The Sacred and Profane Information Machine

Jeffrey C. Alexander

in The Meanings of Social Life

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160840
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944156 | DOI:
The Sacred and Profane Information Machine

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This chapter examines the information machine in the context of cultural sociology. It argues that the theory underlying the proposition about the possibility of a purely technical rationality is not correct because both human action and its environments are indelibly interpenetrated by the nonrational. It discusses socioscientific understandings of technology and suggests that far from being empirical accounts based on objective observations and interpretations, they represent simply another version of technocratic discourse itself.

Keywords: information machine; cultural sociology; technical rationality; human action; socioscientific understandings; technocratic discourse

Chapter.  6572 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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