Technoculture: Another Term that Means Nothing and Gets us Nowhere?
The Australian Key Centre for Cutural & Media Policy
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Communications and Multimedia
This article argues that the term 'technoculture' is frequently used in a woolly manner to refer in a general way to technologies implicated in Western cultures, and to constructions of culture that incorporate technological aspects. The opportunity for the term to convey a specific meaning is lost in the generality of this everyday usage. Arguing from first principles about the nature of technology and culture, the paper suggests that technoculture as a term should be applied to communications technologies that are used in the mediated construction of culture. To be technocultural, the technology concerned must facilitate cultural communication across space and/or time and should, in some way, raise issues of place. Since culture is a construction involving communication and more than one person, technoculture involves the communication of cultural material in technological contexts - which is to say, other than the face-to-face. If this definition were to be adopted, future discussions of technoculture would indicate reference to a technology that allows the construction of culture across space and time.