NanoEthics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 47–58

The Logic of Digital Utopianism

Original Paper

Abstract

With the Internet’s integration into mainstream society, online technologies have become a significant economic factor and a central aspect of everyday life. Thus, it is not surprising that news providers and social scientists regularly offer media-induced visions of a nearby future and that these horizons of expectation are continually expanding. This is true not only for the Web as a traditional media technology but also for 3D printing, which has freed modern media utopianism from its stigma of immateriality. Our article explores the fundamental semantic structures and simplification patterns of popular media utopias and unfolds the thesis that their resounding success is based on their instantaneous connectivity and compatibility to societal discourses in a broad variety of cultural, political, or economic contexts. Further, it addresses the social functions of utopian concepts in the digital realm.

Keywords

3D printing Digitalization Media utopias Prosumer Technology foresight Web. 2.0 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Friedrich Schiedel Endowed Chair of Sociology of ScienceTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation StudiesUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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