Technological Change and Individual Identities: A Multi-facetted Analysis of the Role of the Social and Individual Context in Human Reaction to Technological Change
This paper investigates an individual’s subjective interpretation of a situation of technological change. It shows how various group and role identities operate simultaneously in a situation of technological change, influencing reactions by normative or structural frames or offering choice in their enactment through personal identity.
It offers a conceptualisation of an individuals meaning system as a psycho-social dynamic processing system and it outlines, how this system’s sense making influences action in a particular context of technological change. The influences of social and organisational frames get analysed by a historic and contemporary narrative of social ties, leading to the degree of guidance and control they offer and demand.
Traditional western approaches to technological change argue that there is an objective and absolute truth, independent of any particular context. This paper shows that truth is based on subjective understanding and that a purely rational perspective misses what is important, insightful, and coherent for the individual.
Keywords: Technological Change, Meaning System, Self, Identity
University of East London