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Technology, creativity, and experience: Hermes dilemma and ethnographic authenticity

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conference contribution
posted on 04.05.2006, 16:18 by Paul Jones
This paper is based on a three-year ethnographic study into how the everyday phenomenon of technology is construed by three social groups drawn from an educational setting. Using a triangulation of methods, involving an 'opinionaire', repertory grid interviews and unstructured interviews, a profile of individuals and group cultural and psychological attributes was ascertained. The data reveals that there are major differences in the ways in which technology is construed and that personal viewpoints are critical in the ways in which subsequent technological experiences are interpreted and applied to making value judgements. The implication of this is that there is a differential empowerment of ways of 'seeing' technology; by the same implication, there exists the capacity for suppressing 'viewpoints' that question the dominant way of 'seeing' technology. The dilemma referred to in the title of this paper highlights the problem of reporting research findings that lead to unsettling conclusions. The paper discusses the dilemma and the issue of authenticity with the implications for practices in technology education with the qualified view that personal experiences of the world underpin the process of creativity and innovative thinking.



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JONES, P., 1999. Technology, creativity, and experience: Hermes dilemma and ethnographic authenticity. IDATER 1999 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University


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