chapter  1
23 Pages

On Cultural Studies, Science, and Technology

Cultural critics, both contemporary and otherwise, have often claimed that science is the dominant institutional and ideological player in the global cultural scene, the one that most dramatically affects, or, more precisely, permeates (but does not determine) our corporeal, subjective, and social being. Yet science itself is dependent upon technologies, in such a way that it is not simply a theoretical enterprise which smoothly subordinates technological advancement in order to produce "applied science." However, just because science "depends upon" technological advancement does not mean that this advancement determines either scientific practices and ideologies or scientific status and power. Technology does not determine social organization nor does it cause the rise of global capitalism (see De Landa, this volume). We claim that, although technology and science may be everywhere, there is no determinism anywhere, if by determinism we signify a one-to-one correspondence between the causal agent and its effects; rather technology permeates, or inheres in, all these regions, practices, and ideologies. Consequently, cultural studies must critique determinism in all its forms (political, economic, philosophical, religious, technological, scientific), including the language of causality and must, as an alternative, construct a theory of complexity.