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Accepted Paper:

Technological Consumption, Deskilling and the Future of ‘Sub-Species’ In Tanzania  
Armstrong Matogwa (University of Dar es Salaam)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper shows the limitations of the dominant approaches to science and technology; it argues, unlike the positive dimension of Western technology as widely published, it has also resulted into deskilling of other technologies in the 'South'.

Paper Abstract:

The dominant approach on the relationship between technology and society is a positive one; many literature in anthropology and sociology shows how technological advancement results to modernization or social development in various aspects. There are also few literature in the negative dimensions, which tries to criticize the “technology-development” thesis. These shows the impacts of technology on climate change, war etc. however the relationship between technological consumption and deskilling of certain groups of people has not attracted much attention in academia. The main assumption in this article is that human beings are divided into sub species i.e. social positions with regard to the global capitalism; these positions are contradictory to the extent that success in one group (center) in forms of economy, polity, technology etc. leads to crises in the other group (periphery). By using the concept of "headless body" and "epistemicide" developed by waThiong’o N. (1986) and Santos B. (2015) respectively, this study argues though technological consumption in the periphery is dominantly viewed as a form of progress, it constantly kills traditional technologies. This process of deskilling creating hostile living conditions for the people in the periphery and thus put their future in vain.

Panel P210
Technology matters: ethnographies of technological adoption beyond the Western world
  Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -