Circular Cause and Consequence

Wikipedia defines technological determinism as “a reductionist theory that presumes that a society’s technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values.” The article “Digital Habitus”, by Steve Wheelers, defines cultural capital as “the human assets each of us owns, including our intellect, personal navigation of society and its artifacts, our cultural awareness (….) the accretion of all that has been learnt through immersion within a specific culture”.

These two concepts presented themselves via my University studies this year. My interpretation simplifies the statements as: one concept states that technology influences a culture, and the other concept states that culture determines it own values through experience. If my interpretation is correct, then I believe them to be both right. To assume so, means that one has to consider technological determinism in the digital age. The concept has been argued, defined, and produced variations of, since the 1880’s (relatively the same time as another form of communication was invented—the telephone—give or take a decade). Synchronicity, I suppose, as now in good ol’ contemporary 2015 (give or take another decade), social media is changing society by continuing to offer new modes of communication (Facebook in 2004, and Then twitter in 2006, etc.).

Communication and community both originate from the latin term “commūnicāre”, which means to share. In most cultures, sharing is a valued aspect that continually grows, and is specific to need. Therefore, if a culture values efficiency of communication, than the culture will also value technology that enables communication.

Both part of a loop, one existing because of the other.



2 thoughts on “Circular Cause and Consequence

  1. I really liked what you said about social media being a mode of communication and community. We have heard from Dean Shareski who mentioned that we need to rethink the concept of community. A lot of teachers believe that that means we have to have a sense of community in the classroom, they may not think about having a community online (like our google community). However, this may be because of the limitations on their website access.

    Personally I am on the fence about having a class ‘page’ or ‘group’ on a social media site because of the lawsuits and the negative affect it has caused in schools, but if I am in a school division that allows and encourages the use of communities online then it would be really beneficial for students when they are not in the class.

  2. Agree with Cecile about having a class page due to the current course I am in about law and what some of the cases have came out of social media. I do feel that the classroom should be a community though but for how this community interacts outside of the classroom should not be followed up on a website. Maybe someday there will be a blog that controls everything that is posted or the students need a login to form an online community.

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