Technology, Cyberbole, Reality
Edited by Steve Woolgar
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Virtual Society? by Steve Woolgar
Book DescriptionAlmost all aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life stand to be affected by the new electronic technologies. Virtual Society? is one vision of the consequential impact of these technologies. But to what extent and in what ways are the Internet and other electronic technologies really changing our lives? To what extent are we moving to a 'virtual society'? This collection provides a comprehensive set of detailed empirical studies of the genesis and use of these new technologies, ranging widely across application areas: from cyber-cafes to new media; email and organizational memory: to surveillance-capable technologies in the workplace; virtual reality to CCTV in high-rise housing; stock exchange addicts to student study networks. It offers a unique perspective - analytic scepticism - for making sense of some surprisingly counterintuitive results, and for developing a refreshingly critical view of many taken-for-granted assumptions about the impact of the Internet on social relations and institutions. Each chapter presents a high quality exemplar of its own disciplinary perspective, addressed to a general social science audience. The diversity of disciplinary perspectives is brought to bear in a central message laid out in the opening discussion of the 'Five Rules of Virtuality', that with due reflexive caution and ironic sensitivity, general messages can be drawn from the observations of particular substantive contexts. In particular, claims that we are moving to a 'virtual society' need to be tempered by a reassessment of connections between what counts as 'real' and 'virtual'. This book will appeal to students and researchers in a very wide range of disciplines, both within and beyond the social sciences and management, and to all practitioners struggling with the realities of the new virtual technologies
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199248766
(234mm x 157mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 26-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Steve Woolgar
Mundane Governance, Hardback (November 2013)
The book aims to explore how governance and accountability are mediated through material relations involving ordinary everyday objects and technologies. It draws on empirical materials in three main areas: waste management and recycling; the regulation and control of traffic; and security and passenger movement in airports.
Virtual Society?, Hardback (September 2002)
This work investigates the precise effects on society of the new and much vaunted electronic technologies (ICTs). Are fundamental shifts already taking place in the way in which we behave, organize, and interact as a direct result of their implementation? The book includes empirical studies.
Machine at Work, Paperback (April 1997)
aeo A clearly written critical assessment of recent approaches to the technical, social and cultural dimensions of technology. aeo This book sheds new light on the implications of new theories for existing ideas about the nature of technology, especially the relation between technology and work.
Laboratory Life, Paperback (September 1986)» View all books by Steve Woolgar
Presents laboratory science in a deliberately skeptical way: as an anthropological approach to the culture of the scientist. This book provides an important link between the sociology of modern sciences and laboratory studies in the history of science.
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Author Biography - Steve Woolgar
Steve Woolgar was Professor of Sociology, Head of the Department of Human Sciences, and Director of CRICT (Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology) until 2000. He has held visiting appointments at McGill University, MIT, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines, Paris, and University of California, San Diego. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, and the winner of an ESRC Senior Reseach Fellowship. He moved to the University of Oxford in autumn 2000 to take up the Chair of Marketing at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. He is currently Director of the ESRC' Virtual Society?' programme.
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