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An archaeology of innovationApproaching social and technological change in human society$
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Catherine J. Frieman

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132642

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526132659

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Conclusion: The widening gyre

Conclusion: The widening gyre

(p.184) Conclusion: The widening gyre
An archaeology of innovation

Catherine J. Frieman

Manchester University Press

This short chapter concludes the volume with a more contemporary perspective on innovation, resistance, and technological change. It draws a parallel between the present world and the interwar years of the early twentieth century to argue that we are currently at a cusp where radical technological developments seem to be less exciting and more terrifying as their consequences become more apparent. The chapter argues that archaeological approaches can offer visions of alternative futures through the construction of myriad alternative pasts. It emphasizes the many different social conformations, aside from individualizing capitalism, that have fostered innovation in the past, and makes clear that capitalist myths of innovation actively erase the contributions of non-dominant individuals – children, women, indigenous people, etc. It concludes with a challenge to the reader to dismantle their preconceptions, draw on a variety of different and contrasting data and approaches, and attempt to construct their own narrative of innovation, past and present.

Keywords:   technological skepticism, bricolage, social models of innovation

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