Research Center

for Bridging Technology and Society

New methodological and research possibilities have been created by the establishment at the Faculty of Humanities of the Research Center for Bridging Technology and Society whose one of the aims is to conduct empirical research commissioned by external institutions.

MISSION:

Purpose:The Research Center will concentrate its research efforts upon the nexus between technology and society. It will rely upon the research expertise which already works with this connection within the Faculty of Humanities. The basic assumption of the Center is that societies and their cultural and social structures are affected by and change as a result of technological change and vice versa. This is not the least so with regard to new communications technology as these have a profound impact upon the ways in which humans communicate with one and another. In this way, communications technologies affect social processes such as identity formation and social integration. This means that the Research Center is tasked with two different, yet related research fields or research questions:

  • How have the application of new technologies, especially the application of communication technologies, shaped and been shaped by social phenomena that are traditionally of interest to social scientists and humanists, i.e., the creation of meaning and social behavior?

  • How has technological rationality of the creators of new technologies, especially the creation of communication technologies, responded to the cultural and social consequences of these applications, not only with regard to various risks and threats which may result from these applications (cf. Ulrich Beck), but also to more general transformations?


Scope:These two questions must be raised in combination with one and another. In practice, these questions are seldom separated in business applications of new technologies, yet they are often insulated from each other academically. This is so, despite the fact that it is well known within both technological, sociological, and humanities’ study of the nexus of technology and society that the two can hardly be separated from one and another. One of Center main tasks will therefore be to establish an interface for communication between the Faculty of Humanities and the other faculties of the AGH, indeed, to bridge technology and society. (At the present, there is little communication between the Faculty of Humanities and the more technical faculties of the AGH.)

Research:In this sense, the Center will not limit itself to any specific program or paradigm for the study of the nexus between society and technology (e.g., STS). Instead, it will seek to openly research the role of communication technologies in rapidly changing transition economies and societies, taking note not only of social convergence resulting from these processes but also possible divergence between different groups of people, including the generational gap in using communications technologies.

PROJECTS

(detail descriptions of these projects are available in Polish - the language field studies were conducted)

Center Director:

Maria Nawojczyk, Ph.D.
maria@list.pl