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The Meanings of Social LifeA Cultural Sociology$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195160840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195160840.001.0001

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The Sacred and Profane Information Machine

The Sacred and Profane Information Machine

(p.179) 7 The Sacred and Profane Information Machine
The Meanings of Social Life

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the information machine in the context of cultural sociology. It argues that the theory underlying the proposition about the possibility of a purely technical rationality is not correct because both human action and its environments are indelibly interpenetrated by the nonrational. It discusses socioscientific understandings of technology and suggests that far from being empirical accounts based on objective observations and interpretations, they represent simply another version of technocratic discourse itself.

Keywords:   information machine, cultural sociology, technical rationality, human action, socioscientific understandings, technocratic discourse

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