This book explores the origin and future of "upgrade culture," a collection of cultural habits and orientations based on the assumption that new technologies will rapidly, perpetually, and inevitably emerge.
By analyzing discourses of technological change and the practices of marketing workers inside the consumer technology industry between the early 1980s and the late 2010s, the book describes the genesis, maintenance, and future of upgrade culture. Based on archival and popular sources, first-hand interviews with a range of industry professionals, and participant observations at industry-only events, the book attends to issues both intimate to the culture of marketing work and structural to the organization of the consumer technology industry.
This book will have a broad appeal to social/cultural theorists of technology, marketing, and consumerism, as well as to scholars in business history, communication, cultural studies, media studies, sociology, and anthropology.
The Introduction of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Creating Assumptions about Technological Change 2. The Diffusion of Upgrade Culture 3. Visions of the Future from CES 4. Marketing Workers in Upgrade Culture Conclusion: Challenging Upgrade Culture
Adam Richard Rottinghaus is an Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism & Film at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA. He is a critical, media, and cultural studies scholar who researches strategic communications, emerging technologies, and futurism.