1st Edition

The Social Context of Technological Experiences Three Studies from India

By Anant Kamath Copyright 2020
    158 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    158 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    158 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    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 interdisciplinary approach to 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, information and communication technology (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 nongovernmental 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



    Anant Kamath is a social scientist based in Bangalore, India. He has taught development, social research, and technological change at Azim Premji University, Bangalore. Previously, he was a scholar at the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) in The Netherlands, the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thiruvananthapuram, and the Madras School of Economics. His research interests are in the economic sociology of technological change and experiences, and in the political economy of development. He is also involved in the western classical music scene in Bangalore.