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Domestication of Technology

Maren Hartmann


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The domestication of technology is an approach within the area of media appropriation studies. It describes the process of media (technology) adoption in everyday life, and especially within households. It outlines several dimensions of this dynamic adoption process in the context of the household as a moral economy and through the concept of the double articulation of media as technology. Two major strands of the domestication approach have been developed, only one of which is clearly within the field of media and communication studies. The other is located in the field of social studies of technology (e.g., Lie & Sorensen 1997 ). The domestication idea was first developed at the beginning of the 1990s, primarily in the UK. It has its roots, however, in an article by the German ethnologist Hermann Bausinger, published in Media, Culture and Society in 1984, where he described a weekend in the life of a “typical” German family and reflected on the communicative role of the media. He stressed the uses of different media, everydayness, and the collective use and discussion of media. Building on Bausinger, the main researchers contributing to the early formulation of this approach were Roger Silverstone, David Morley, and Eric Hirsch (and later Leslie Haddon) (e.g., Silverstone & Hirsch 1992 ). The approach is now used widely in Europe, and also in North America, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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