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Hardcover | $64.00 Short | £53.95 | 272 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 11 figures | April 2014 | ISBN: 9780262027168
Paperback | $32.00 Short | £26.95 | 272 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 11 figures | April 2014 | ISBN: 9780262525831
eBook | $22.00 Short | May 2014 | ISBN: 9780262322485
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Subversion, Conversion, Development

Cross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design
Edited by James Leach and Lee Wilson


This book explores alternative cultural encounters with and around information technologies. These encounters are alternative because they counter dominant, Western-oriented notions of media consumption; they include media practices as forms of cultural resistance and subversion, “DIY cultures,” and other nonmainstream models of technology production. The contributors—leading thinkers in science and technology studies, anthropology, and software design—pay special attention to the specific inflections that different cultures and communities give to the value of knowledge. The richly detailed accounts presented here challenge the dominant view of knowledge as a neutral good—information available for representation and encoding but separated from all social relations.

The chapters examine specific cases in which the forms of knowledge and cross-cultural encounters are shaping technology use and development. They consider design, use, and reuse of technological tools, including databases, GPS devices, books, and computers, in locations that range from Australia and New Guinea to Germany and the United States.

Poline Bala, Alan Blackwell, Wade Chambers, Michael Christie, Hildegard Diemberger, Stephen Hugh-Jones, James Leach, Jerome Lewis, Dawn Nafus, Gregers Petersen, Marilyn Strathern, David Turnbull, Helen Verran, Laura Watts, Lee Wilson

About the Editors

James Leach is Professor of Anthropology and ARC Future Fellow at the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia and Directeur de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/CREDO, France.

Lee Wilson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland.