Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Shares Our World

By Ramesh Srinivasan

Image of the book cover beside a photo of a bookshelf and opened book on a table.

Ramesh Srinivasan’s Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Shares Our World, attempts to pull back the curtain on the powerful world of digital technologies, and boldly challenges everything you think you know about the design, implementation, and research and development that has fostered the “new technology revolution.” A revolution that has created a world dominated by a myth of “techno-inevitability” and a falsely inflated belief that social justice and advocacy can now be successful only through a reliance on digital technologies.

This book offers an incredibly vast review of numerous theories and research, and in a very succinct and direct way challenges everything technology corporations and institutions would have us believe about the “all-powerful” digital technology revolution. Srinivasan’s research points out that the “new technology revolution is neither global nor cross-cultural. It is primarily produced and shaped by powerful corporations and institutions from Europe and North America, with various collaborators across the world.” Worse yet, upon careful critical analysis, Srinivasan points out the disastrous impacts of globalization and digital technology on the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized.

According to Srinivasan, digital technology has not created a global village. In fact, by moving away from the current norms of top-down, Western-centric systems of digital technology design and implementation—systems that have dominated the design and implementation of digital technology—he believes that new technologies can be developed that respect cultural diversity
and ontology.

By adopting an approach that is based on collaborative ethnography, Srinivasan’s field research in India, in rural Australia, and in the Native American communities of San Diego found that the most marginalized groups of society could be empowered and benefit from digital technology that is created by them and based on their needs, instead of simply exploiting them culturally
and economically.

Overall, Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World, challenges everything we’ve come to blindly accept about technology, but at the same time offers an alternative vision that, if adopted, could actually result in a more inclusive, empowered, and just society that still includes technology. As education workers, this new lens/narrative cannot, and should not, be ignored, because it could revolutionize the way we think about, adopt, and implement digital technologies in our personal and professional lives, and in doing so, presents a means to work towards a world that will foster greater equity, diversity, and empowerment.

About Dan Earle
Dan Earle is an Executive Assistant in the Communications/Political Action department of OSSTF/FEESO.

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