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  • Public defence: 2019-01-25 10:00 Rio Grande, Karlshamn
    Paxling, Linda
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Technology and Aesthetics.
    Transforming technocultures: Feminist Technoscience, Critical Design Practices and Caring Imaginaries2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The digital era has brought forward many innovative technologies but their contribution to resilient, inclusive and sustainable societies remain ambiguous. Innovation has often been considered a key component for production and economic growth, but this notion is gradually changing. Innovation is turning into a practice for societal responsibility and sustainable development, transforming the directionality of the grand challenges of our time. I address this transformation of directionality by focusing on the norms and values which are embedded in technology design. The main objective of this thesis is to develop knowledge on how norms of innovation, technology and development are embedded in technoscientific storytelling and how these narratives affect and are affected by technocultural practices.  I have approached this objective by engaging with technocultures in Uganda and Sweden where I have explored how assemblages of people, technologies and infrastructures merge, overlap and contrast with each other in technological development. The empirical work has been quite different in scope and context and have tackled norms and values differently. In Uganda I met with representatives from the urban ICT community to discuss the challenges and possibilities with the mobile phone infrastructure. I held an Open Space Workshop on mobile development, and met with the co-founders of two women’s tech initiatives. In Sweden I did a pilot study on a norm-critical game culture and worked with critical design practices in a higher learning context.

    The different projects present a complex scenario of how technoscientific stories are power-laden, contradictory and messy. I have located several dominant narratives that affect, and are also affected by, the actors in the different technocultures. The dominant narrative of a linear development of economic growth and technological advancement creates technocultures of marginality and inequality that have ethical implications for individuals and infrastructures in Uganda. Working with feminist and postcolonial technoscience I challenge the binary innovation systems of science and modernity and argue for a more heterogeneous approach to development and epistemology. Another dominant narrative concerns the norms and values of how games and media techno- logy can and should be performed. Working with critical design practices I encourage a learning platform that creatively critiques design processes of ‘the no longer and the not yet’.

    The historical present has created unjust relationships that are systematically power- laden and violent. We cannot ignore these relationships. When we choose to re- imagine science, technology and innovation as transformative with the possibility of subverting these violent relationships, we may be able to foster more response-able and caring relationships. When we acknowledge knowledge production as situated, partial and located we learn to listen for more stories than one.