Popular Technology

In her book Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age , Virginia Eubanks (2011) describes a high tech equity agenda that resists oppression, draws on difference as a resource, and engages in participatory decision making. Her concept of popular technology “sees all people as experts in their own experience of IT and the high tech economy, and liberates their knowledge, analysis, and activity to create a more just and sustainable present for everyone” (p. 155). Her work draws heavily on the theories of:

  • Popular education — which is based on collective, participatory learning inside and outside the classroom.
  • Participatory action research — which is based on ordinary people’s investigation, analysis, and action around an issue or problem.
  • Participatory design — which is based on enlisting ordinary people in the design of space and/or technology.

By “popular technology,” we are referring to following definition by Virginia Eubanks (2007): “Popular technology is not about teaching technology per se; it is a popular educational approach to researching the complex inequalities of the information economy” (p. 131).


Leave a Reply