In a recent a Washington Post article –– journalist Drew Harwell discusses the social consequences of internet-connected door cameras.
Read this article closely and write an essay that responds to the author’s concerns regarding the social significance of this new technology. In writing your essay, you should consider the following questions:
- What social “problem” are these new technologies designed to “solve,” according to the companies that make them?
- How was this “problem” addressed before the introduction of these devices? In other words, how did people live without it?
- How do the people interviewed for the story actually use these technologies? What additional uses do they describe?
- What new “affordances” does the technology introduce? How does the “design” of the device affect its use?
- Why is this new technology controversial? What are some examples of the risks?
- Who supports the use of this technology? Why?
- How might this new technology change society and social relationships? How do the concepts of technological determinism and social construction of technology apply to this case?
- What does the development of this technology suggest about the idea of progress? How would we define “progress” in this case?
Your essay should incorporate insights and ideas from of the course readings and discussions to date – specifically, issues related to the concept of technological determinism, the idea of progress, and the social construction of technology.
In writing your paper, you should refer to the following course readings:
- Leo Marx, Technology Review (1987): 33-41, 71.
- David E. Nye, Technology Matters (2007), 17-31.
- Philip Brey, Inside the Politics of Technology (2005), 61-73.
- Ian Hutchby, Sociology (2001), 441-456.
- Woodrow Hartzog, Privacy’s Blueprint (2019), 21-55.
Your paper must include specific, appropriate references to at least three of these readings.
When citing specific examples or quotations from these readings, you should use parenthetical references that include the author’s last name and page number(s). For example:
Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden, believed that self-reliance allowed one to avoid the trickery and fraud of selling (Friedman, 26-27).
If using the author’s name in the text of your sentence, then cite the page numbers only. For example:
According to Friedman, Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden, believed that self-reliance allowed one to avoid the trickery and fraud of selling (26-27).