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Phoebe Sengers

Phoebe Sengers

DLI Affiliated Faculty

I am a faculty member in Science & Technology Studies and Information Science at Cornell. I integrate ethnography, history and design to analyze the social impact of technologies and imagine how technologies could have other effects. I examine how technologies are designed and created, the cultural assumptions and values that are embodied in them, and how technologies play into and shape visions of who we are and how we should live. The way they do this does not necessarily follow designers' intentions; technologies are appropriated and picked up by people in complex situations in ways that sometimes reinforce, sometimes question the agendas that drove their creation. I am interested in the visions of time, labor, and value that technologies are bound up with, who is left out of these visions and how, and methods for imagining alternatives. What worlds are we creating together and how do we inhabit them? What worlds might we wish to create instead? My current major project is a study of sociotechnical change in a rural village in Newfoundland, Canada.

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