- Subject index
`Ross Abbinnett brings a keen and subtle philosophical mind to bear on themes and debates that have become commonplace in sociology. This is a sinuously written book which casts new light on pressing contemporary issues. It is required reading for everyone who wants to think seriously and with an open mind about the terrain of the present' - Keith Tester, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth This incisive and timely book provides a concise and reliable guide to the debate on modernity and postmodernity. In particular the work of Lyotard, Beck, Bauman, Baudrillard, Giddens, Jameson and Derrida is critically reviewed. Culture and Identity provides: a thorough and accessible discussion of the main themes in the modernity-postmodernity debate; a shrewd and penetrating account of how these themes address everyday life; a novel account of how technology is altering our perceptions of the `human'; and a balanced account of the hope for radical politics and radical critique to correct the excesses of capitalism. What emerges most forcefully from the book is the error of dismissing postmodernism as a self-indulgent and ultimately, dangerous piece of ideology. Abbinnett provides a pertinent reminder of the continuing importance of the themes and challenges raised in the `postmodern moment'.
Chapter 11: Science, Technology and Catastrophe
Science, Technology and Catastrophe
The ‘question concerning technology’ is fundamental to any consideration of postmodern politics, as it bears directly on how we experience ourselves as subjects (men, women, citizens, workers), and on how we orientate ourselves within the technological systems of society. The question itself, as Heidegger's now famous essay makes clear, is not just about the unfolding of technological progress (Heidegger, 1996, p. 312). It should not, for example, be understood simply in terms of an accumulation of social and economic benefits, nor indeed in terms of the new challenges (space exploration, cloning, gene therapy) that result from technological innovation. Technology, as a way of relating to the world and to the being of others, always reopens the question of ...