The idea that technology will pave the road to prosperity has been promoted throughboth boom and bust. Today we are told that universal broadband access, high-tech jobs, andcutting-edge science will pull us out of our current economic downturn and m......more
The idea that technology will pave the road to prosperity has been promoted throughboth boom and bust. Today we are told that universal broadband access, high-tech jobs, andcutting-edge science will pull us out of our current economic downturn and move us toward social andeconomic equality. In Digital Dead End, Virginia Eubanks argues that to believethis is to engage in a kind of magical thinking: a technological utopia will come about simplybecause we want it to. This vision of the miraculous power of high-tech development is driven byflawed assumptions about race, class, and gender. The realities of the information age are morecomplicated, particularly for poor and working-class women and families. For them, informationtechnology can be both a tool of liberation and a means of oppression.
But despitethe inequities of the high-tech global economy, optimism and innovation flourished when Eubanksworked with a community of resourceful women living at her local YWCA. Eubanks describes a newapproach to creating a broadly inclusive and empowering "technology for people,"popular technology, which entails shifting the focus from teaching technicalskill to nurturing critical technological citizenship, building resources for learning, andfostering social movement.
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