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Technology and the Common Good: The Unity and Division of a Democratic Society

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Technology and the Common Good

The Unity and Division of a Democratic Society

Allen W. Batteau

234 pages, 16 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-526-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-527-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This is a thoughtful and well-written exploration of the role of technology in facilitating or deterring public welfare in democratic societies … Drawing on his remarkably diverse professional experience, the author supports this contention with numerous persuasive examples … I wish it could be read by every STEM student.” • Bryan Pfaffenberger, University of Virginia

“It is a tour de force in the field of technology studies that is the capstone of this accomplished scholar’s work over his career.” • Anita Puckett, Virginia Tech


Building on the work of Elinor Ostrom (Governing the Commons) the author examines how the different shared goods of a democratic society are shaped by technology and  demonstrates how club goods, common pool resources, and public goods are supported, enhanced, and disrupted by technology. He further argues that as the common good is undermined by different interests, it should be possible to reclaim technology, if the members of the society conclude that they have something in common.

Allen Batteau is a cultural anthropologist, Professor at Wayne State University's Department of Anthropology, and former director of the University's Institute for Information Technology and Culture. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Air Force, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and numerous other corporate and international bodies. He is a certified private pilot, and co-author (with Jing Hyung-Sing) of Dragon in the Cockpit (Routledge, 2015), a study of cultural issues in aviation safety.

Subject: Anthropology (General)


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