The historicity of technological attachments and engagements: the case of Turkish telephony

2016-11-11T16:18:51Z (GMT) by Burce Celik
This article is concerned with the symbolic power of individualized media technologies in the peripheral contexts of capitalist globality and modernity. In a critique of studies that have suggested that technologies as structuring agents of social positions of the users seem to emerge from the neo-liberalization of the non-West and from the specific use of digital technologies, I argue that such a positioning has a deeply historical character. Its historical roots are to be found in the social, political and cultural regimes of modernity, where it is demanded that agents define and shape themselves in terms of a capacity to adjust to technological practices and to employ technologies in order to occupy distinct positions within social relations. By focusing on the social history of telephony in the post-war era through the 1970s, I show the ways in which a technology such as telephony can become a forceful agent of symbolic power that structures and deepens social distinctions within the peripheral contexts of capitalist globality and modernity.