A framework of attitudes towards technology in theory and practice


KERSCHNER Christian EHLERS Melf-Hinrich

Rok publikování 2016
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Ecological Economics
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

www http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800916302129
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.02.010
Obor Ekonomie
Klíčová slova Attitudes; Technology; Sustainability; Optimism; Pessimism; Content analysis
Popis A trend analysis of Eurobarometer data shows that attitudes towards science and technology are diversifying in the EU, with enthusiasm clearly losing out to more ambivalent stances. In the past any diversion from unquestioned optimism was interpreted as a bad sign and attributed to the public's ignorance. Today it is often welcomed as a sign of an increasingly emancipated public. In the sustainability sciences, including Ecological Economics, attitudes towards technology also cover a wide spectrum, the formalisation and exploration of which are the goals of this paper. Drawing on social and philosophical studies of technology and insights from Ecological Economics and related fields, we develop a framework of attitudes towards technology consisting of four main categories: Enthusiasm, Determinism, Romanticism and Scepticism. We illustrate the empirical relevance of our framework with a qualitative content analysis of Ecological Economics lecture material. The analysis uncovered and mapped a diversity of views, which co-exist without an open debate. It suggests difficulties of scholars to consistently articulate their techno-attitudes, except for enthusiasm. Our framework could help to amplify underlying vocabularies and visions of research and teaching in Ecological Economics and beyond. It could be applied in both deeper qualitative and broader quantitative analysis.

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