“Disasterologies”

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Abstract:

This brief position paper explores our current confrontation with technology through a model of the accident. Focusing on failure, risk and malfunctioning technology, the paper offers the notion of disasterologies as an alternative approach to technology studies. Such an approach suggests both a less deterministic and instrumentalized drive than is often found in theories of technology and society as well as a less certain role of the subject in its relation to technology. Disasterologies re‐imagines the accident as that which eludes the modern subject's mastery over the built environment through scientific knowledge and “technological rationality.” By foregrounding when technology fails, disasterologies implies a subject neither entirely in control nor entirely at the mercy of technology, one whose condition of contingency re‐opens questions of agency, intentionality, and subjectivity itself.

Keywords: Agency; Failure; Rationalization; Subjectivity; Technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02691720500145381

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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