Education, technology and the sociological imagination

Education, technology and the sociological imagination

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LMandTNeil Selwyn has a new article published in Learning Media & Technology exploring the the relevance of C. Wright Mills’ seminal book ‘The Sociological Imagination’ to the study of technology and education. The argument is made that ed-tech and ed-media researchers would do well to take heed of many of the central tenets of Mills’ call to arms for a historically aware, politically focused and carefully crafted social science. These include Mills’ concerns over the dominance of abstract empiricism, being beholden to the demands of ‘bureaucratic’ research agendas, a tendency towards psychologism and/or resorting to default explanations of the apparent failings of individuals and institutions in terms of a cultural/technological ‘lag’. The paper argues how Mills’ writing should inspire researchers to think beyond the realms of their own experiences, interests and passions, to look beyond the shallow allure of the latest ‘new’ technology, and to critically engage with the social, historical, biographical and political dimensions of education and technology.

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