17 May Christo Sims–Business and Society Seminar
June 13th, 2019 / 15:00 – 16:30 / Paris Campus (Room 2110)
For the 20th Business & Society Research Seminar, the ESCP Europe Deloitte Chair on the Circular Economy & SustBusy Research Center welcome:
of the University of California San Diego, Department of Communication
Disruptive Fixation: How techno-reformers often remake the very problems they aim to solve
Despite an abundance of good intentions, techno-centric attempts to improve the world routinely fall short of reformers’ stated aims and often end up remaking many of the problems they aim to fix. How does this happen? Moreover, how does widespread enthusiasm for new techno-nostrums faithfully recur despite a long history of disappointments? This talk addresses these questions by drawing on an ethnographic case study of a recent attempt to reinvent the American public school for the digital age. By turning attention to what cycles of techno-idealism manage to accomplish, I argue that “failed” techno-interventions can be quite effective at absorbing political unrest, in large part because they provide many people with ample opportunities to experience and affirm their ethical and political indignations and ideals, but in ways that do not threaten entrenched social hierarchies.
Christo Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California San Diego. His most recent book, Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism (Princeton 2017), is the winner of the 2018 Best Book Award from the Communication, Information Technology, and Media Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.
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