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|Title:||Progress and its complications: Kuangch'i Program Service and the introduction of television technology to Taiwan|
|Author(s):||Braden, Michael L.|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Rowland, Willard D., Jr.|
|Department / Program:||Communication|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
|Abstract:||This study examines the role of Kuangch'i Program Service in the introduction of television into Taiwan using a model for the contextual history of technology developed by John Staudenmaier. Central to the dissertation is the thesis that technologies are not "autonomous," but rather arise as a result of specific historical and cultural needs and values. In the West, the most fundamental of these are consumption-orientation, efficiency, and rationality. The evolution of these key values in Western culture is traced. These values are embedded in the very design of technology developed in the West and bias both the use of the technology and its potential for adoption by other cultures, forming an implicit logic of use with which an adopting culture must cope in order for the technology to "fit" the adopting culture.
The history of the early years of Kuangch'i Program Service illustrate the subtle, but compelling notion of "progress" in the choice to adopt a technology, and the influence the aforementioned values had on the development of a technological apparatus sufficient to support a television industry on the Western model in Taiwan.
The final chapter suggests, with Clifford Christians, that the first step toward making possible free choice in the process of technology transfer is to free ourselves from the tyranny of our language. The discourse surrounding the notion of "progress" has masked the fact that the technology upon which our vision of progress relies is based on the flawed and unexamined values of efficiency, rationality, and unrestrained consumption. In the case of the cross-cultural transfer of technology as it is currently practiced, decision-makers are lured by the promise of "progress," and a form of linguistic colonialism prevents them from considering the cultural discontinuity the technology may cause. The first step toward free, just, and open choice in the process of technology transfer is to liberate our language, restore the courageous use of our critical faculties, reject the paralyzing power of relativism, and begin to articulate ethical norms to guide the process of technology transfer.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1995 Braden, Michael L.|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9624295|