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The Inner History of Devices

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Memoir, clinical writings, and ethnography inform new perspectives on the experience of technology; personal stories illuminate how technology enters the inner life.
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Published October 31st 2008 by MIT Press (first published August 29th 2008)
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Margaret Heller
Dec 08, 2011 Margaret Heller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-studies
This volume is edited and with an introduction by Sherry Turkle, and each chapter is written by someone else, so the "by" in the bibliographic data should really read "ed.". Anyway.

This work examines people's personal relationships with technology through three formats: memoir, ethnography, and case report. In each case, the point is to understand how the technology either builds or elides a sense of self. Not surprisingly, results show that participative environments help people to build a sen
Amber Case
For more than two decades, in such landmark studies as The Second Self and Life on the Screen, Sherry Turkle has challenged our collective imagination with her insights about how technology enters our private worlds. In The Inner History of Devices, she describes her process, an approach that reveals how what we make is woven into our ways of seeing ourselves. She brings together three traditions of listening -- that of the memoirist, the clinician, and the ethnographer. Each informs the others ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So, this book has been on my shelves for a while (years), without being read. I think that's because it's very outside of what I normally read, so I've always found other things more interesting at the moment. Also, I don't tend to read a lot of non-fiction for pleasure, because I do a lot of non-fiction reading at work. The only reason I have this book was that it was a gift.

With all that said, it was interesting. It is a collection of essays or short articles by different authors, all related
Meghan Fidler
Mar 16, 2013 Meghan Fidler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was overjoyed to encounter a less reactionary piece by Sherry Turkle; it feels that her latest books and articles burn most of their wordcount in long renditions damning new technologies as causes of detriments, ailments, and alienation. The introduction to "The Inner History of Devices" was refreshingly tempered.

With Professor Turkle as editor, the book is heavy in authors practicing psychiatry, a few of which are genuinely thought provoking.

My favorite section by far, however, was the fi
Margaret Sankey
Fascinating collection of short ethnographies of technology--a blind scholar angry at the prosthetic maker for criticizing her decision to change the eye color of her new prosthetic eyeballs, elderly Israeli women watching TV in defiance of their Ultra-Orthodox sons, internal cardiac defibrillator users and their dependence on and resentment of a machine that keeps them alive, but seems to randomly cause them excruciating pain (with a digression on Dick Cheney's increased fatalism after getting ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of essays examining people's complex interactions with machines and websites. Turkle does an introduction that explains the methodological approaches of the essayists--memoir, clinical practice, and fieldwork.
Chris Beiser
It's an anthology, so it's necessarily a mixed bag

Worth reading:
Inner History
The Prosthetic Eye
Cell Phones
Video Poker

The Patterning Table, The World Wide Web and are maybes. Skip the rest.
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Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

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