cmn 619 histories of new media 2

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Philip Brey introduces the main theoretical debates concerning the nature of technology. In particular, he contrasts a “realist” approach to technology with “social constructivism.”

In this response (minimum 250 words), please address the following questions:

  1. What is “contextual realism,” according to Brey. How does the example of Long Island bridges illustrate this concept?
  2. What is “social constructivism”? How does the example of the Victorian hallway bench illustrate the social construction of an object’s meaning?
  3. Can you apply these concepts to your smartphone? Which features and/or uses of your phone are determined by your phone’s physical design (realist)? Which features and/uses of your phone are determined (social constructed) by users like you?

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