Chapter 4 Data interests and data cultures
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The shape of sociotechnical change is a complex of human and nonhuman factors that are thrown together in design, adoption, use and governance. However, not in an arbitrary fashion. Sociotechnical change is made, it has politics, and it has cultures. This also means that the ‘technological momentum’ (Hughes, 1983, 1987) that enables a consolidation of change represents a compromise between these multifaceted cultural interests. In this chapter we examine ‘cultures of technology’ (Hughes, 1983) as particular ‘normalities’ (Kuhn, 1970) of knowledge foundations, worldviews and conceptual frameworks for the practices of developers, lawmakers and citizens. A shared culture is what shapes the system’s technological momentum and accordingly competing cultures, and interests, must convert to a dominant culture of or perish. As such, technological change is first and foremost a negotiation between interests and a question of power and very human interests in power and dominion.

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