, and workplace technologies are not only about strides in science and engineering but also about politics and sociology on the ground. The book contributes to the growing research in innovation studies and technology policy that establishes how technological processes and outcomes are contingent on complex sociological variables and contexts. The author offers an inclusive, holistic, and inter-disciplinary approach in understanding the field of innovation and technological change and development by involving various methodologies (network analysis, archival work, oral histories, focus group discussions, interviews).
The book will serve as reference for researchers and scholars in social sciences, especially those interested in development studies, science and technology policy and innovation studies, ICT policy, public policy, management, social work and research methods, economics, sociology, social exclusion and subaltern studies, women’s studies, and South Asian studies. It will also be useful to non-governmental organisations, activists and policymakers.
Figures and Tables
1. Introduction: From Stately Temples of Modernity to Sleek Silver Bullets
2. A Network Study of Two Handloom Weavers’ Clusters
3. Community Social Capital and Inherited Cohesive Networks
4. Subaltern Castes and the Promise of ICTs
5. Unpacking a Convergence and Exploring New Digital Divides
6. A Technological Panacea for Women Garbage Collectors
With Neethi P. and Saloni Mundra
7. Final Thoughts
There is little doubt that science and technology are the most influential agents of global circulation of cultures. Science & Technology Studies (STS) is a well-established discipline that has for some time challenged simplistic understanding of science and technology (S&T) by drawing on perspectives from history, philosophy and sociology. However, an asymmetry between ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ cultures continues, not only in the production of new S&T but also in their analysis. At the same time, these cultures which have little contribution to the understanding of S&T are also becoming their dominant consumers. More importantly, S&T are themselves getting modified through the interaction with the historical, cultural and philosophical worldviews of the non-western cultures and this is creating new spaces for the interpretation and application of S&T. This series takes into account these perspectives and sets right this global imbalance by promoting monographs and edited volumes which analyse S&T from multicultural and comparative perspectives.