Technologies of power? Constructing digital exclusion, risk and responsibility

John Clayton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The relationship between technology and risk is not straightforward. The current period of development in Western societies, whether conceptualised as late modernity’ (Giddens, 1991), ‘liquid modernity’ (Bauman, 2000) or ‘postmodernity’ (Harvey, 1990), is defined by the increasing prominence of information and communication technology (ICT) in our lives. As indicated above, this is often viewed in a positive manner, with ICTs presented as empowering. At the same time society is seen to be organized around exposure to new forms of risk often brought about by technological change (Beck, 1992), including a rapidly evolving global economy and demands for an increasingly flexible workforce. New technologies have also been associated with other dangers including inappropriate content and use, surveillance and overuse (Byron, 2008). Whether the increasing proliferation of ICT facilitates the reproduction of such risks or militates against them is debatable. As a way of contributing to this debate, risk is not viewed here as a generic feature of contemporary society, but as a set of ideas which are constructed and reproduced through specific political discourses with very real consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstructing Risky Identities in Policy and Practice
EditorsJeremy Kearney, Catherine Donovan
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137276087
ISBN (Print)9781137276070
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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