Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.


Exclusion by design: technology and the shaping of inequalities 
Riccardo De Cristano (University of bologna)
Alexander Paulsson (Lund University)
Marc Brightman (Università di Bologna)
Send message to Convenors
Wednesday 8 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Technology is seen as a neutral process by progressives and conservatives, its advancement is praised as the key to solving any issues. However, the fourth industrial revolution is coupled with unmatched inequalities: this session aims to analyze how emerging technologies can produce injustices.

Long Abstract:

In 2021, non-fungible tokens and touristic space travel made it to the front pages, while billions of dollars poured into high-speed infrastructures and luxury facilities. High-fashion and technology stocks outperformed the market, while inequalities kept growing.

Current society appears to be dominated by the exclusiveness' paradigm. Most people are excluded from political and economical resources. High-net-worth individuals' exclusive lifestyles make them stand apart from the rest of the 99%. If the role played by financial markets and conspicuous consumption patterns in shaping and maintaining inequalities has been thoroughly investigated earlier, fewer words have been spent on the role of technology itself.

With the emergence of new technologies, new forms of exclusions are set up. Non-fungible-tokens are "one-of-a-kind" assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property while lacking a tangible form. NFTs rely on the digital uniqueness (exclusiveness) obtained through cryptography (excluding the third party from accessing messages). Space travels set billionaires physically apart from the world. International airports, high-speed trains are designed to connect urban elites, while excluding most territories. Technologies' own designs embed segregation, thus enforcing unequal relations among society because they were made by profit-hungry and/or rent-seeking corporations. Because of this 'exclusion by design', we invite critical studies of technology and its significance in producing and reproducing inequalities. We look for critical engagements with the abovementioned nexuses, through both theoretical analyses and case studies, showing how innovations have given Promethean emancipation for the few, and fetters for the many.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -