Technological Visions

The Hopes and Fears that Shape New Technologies

Edited by Marita Sturken, Douglas Thomas, and Sandra J. Ball Rokeach
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-227-0
Publication: May 04

HC: $79.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-226-3
Publication: May 04

384 pages
6 x 9
4 tables, 6 figs., 11 halftones, 2 maps

Our hopes and dreams for new technologies


For as long as people have developed new technologies, there has been debate over the purposes, shape, and potential for their use. In this exciting collection, a range of contributors, including Sherry Turkle, Lynn Spigel, John Perry Barlow, Langdon Winner, David Nye, and Lord Asa Briggs, discuss the visions that have shaped "new" technologies and the cultural implications of technological adaptation. Focusing on issues such as the nature of prediction, community, citizenship, consumption, and the nation, as well as the metaphors that have shaped public debates about technology, the authors examine innovations past and present, from the telegraph and the portable television to the Internet, to better understand how our visions and imagination have shaped the meaning and use of technology.


"Telescreens. Virtual communities. Wired cities. Information societies. The World Wide Web. Concepts like these can underpin a movement for or against a technical feasibility. This book is for anyone interested in the social shaping of the history and future of information and communication technologies and their societal implications."
Professor William H. Dutton, Director Oxford Internet Institute

"Sturken, Thomas, and Ball-Rokeach collect a variety of studies on cultural narratives of technological change that investigate ways of understanding the nature and effects of new technology. All of the articles are excellent—interesting, original, and well-written and researched."
Douglas Kellner, George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education, University of California, Los Angeles

"(A) collection of...thoughtful papers."
Communications Booknotes Quarterly

Read a review from the Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, Volume 2.2 (2004), written by Jennifer Sarah Hester (pdf).

"The book as a whole should provoke lively discussions in courses that address the relationship of technology, society, and culture."
Technology and Culture

Table of Contents

Introduction: Technological Visions and the Rhetoric of the New – Marita Sturken and Douglas Thomas
1. "Spinning" Technology: What We Are Not Thinking about When We Are Thinking about Computers – Sherry Turkle
2. Sow's Ears from Silk Purses: The Strange Alchemy of Technological Visionaries – Langdon Winner
3. Mediums and Media – Jeffrey Sconce
4. Mobilities of Time and Space: Technologies of the Modern and the Postmodern – Marita Sturken
5. Man-made Futures, Man-made Pasts – Lord Asa Briggs
6. Portable TV: Studies in Domestic Space Travels – Lynn Spigel
7. Science Fiction Film and the Technological Imagination – Vivian Sobchack
8. Technological Prediction: A Promethean Problem – David E. Nye
9. The Future of Prediction – John Perry Barlow
10. Penguins, Predictions, and Technological Optimism: A Skeptic's View – Wendy M. Grossman
11. Information Superhighways, Virtual Communities, and Digital Libraries: Information Society Metaphors as Political Rhetoric – Peter Lyman
12. Rethinking the Cyberbody: Hackers, Viruses, and Cultural Anxiety – Douglas Thomas
13. Peaceable Kingdoms and New Information Technologies: Prospects for the Nation-State – Carolyn Marvin
14. Somewhere There's a Place for Us: Sexual Minorities and the Internet – Larry Gross
15. Surfin' the Net: Children, Parental Obsolescence, and Citizenship – Sarah Banet-Weiser
16. When the Virtual Isn't Enough – Katie Hafner
17. Place Matters: Journeys through Global and Local Spaces – Richard Chabr´an and Romelia Salinas
18. The Globalization of Everyday Life: Vision and Reality – Jennifer Gibbs, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, Joo-Young Jung, Yong-Chan Kim, and Jack Linchaun Qiu
About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Marita Sturken is Associate Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering and Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (with Lisa Cartwright).

Douglas Thomas is Associate Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He is author of three books, most recently Hacker Culture.

Sandra Ball-Rokeach is a Professor and Director of the Communication Technology and Community Program in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. She is author of several books, including Theories of Mass Communication (with M. L. De Fleur).