Masthead CMC Magazine / February 1, 1996

Hopes and Horrors

Technological Utopianism and Anti-Utopianism in Narratives of Computerization

by Rob Kling

This article introduces section II of Rob Kling's book Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices, 2nd Ed. (San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1996).

This --book examines social controversies about computerization and ways to computerize that can be more socially beneficial or harmful. This chapter helps you better understand the unstated but critical social assumptions underlying stories about computerization and changes in social life.

Starting with an exploration of technological utopianism as it occurs in specific context, I outline utopian social visions and visions of computerized societies. In contrast, I then describe important technological anti-utopianism literature and visions. Writers sharing each of these perspectives use certain conventions in the course of the production of materials.

In the end, I argue that beyond technological utopianism and anti-utopianism there, are alternatives which are less deterministic.

References / Source Articles used in the book / Further Reading

Rob Kling ( is Professor of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine, and Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly international journal, The Information Society. His research focuses upon the social consequences of computerization and the social choices that are available to people and organizations which have invested in information systems, desktop computing, computerized manufacturing environments, digital libraries, and instructional computing.

Copyright © 1996 by Academic Press. All Rights Reserved.

Navigation Key
* * * * *

CMC Magazine Index
Contents Archive Sponsors Studies Contact