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CMN 619 University of New Hampshire Histories of New Media Essay

CMN 619 University of New Hampshire Histories of New Media Essay

Question Description

Ian Hutchby discusses opposing views of technology — “realism” (the idea that technologies have natural or inherent properties that determine their use and meaning) versus “constructivism” (the idea that the meaning or use of a technology is social determined). Hutchby introduces the concept of “affordances” as an alternative conception of technologies. Woodrow Hartzog discusses the role of affordances in the design of digital interfaces.

In this response (minimum 250 words), please address the following questions:

  1. What is the “technologies as texts” perspective (e.g., Grint and Woolgar)? Why does Hutchby think that this perspective is limited?
  2. What is an “affordance”? What are some example of affordances in the context of animals and nature? How does the example of “Ruth” and the printer illustrate the concept of technological affordances?
  3. How does Hartzog define “affordances”? What examples does he give of design “clues”?

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