Revisiting the Human–Society–Technology Nexus: Intercultural Communication Studies as a Looking Glass for Scientific Self-Scrutiny in the Digital Human Sciences
Chapter from the book: Petersson, S. 2021. Digital Human Sciences: New Objects – New Approaches.
This chapter starts from three assumptions: (1) that digital technologies (DTs) are products of humans, and reversibly that such technologies have effects on and consequences for humans; (2) that DTs have profound, long-term effects on culture and social interaction; and (3) that research on such effects often disregards inherent social and cultural biases in DTs and discourses on digitalization and innovation. DTs tend to be depicted as “objective” and void of cultural contents and underpinnings. Therefore, and with an emphasis on the usefulness of combining different research methodologies, this chapter sheds light upon a number of discursive blind spots in these domains: technocentrism and normativism, homo- and heterocentrism, ego- and ethnocentrism, and what I call the reversed problem imperative. Drawing upon intercultural communication studies (ICCS), these blind spots are discussed in the light of DTs, scientific theories, and research methodologies. Moreover, the case is made that digital human sciences (DHV) offers a valuable contribution to the scientific understanding of the manifestations and consequences of digitalization. In particular, this chapter argues for the usefulness of “intermethodological,” interdisciplinary, intercultural, and integrative approaches in DHV.