Slack and Wise ch 10 & 12

Chapter 10 talked about the definition of agency and the Actor-Network Theory. Agency is defined as the power and ability to do something, therefore, assumes an agent possesses that power. Agency is ultimately defined as a human realm and is a process or relationship. Technology theorists developed an argument that technologies are also actors and created the Actor-Network Theory. The theory consists of actors, translation, delegation, and prescription. An actor bends space around itself, like the dog snarling on the sidewalk example would make someone change their path to avoid it, makes other elements dependent upon itself, like people depend on technology and technology depends on other actors like to be repaired or taken care of, and translate to alter for to align with technology, system or culture. “Translation is the process of transformation,” is a sentence in the text that really stood out to me (2007). Altering a form to fit in with a culture or technology is a transformation of the form to become something more acceptable. Delegation is representing someone else and speaking and acting on their behalf and to delegate is to move the tasks to someone else. Prescription got me a little caught up, but how I understood it was whatever was inscribed in the actor is supposed to have an end result. Whatever the product, for example, is supposed to do all the steps used to make the product need to spot on in order for the product to do the job it is inscribed to do. Like for example, when someone gets prescriptions at the doctor’s office, the patient is expecting the medicine to do its job in order to make them feel better. The ingredients added and manufacturing of the prescription are important and need to be done correctly in order the medicine to work. The Actor-Network Theory discovers how networks are built, how they are maintained and transformed, how articulations are made and unmade and what qualities comprise articulations.

Chapter 12 in Slack and Wise’s book, Culture and Technology, talks about the idea of space, social space and spatial presence. Space is physical space, whereas social space is created through interaction of multiple humans over time. Social space is also open and permeable, but still has limits, although, not limited to humans. The concepts of social space are spatial practice, representations of space, and representational space. There are also different modes of communication, orality, literacy, and electronic. Orality is speaking, literacy is reading and print material, and electronic is digitally (Slack & Wise, 2007). What really stood out to me in this chapter was the television becoming the focal point of a room’s design. In magazines in the 1950s televisions were the center of the room even though they were not easily attainable for everyone. It is now decades later and the television is the focal point of a living space. Back in the 50s it was a tool that brought all generations together at once and helped reduce delinquency. Today, the television is seen with a negative connotation because people who watch it are lazy and obese. Some things like having a television as the focal point of the room do not change, but the connotations towards the television have changed over time.

The online article researches the different uses of the internet mainly focusing on the homeless youth. Homeless youth spend an average of an hour a day on the internet, whereas a homeless adult does not spend as much time. The youth are more likely to engage with social interactions on the internet like playing games and social media. Homeless adults usually spend their internet time looking for somewhere to live and to work. Something that confused me was how the text kept mentioning homeless youth would keep in contact with their families through the internet and social media. Why are these children homeless and still trying to keep in contact with their families? Are the children considered homeless if they are still in foster care and want to keep in contact with their families? That makes more sense than if they are homeless living on the streets and minors and still keeping in contact with their families.

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