Comprehensive Exams

Below are the bibliographies and the definitions of the two comprehensive exams I wrote in 2007. I found the comps process to be fairly nightmarish; it was a long year.

1. Toward a theory of change: Radical social theory and emancipatory communication

This comprehensive exam considers radical social theory in its efforts to liberate humanity, particularly through communication. To this end, it investigates the history of thought that attempts to understand how human society is organized as well as articulate visions of progressive social change based on appeals to freedom, justice and equality. A recurring theme in this account is human oppression – the domination of (hu)man and nature that ensures the rule of a minority elite to the detriment of the masses. Radical social theory therefore comprises theoretical frameworks that are both sociological (analyzing “what is”) and philosophical (considering “what should be”) in an effort to realize the good, to create a better world. One of the critical components needed to foster this aspiration is communication.

This exam is guided by questions that take on an urgency in the contemporary era of perpetual war, increasing global human immiseration and ongoing ecological devastation. These questions are founded on notions of power, democracy, agency and – naïve though it may sound – ethics. Is another world possible, as the global justice movement proclaims? Can we reorganize society based on human need versus corporate greed? Can we collectively administrate our affairs without devolving into totalitarianism? Can we create a power structure that is networked, self-propelling and self-fulfilling? Can we build a sustainable and holistic social order that cares for people and the earth they derive life from? These questions have answers only in the social imagination, which is the basis for many of the texts on this exam. Before we build it, we must dream it.

The exam is divided into two subsections in order to clearly identify alternatives for social reorganization as well as the function of communication in achieving this; the first is organized historically, the second, thematically. Visions of a Liberated Society traces the lineage of socialist thought, beginning with pre-socialist utopian writings, following the evolution of socialist thought, and outlining recent progeny: post-Marxism, post-colonialism, feminism and to a lesser extent, post-modernism. The Enlightenment offers an obvious starting point, when ideas of progress, guided by reason instead of religion, began to be linked with ethics in examination of the individual, society and the state. Social theory emerges at about this time, with intense deliberations on inequality, the nature and limits of power in society and human liberty. One of the central debates that arose dealt with the relation of the individual to society, and the competing rights and obligations of both. Here we see the seeds of socialism being sown, especially in ideas of the benefits of association, common ownership and collective organization of the state.

Both democracy and capitalism took root in the fertile soil prepared by the dramatic shift in scientific, intellectual and philosophical thought during the Enlightenment. In turn, these developments nurtured a response in social critics who observed the concomitant rise of extreme poverty and other societal ills. With the rapid rise of modern industrial capitalism, socialism shed its utopian foundation and was transformed into a political doctrine in the 19th century. Anarchism distinguished itself from other currents of socialist thought with its theory of freedom, which accounts for human liberty in the context of nature, value and social conditions (Crowder, 1991). This is manifest in anarchism’s opposition to the state as the destroyer of freedom: redemption is achieved only in free and voluntary association.

Marx considered anarchism a critical position with no practical application. For him the state is a transitional but necessary stage that anticipates a classless society. Marx locates human oppression in class struggle, which arises in the division of labour and characterizes all of history. Marx’s dialectical approach provides a framework in which to understand social change through contradiction and negation; indeed, his method of historical materialism produces an analysis of capitalism that implies an alternative mode of social organization. Marx’s notion of praxis is central for this exam, which considers generally the problem of social transformation: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” (Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, No. XI). Agency is thus the key to emancipation.

Marx’s work inaugurated a new system of philosophical, political and economic thought, which sparked countless, and continuing, debates. Heirs to the Marxist legacy include Western Marxism, which emphasizes culture over economic analysis, and Critical Theory, which salvages the radical, emancipatory elements of Marxism. Capitalism as a source of repression (of human and nature) was a persistent focus for critique, while peace, freedom and happiness remained the inspiration for alternative visions of society. Key debates concerned the failure of the Enlightenment (particularly the technological basis of rationality), the viability of the revolutionary project, and the loss of the working class as an agent of change. New interpretations of Marxism continued to evolve out of the foundational tenets; by the mid-twentieth century, the material basis of analysis broadened, and other dynamics, such as gender and ethnicity, gained equal footing with class. Post-colonial theory customized a Marxian analysis to comprehend the devastation wrought by colonial rule, conceptualizing imperialism through the prism of class struggle.

The convergence of race, class and gender heralded a post-modern turn in radical social theory, and anchored theoretical approaches to “new social movements.” This exam considers such movements dialectically – as both products and creators of modernity and hence, social change. The post-Marxist approach contended that social inequality and unfreedom can no longer be reduced to considerations of class, and identified patriarchy, nationalism and racism as intersecting sources of oppression. Thus there was an insistence upon a reflexive relationship between the classic Marxist dualism of base and superstructure. Reinterpretations of Marxism flourished in light of the changing dynamics of capitalism in late modernity – especially technological advancement. Key Marxian concepts were rearticulated from a post-modern perspective: power was decoupled from its material base, becoming decentralized and relativistic; praxis became pedagogical; and emancipation was no longer self-evident.

The loss of the revolutionary class caused a shift in radical social theory toward communication as a means to achieve liberation, a theme that the section segment of this exam, Implications of Emancipatory Communication, takes up. Arguably, the development of communication theory imbricates with the evolution of socialist thought, culminating with Habermas’ (1981) concept of communicative reason. On this account, rationality is the cornerstone of both emancipation and domination. It is through the action of communicating that society operates and evolves; only when communication is free from domination and oriented toward mutual understanding is emancipation possible. Habermas relocates agency from its traditional class base to communicative action, which is both the instrument of progressive social change and the foundation for deliberative democracy. The transfer of agency from the working class to the citizen is also evident in the notion of the public sphere (Habermas, 1962/1989), that civic space between state power and private interests where rational-critical debate can occur among members of society on matters of public interest. The public sphere enhances and defends democracy by facilitating free speech and assembly and enabling organization against oppressive forms of social and political power. As the public sphere presupposes a free press, this concept has contributed much to theoretical debates in communication theory about the media’s role in social transformation, particularly in relation to democracy.

New questions arise out of the above mapping of radical social theory. What is the role of the intellectual, and of critical pedagogy, in progressive social transformation? What is the connection between theory and practice in alternative visions of society? What are the ongoing implications of the public sphere for democratic communication and progressive social change? Clearly communication is central to human interaction; it is the cornerstone of all social organization. The task for creating a society free from domination, where human needs are fulfilled and human wants are satisfied through self-empowered activity, lies before us. That it is a task reliant upon a new approach, one guided by holism, collectivity and sustainability, is clear. It is ours to first dream – and then communicate – this new approach. And after the dreaming, comes the doing.

Bibliography:

A. Visions of a liberated society

1. The socialist legacy: Pre-Marxist utopian visions

Durkheim, Emile. (1958). Socialism and Saint-Simon. Trans. Charlotte Sattler. Yellow Springs, Ohio: Antioch Press. (Ch 1, 6, 7, 10

Engels, Frederick. (????). Socialism: Utopian and scientific. (Part 1. The development of utopian socialism).

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/soc-utop/ch01.htm

Mill, J.S. (1859/2002) On liberty. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.

Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. [1923] (1969). General idea of the revolution in the 19th century. New York: Haskell House.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. [1754] (1979). A discourse on the origin of inequality. In The indispensable Rousseau. London; New York: Quartet Books. (pp. 50-68)

Wollstonecraft, Mary. (1792/1985). A vindication of the rights of woman. London:
Penguin Group.

2. The Evolution of Socialist Thought

Crowder, George. (1991). Classical anarchism: The political thought of Godwin,
Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin. New York: Oxford University Press. (Ch. 1, p. 6-38)

Dewey, J. (1927). The public and its problems. Denver, CO: Swallow. (Ch. 4 “The eclipse of the public” & Ch. 5 “Search for the great community”, pp. 111-184))

Feenberg, A. (1981). Lukacs, Marx and the sources of critical theory. Oxford: Martin
Roberston. (Ch. 4. “The meta-theory of philosophy: Lukacs formulation” pp. 87-132))

Goldman, Emma. (1911/1969). Anarchism; The Tragedy of woman’s emancipation; and
Woman suffrage. In Anarchism and other essays. New York: Dover Publications.

Gramsci, Antonio. (1992). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Eds. Trans. by Q. Hoare & G. N. Smith. New York: International Publishers. (“The Intellectuals” pp. 3-23 & “The study of philosophy”, 323-343)

Guerin, Daniel. (1970). The basic ideas of anarchism. In Anarchism: From theory to
practice. New York: Monthly Review Press. (9-38)

Horkheimer, M., & Adorno, T. (1944/1972). Dialectic of enlightenment: Philosophical fragments. (“The concept of Enlightenment”, 3-42), New York: Herder and Herder.

Marcuse, Herbert. (1964). One dimensional man.

Lukacs, G. (1971) History and class consciousness: Studies in Marxist dialectics.
(“Reification and class consciousness”).

Luxemburg, Rosa. (1937/1970). Social reform or revolution? In M.A. Waters (Ed.) Rosa Luxemburg speaks. (35-91). New York: Pathfinder Press.

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1848/1998). Communist manifesto. London; New York: Verso.

Marx, K, & Engels, F. (1970). The German ideology. London: Lawrence & Wishart. (Part 1: Feuerbach, p. 39-95).

Marx, K, & Engels, F. (1970). Introduction to a critique of political economy. In The German ideology. London: Lawrence & Wishart. (p. 124-151).

3. Responses: Post-Marxism/post-colonialism/feminism/post-modernism

Barrett, Michele. (1991). The politics of truth: From Marx to Foucault. Cambridge, MA: Polity. (Ch. 1-4 & 6-7)
.

Buechler, S. (2000). Social movements in advanced capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press. (Ch. 1, 3-5, 7)
.

Fanon, Frantz. (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press.

Foucault, Michel. Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977. New York: Pantheon Books. (Two Lectures; Truth and power, pp. 78-133).

—–. (1994). The subject and power. In P. Rabinow and N. Rose (Eds.) The Essential Foucault. (126-144).

Fraser, Nancy. (1992). Rethinking the public sphere: A contributing to the critique of actually existing democracy. In C. Calhoun (Ed.) Habermas and the public sphere. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. (pp. 109-142).

Freire, Paulo. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio. (2000). Empire. New York: The Penguin Press. (Pt. 4 “The decline and fall of Empire”, 351-413)

Harvey, David L. (1998). The practical contradictions of Marxism. Critical Sociology, 24(2).

King, Lawrence P. & Szelenyi, Ivan. (2004). Theories of the new class: Intellectuals and power. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

McLaren, Peter. (2000). Che Guevera, Paulo Freire, and the pedagogy of revolution. Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield.

Ray, L.J. (1993). Rethinking critical theory: Emancipation in the age of global social movements. London: Sage Publications. (Introduction, Part 1, Conclusion)

B. Implications of emancipatory communication

Baudrillard, Jean (1972/2003). Requiem for the Media. In N. Wardrip-Fruin & N. Montfort (Eds.) The new media reader. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
 (pp. 277-287).

Curran, James. (1991). Rethinking the media as public sphere. In P. Dahlgren & C. Sparks (Eds.) Communication and citizenship: Journalism and the public sphere in the new media age.
 New York; London: Routlege. (pp. 27-57)

Downing, John D .H. (2001). Radical media: Rebellious communication and social movements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (Ch 2-4, 6, 9, 17 & 23)
.

Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. (1970/2003). Constituents of a theory of the media. In N. Wardrip-Fruin & N. Montfort (Eds.) The new media reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
 (pp. 259-275).

Garnham, Nicholas. (2000). Emancipation, the media and modernity: Arguments about the media and social theory. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Habermas, Jurgen. Communicative action Vol. 1: Reason and the rationalization of society. (“Intermediate reflections: Social action, purposive activity and communication”, pp. 273-338).

—–. (1989). Structural transformation of the public sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeois society. Trans T. Burger. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Ch. 4-5, pp. 89-180).

Jakubowicz, Karol. (1993). Stuck in a groove: Why the 1960s approach to communication democratization will no longer do. In Slavko Splichal & Janet Wasko (Eds.), Communication and democracy (pp. 33-54). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp. (pp. 33-54).

Kellner, Douglas. (n.d.) Habermas, the public sphere and democracy: A critical intervention. Retrieved 4 March 2007 from http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/essays/habermaspublicspheredemocracy.pdf

Mattelart, A. (1979). Introduction: For a class analysis of communication. In A. Mattelart & S. Siegelaub (Eds.) Communication and class struggle: Capitalism, imperialism. New York: International General. (p. 23-70).

2. The social construction of the Internet

Technology has long been considered the drum beat accompanying the triumphal march of human beings through history. This association with progress is pervasive in modern thought, where technology is typically associated with post-scarcity scenarios boasting varying levels of human achievement. But the notion of technocratic utopia and its implicit theory of technological determinism has met with criticism in recent decades, especially from social constructivist approaches, which analyze technology largely as the outcome of social forces (Callon, Hughes, Pinch & Bijker). Rather than inverting the technology/society hierarchy, however, a more nuanced method suggests itself in considering the subject dialectically; that is, in studying how society and technology are mutually imbricated, or implicated, in modern, (post) industrial (Western) society. Philosophy of technology takes up just this challenge, intending to show not only that technologies are social products, but to illuminate how power and relations of domination infiltrate the technical infrastructure at the level of design and construction (Feenberg). Technology, therefore, is not merely social; it is political (Feenberg, Winner). Although modern technology has tragically demonstrated proficiency for social domination and control, a dialectical approach requires an investigation into concomitant possibilities for human liberation.

This comprehensive exam, therefore, is located at the intersection of society and technology: in the socio-technical. It begins with Marx. In contrast to the timeworn critique of determinism, one encounters a thoroughly constructivist orientation to technology, particularly in Marx’s insistence that social relations shape technology, not the reverse (MacKenzie). Indeed, although capital is congealed labour, it is not an autonomous thing, as labour comprises social relations between people. Thus it is only through capitalism’s alienating labour process that these relations, mediated through things, become reified as abstract labour. Indeed, according to MacKenzie (1999), Marx’s account of the machine during the industrial revolution was an effort to create a theory of the social origins of organizational and technical transformation of the labour process. Anticipating the “information society”, Marx suggests that real wealth will derive from “the general productive forces of the social brain.” Lukacs reaffirms that the division of labour and its attendant power relations create the conditions for social change; “technique” is not the cause of modern capitalism but rather its accomplishment.

The Marxian legacy for critical technology studies (or perhaps just this exam) is, fundamentally, the sociality of technology. Further, it is the insight that technology and capitalism are inextricably intertwined (Kellner). And it is the analysis of capitalism as a mode of social control through a technically mediated labour process (Noble, Braverman). Indeed, an ongoing theme in modern technological development has been control – efficient control of bureaucratic and economic systems, certainly, but also control of human beings – particularly by-products and extensions of communication technologies (Wiener). Control is required to maintain complex social systems, and it is dependent upon information – both the capability to process it and to rationalize it (Beniger). Today’s so-called Information Age is characterized by the “informatization of production” wherein knowledge, information and communication are the products of immaterial labour (Hardt and Negri, 2000). With the gradual eclipse of the industrial economy by one founded on the production, distribution and consumption of informational goods and services, the potential for ever-increasing control poses problems for human liberation.

The centrality of information in this new era is due in large part to the rapid development and dissemination of computers, enhanced further still by their global interconnection via the Internet. The metaphor of the network provides insight into both the Internet and society in general; indeed, digital, economic and social networks map onto one another, pointing to what Castells (2000) sees as the “rise of the network society.” On this account, networking logic provides the basis on which the new information technology paradigm alters processes of production, power and culture (Castells). With the popularization of the Internet in the last decade, it has become evident that a powerful mode of communication has emerged, suggesting that the technology has been rationalized in a way that supports communicative action over control (Feenberg, Habermas). That is to say, restrictions on communication on the Internet (the digital divide notwithstanding) are largely absent due to the conscious efforts of the Internet’s creators, and enhanced and defended by subsequent generations of users. Communicative rationality opposes technical reason – which tends toward domination and control – and provides the foundation for human liberation. Technological rationality (as Marcuse calls it) is insidious because it devolves into background ideology, sedimenting in the technical code of modern capitalist technological systems and devices, and exerting control through technologic hegemony (Feenberg). Democratic rationalization of technology (Feenberg) reveals technical choices as political and reorients technology toward “pacification of the struggle for existence” (Marcuse, 1964).

The social construction of the Internet (Abbate, Castells, Ceruzzi) by an array of relevant social groups is affirmed by an in depth literature surveying the intervention of users in technical design (Berg, Bijker, Callon, Feenberg, Mackenzie, Noble, Pinch & Bijker, Wajcman, Winner). It hints at a reversal in the exercise of control from elite political and economic minority to the global population. The network, structurally rhizomatic, is notoriously difficult to control; the Internet is a social and technical mashup, layering hardware and software with human communication in an ever-changing, amorphous social complex. Thus far, the Internet has resisted rationalization by the market and the state. However, neither euphoric conviction in the democratic potential of the Internet, nor technological or economic determinism will elucidate its function in contemporary society (Kellner). It is crucial to understand that the Internet is not “free” by nature: as a socially constructed technology that has yet to reach closure, the Internet can be changed. The technical code of the Internet is not fixed; neither is the code that governs the upper layers of the net’s infrastructure. As Lessig (2006) cautions, the way source code is deployed on the Internet could have far more serious implications for controlling use (and thus users) than real world legislation or regulation. Code works invisibly and ideologically to enable and disable certain freedoms in cyberspace that have been taken for granted until now. This is why Feenberg (2004) urges users to defend the community model on which the Internet has evolved against the ever encroaching corporate model, which enlists the legislative authority of government to colonize the Internet for commercial interests.

This comprehensive exam raises many important questions about the future of the Internet – specifically how it may be developed to enhance democracy, freedom and economic and social justice. The recognition of its socially constructed “nature” is fundamental to conceiving of social transformation. Technological innovation represents a form of knowing, of knowledge. In contemporary societies, knowledge – particularly scientific and technical knowledge – has been instrumental for social control. Considering knowledge as created rather than received or discovered (Kuhn) has important implications for understanding how societies and their systems (e.g. capitalism) are socially constructed. Thus made, they can be unmade, or remade. One of the plain threats to the social and economic status quo posed by the Internet is its challenge to the knowledge production regime — itself a regime of control. This has appeared on two fronts: open source software and traditional cultural authorship. The free software/open source movement has inaugurated a new form of production based on collaborative knowledge, opposing the two pillars of capitalism: private property and individualism. The “copyleft” movement generally opposes profit-oriented ownership of cultural material, as well as knowledge monopolies in academia and the culture industry. Here we see the dialectical aspect of the Internet in the contradiction between its controlling and liberating aspects. Is free software development prefigurative, offering a method for achieving goals of democracy and liberation offline? Can users rationalize Internet technology democratically, reorienting it toward more humane applications and functionalities? If so, what are the implications for progressive social change in the real world?

Bibliography:

Abbate, Janet. (1999). Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Selections

Atton, Chris. (2004). Alternative Internet. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Selections

Beniger, James. (1986). The control revolution. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press. Selections

Berg, Anne-Jourun, & Lie, Merete. (1995). Feminism and constructivism. Science, Technology and Human Values, 20(3).

Bijker, W.E. (1987). The social construction of bakelite: Toward a theory of invention. In W.E. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, & T. Pinch, (Eds.) The social construction of technological systems. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.

Braverman, Harry. (1974). Labor and monopoly capital. New York: Monthly Review Press. (Part 1 Labor and management; Part 2 Science and mechanization)

Brey, Philip. (1997). Social Constructivism for Philosophers of Technology: A Shopper’s Guide. Society for Philosophy and Technology, 2(3-4), pp. 56-79.

Callon, Michael. (1987). Society in the making: The study of technology as a tool for sociological analysis. In W.E. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, & T. Pinch, (Eds.) The social construction of technological systems. London; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Castells, Manuel. (2000). The rise of the network society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Selections

—–. (2001). The Internet galaxy: Reflections on the internet, business and society. New York: Oxford University Press. Selections

Ceruzzi, Paul E. (1999). Inventing personal computing. In D. MacKenzie & J. Wajcman (Eds.) Social shaping of technology. Buckingham; Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Chadwick, Andrew. (2006). Internet politics: States, citizens and new communication technologies. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Selections

Dyer-Witheford, Nick. (1999). Cyber-Marx: Cycles and circuits of struggle in high-technology capitalism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Selections

Feenberg, Andrew. (2002). Transforming technology: A critical theory revisited. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

—–. (1999). Questioning technology. London; New York: Routledge.

—–. (1995). From information to communication: The French experience with videotex. In Alternative Modernity. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Habermas, Jurgen (1970). Technology and science as ideology. In Toward a Rational Society, Trans. J. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hardt, Michael, & Negri, Antonio. (2000). Postmodernization, or the informatization of production. In Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hughes, Thomas P. The evolution of large technological systems. In W.E. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, & T. Pinch, (Eds.) The social construction of technological systems. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.

Kellner, Douglas. New technologies, technocities and the prospects for democratization. http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell25.htm

Kuhn, Thomas. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. London; Chicago: Universsity of Chicago Press. Selections

Latour, Bruno. (1987). Opening Pandora’s Black Box. In Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-17.

—-. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In W. E. Bijker & J. Law (Eds.) Shaping technology, building society: Studies in sociotechnical change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lessig, Lawrence (2006) Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. New York:
Basic Books.

Lukacs, Georg. (1966). Technology and social relations. New Left Review(1), 39, pp. 27-34.

MacKenzie, Donald. (1996) Knowing machines: Essays on technical change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Selections

Marshall, Barbara L. 2003). Critical theory, feminist theory and technology studies. In T.J. Misa, P. Brey and A. Feenberg (Eds.) Modernity and technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Marcuse, Herbert. (1941). Some social implications of modern technology. In A. Arato & E. Gebhard (Eds.) The essential Frankfurt school reader. New York: Continuum.

Marx, Karl. (1976). The struggle between worker and machine. In Capital: A critique of political economy, Vol. 1, Ch. 15, Section 5. Trans. Ben Fowkes. New York: Vintage Books.

—–. (1973). Fragment on machines. In The Grundrisse. Trans. M. Nicolaus. Middlesex, England; Baltimore, MA: Penguin Books.

Noble, David. (1977). America by design: Science, technology, and the rise of corporate capitalism. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Selections.

—–. (1997). Digital diploma mills: The automation of higher education. First Monday,
3(1). Retrieved 14 August 2007 from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue3_1/noble/

Pinch, T. and Bijker, W.E. (1987). The social construction of facts and artifacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. In W.E. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, & T. Pinch, (Eds.) The social construction of technological systems. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.

Wajcman, Judy. (1991). Feminist critiques of science and technology. In Feminism confronts technology. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Norbert Wiener. (1950). Human use of human beings. Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press. Selections.

Winner, Langdon. (1986). The whale and the reactor: A search for limits in an age of high technology. Chicago: University of Chicago.

—–. (1993). Upon opening the black box and finding it empty. Science, Technology, & Human Values, (18)3, 366-378.