In today’s world, we are offered a constantly expanding number of technologies to integrate into our lives. We now utilise a range of interconnected technologies at work, at home and at leisure. The realm of sport is no exception, where new technologies or enhancements are available to athletes, coaches, scientists, umpires, governing bodies and broadcasters. However, this book argues that in a world where time has become a precious commodity and numerous options are always on offer, functionality is no longer enough to drive their usage within elite sports training, competition and broadcasting. Consistent with an actor-network theory approach as developed by Bruno Latour, John Law, Michele Callon and Annemarie Mol, the book shows how those involved in sport must grapple with a unique set of understandings and connections in order to determine the best combination of technologies and other factors to serve their particular purpose. This book uses a case study approach to demonstrate how there are multiple explanations and factors at play in the use of technology that cannot be reduced to singular explanations like performance enhancement or commercialisation. Specific cases examined include doping, swimsuits, GPS units, Hawk-Eye and kayaks, along with broader areas such as the use of sports scientists in training and the integration of new enhancements in broadcasting. In all cases, the book demonstrates how multiple actors can affect the use or non-use of technology.
Some of the most famous ANT cases
have investigated the role of a range of technologies, including
aeroplanes, ships, microscopes and a personal rapid-transport system.
Technologies are frequently forefronted in ANT work in a reflection of
the equal emphasis ANT places on humans and non-humans, with
technologies often taking the form of significant non-human actants. In
this book I am similarly interested in the non-human actants in sport
and take these as my starting-point when investigating technologies
Feenberg’s critical theory of technology is to a large extent constructed through a synthesis of concepts from several predecessor theories, each of them important to his work in different ways, and each a source of concepts that he modifies in order to incorporate them into his own syncretic framework. This chapter describes the overarching rationale of Feenberg’s intellectual project, with reference to some of these sources. It suggests that the result is a new system in which concepts take on altered significance and are made to do quite different work than
Technology is capital: Fifth Estate’s critique of
‘How do we begin to discuss something as immense as technology?’, writes T.
Fulano at the beginning of his essay ‘Against the megamachine’ (1981a: 4).
Indeed, the degree to which the technological apparatus penetrates all elements
of contemporary society does make such an undertaking a daunting one.
Nevertheless, it is an undertaking that the US journal and collective Fifth Estate
has attempted. In so doing, it has developed arguably the most sophisticated and
Linda Leung (2018) Technologies of Refuge and Displacement: Rethinking
Digital Divides (Lanham, MA: Lexington Books), hardcover, 141 pages;
In her book Technologies of Refuge and Displacement: Rethinking Digital
Divides , Linda Leung – a researcher at University of Technology
Sydney, Australia – provides a systematic empirical analysis of data collected
between 2007 and 2011, which involved more than 100 interviews
-makers must have full knowledge of the rules of the sport and
be able to apply their knowledge in split-second decisions made under
often very stressful conditions. If they make the wrong decision, they
are often blamed for the outcome of the game.
Given the pressure that these individuals face and the
importance of ensuring accurate results, several sports governing bodies
have attempted to increase the accuracy of officiating decisions through
implementing new technologies in their sports (Woodward, 2013). These
This chapter focuses on Feenberg’s development of a theory of bias in technology designs. The idea of bias is central to his overall project of developing a critical theory of technology, since it explains the entanglement of technology in issues of social power and domination. Feenberg argues that technology in modern societies is ‘formally biased’ and uses this idea to identify technology design as a field that is thoroughly political yet rarely recognised or theorised as such. The notion of formal bias establishes a space for critical and ethical concerns
However, it is also fundamentally different, as the necessity of posting
out tapes is no longer required. College selectors can instead simply
trawl through applicants’ YouTube sites in order to view their
footage and use it to make their decisions. The laborious process of
sending out individual tapes to each college no longer needs to take
These examples illustrate some of the central concepts of
this chapter. First, the introduction of foreign technologies into
sporting environments can act to change
Information and communication technologies
and the role of consumers in innovation
As a contribution to current discussions of the role of both actual consumers
and representations of consumers in the innovation process, this chapter
considers two empirical studies of the information and communication technology (ICT) industries. It asks:
1 To what extent, how and when are consumers (i.e. potential end users)
considered or involved during the design of new products?
2 When consumers are actually involved in the process of innovation, what
(Weizenbaum, 1976 : ix)
What happens when technophilia falls out of love with its object? In the early 1970s, Joseph Weizenbaum, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an institution ‘proudly polarized’ around technology, wrote a script for a ‘computer program with which one could “converse” in English’ (Weizenbaum, 1976 : 371). This program, strictly speaking a language analyser and script,
became famous as a chatbot (Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort