Buckets, bollards and bombs: towards subject histories of technologies and terrors

Citation
Title:
Buckets, bollards and bombs: towards subject histories of technologies and terrors
Author:
Year: 
2011
Publication: 
History and Technology
Volume: 
27
Issue: 
4
Start Page: 
391
End Page: 
416
Publisher: 
Taylor and Francis
Language: 
English
URL: 
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07341512.2011.622149
Select license: 
No License (All right reserved)
DOI: 
10.1080/07341512.2011.622149
PMID: 
ISSN: 
Abstract:

This article provides a theoretical and empirical contribution to the political history of technology by articulating a new conceptual perspective on the power of technological things and through outlining a history of modern urban technological terror and terror- ism. It introduces a user-centered perspective on technological politics in the form of ‘subject histories of technology’ which, contrasting with prevalent ‘object histories of technology’ on technological inventions and innovators, emphasize the self-fashioning power of technological artifacts. Through an overview history of technology of ‘terror- mindedness’ covering the three subsequent waves of urban terror arising from aerial bombardment, nuclear weapons and substate terrorism it shows how technologies have been used by individual citizens to cope with the experience of man-made fear and insecurity. In conclusion it argues that the political history of technology should to the focus on community politics and system politics of big institutional technologies add an attention to the personal politics of the emotional and material power of small technical things. 

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