CMN 61901 University of New Hampshire Internet Connected Door Cameras Essay
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In a recent a Washington Post article – “Ring and Nest Helped Normalize American Surveillance and Turned Us into a Nation of Voyeurs” – journalist Drew Harwell discusses the social consequences of internet-connected door cameras.
Read this article closely and write an essay that responds to the author’s concerns regarding the social significance of this new technology. In writing your essay, you should consider the following questions:
- What social “problem” are these new technologies designed to “solve,” according to the companies that make them?
- How was this “problem” addressed before the introduction of these devices? In other words, how did people live without it?
- How do the people interviewed for the story actually use these technologies? What additional uses do they describe?
- What new “affordances” does the technology introduce? How does the “design” of the device affect its use?
- Why is this new technology controversial? What are some examples of the risks?
- Who supports the use of this technology? Why?
- How might this new technology change society and social relationships? How do the concepts of technological determinism and social construction of technology apply to this case?
- What does the development of this technology suggest about the idea of progress? How would we define “progress” in this case?
Your essay should incorporate insights and ideas from of the course readings and discussions to date – specifically, issues related to the concept of technological determinism, the idea of progress, and the social construction of technology.
In writing your paper, you should refer to the following course readings:
- Leo Marx, “Does Improved Technology Mean Progress?,” Technology Review (1987): 33-41, 71.
- David E. Nye, “Does Technology Control Us?,” Technology Matters (2007), 17-31.
- Philip Brey, “Artifacts as Social Agents,” Inside the Politics of Technology (2005), 61-73.
- Ian Hutchby, “Technologies, Texts, and Affordances,” Sociology (2001), 441-456.
- Woodrow Hartzog, “Why Design is Everything,” Privacy’s Blueprint (2019), 21-55.
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