University of Twente Student Theses


Cultural translation of technological modernization : postphenomenology and technological mediation of culture

Kenaw Fantaw, S. (2006) Cultural translation of technological modernization : postphenomenology and technological mediation of culture.

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Abstract:Drawing on the postphenomenological perspectives developed by Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek, this thesis will deal with the cultural translation of technological modernization and the technological mediation of cultures. Postphenomenology radically departs from classical phenomenology (as developed by Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Marleau-Ponty) by conceptualizing the field of human-world relation as a relation of mutual constitution and coshaping. Technological artifacts are part and parcel of this relation. In mediating this relation, technological devices actively modify or coshape it. This thesis will try to expand on this posphenomenological theory by extending its interpretive framework to a cross-cultural context where technologies get new cultural meanings while also actively mediating or coshaping culture. The paper has got four chapters. The first chapter deals with the conceptual framework and defines the research questions. Chapter two, after reviewing literature that deal with cultural preparation of technological modernization, presents the postphenomenological theory of technological mediation. This chapter also discusses the cultural mediation of technologies with particular emphasis on Ihde’s theory of technology transfer. Chapter three presents how technologies could be reconstituted into new cultural frameworks. This chapter critically reviews Ihde’s theory of technology transfer. The second part of the chapter is devoted to discussing a few examples from Ethiopia in light of the postphenomenological theory of technology. This section especially discusses how technologies Ethiopia imported during the end and beginning of the twentieth centuries was reconstituted into the social and cultural reality of the country. The fourth chapter focuses on the role of technologies in shaping culture. This chapter has also both theoretical and empirical analyses. Finally, we have a conclusion. Here, in addition to further critiquing various theories of technology transfer, I will present my own views and suggest that phenomenology calls for an elaborate theory of culture.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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