An Introduction to my Technoculture Research Project

What is Technoculture?  It is the term used to classify any culture that is technologically involved.  And with the way our world is evolving, technology is most likely going to be surpassing our expectations.  But the term itself is a rather broad subject because it could stand for anything that we as a human culture have made in the past to present day.  Sometimes we forget that our ancestor’s earliest tools were forms of technology, especially now that we have such advanced systems and devices.

In the anthology Internationalizing Cultural Studies, we read about cases in rapidly modernizing places like India and Japan where science and technology are essentially the same and are used as political tools.  The technology in these countries has become so powerful that there are some cases where they “mobilized traditional systems of knowledge still struggling to exist against the hegemony of modern science” (Wise 18).  While it would be an interesting case study to examine the different elements that have made India and Japan into modernizing machines, I have decided to take a different approach to seeing Technoculture.

Last semester, I studied abroad in London, one of the most globalized cities in the world.  During my time there I saw how the English used their technology and what kind of products they were being offered.  One thing I noticed while I was there was the emergence of 4G telecommunications, the latest and fastest in mobile broadband.  4G enables IP (Internet Protocol) voice, data and streaming multimedia services that are more efficient than 3G mobile technology.  The United States acquired 4G service in 2010 and I was well adjusted to the new speeds and data streaming.  It was an odd sight to be in London where the country was just establishing their network in 2012.  Upon further research, it appeared that 4G had been around longer in other countries.  Norway had the first Long Term Evolution (LTE) system in 2009 and South Korea had the first Mobile WiMAX in 2006, both are two commercial data systems to carry 4G technology.  Other countries won’t be receiving anything until 2014.

I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on the evolution of mobile connectivity through 4G development and distribution on a worldwide basis.  This case study will examine different countries and cities around the world and their relations with technology, giving explanation as to why a broadband system would be easier or harder to establish.  Places such as England, India, South Korea, New Zealand, the United States and others will be considered as each of these countries represent where 4G is present, being developed or is withheld.  Likewise, I will explore the effects of new technology in different countries; how it has improved or worsened situations and lifestyles in less fortunate areas.  4G and other advanced forms of technology are emerging faster than we think and are sure to have an impact on our lives and way we access information and social platforms.  It will change everything and it’s only a matter of time before the next generation of networks and products are introduced.  And that is why I want to see what this current network will do for us on a global basis.

To further explain what 4G is, please watch the video below.  It is from a UK perspective made a few months ago in September.  This was when the phone company EE was starting to make the switch over to 4G.

[youtube cXvn2OSLuqU]


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