chapter  4
‘Technophobia’ : Parents’ and children’s fears about inform ation and com m unication technologies and the transform ation o f culture and society
Pages 21

There is a long history of different groups being threatened by the advent of particular new technologies. Perhaps most famously, in the early nineteenth century a group of weavers from Yorkshire, known as Luddites, sabotaged machines that were being introduced as part of the large-scale mechanization brought about by the development of industrial capitalism. Their actions led to the introduction of a parliamentary bill that imposed the death penalty for the crime of breaking machines. It was not the technology per se which the Luddites were opposed to, but rather the changes its introduction wrought; the relocation of work from home to factory threatened the cultural stability of their craft-based communities and way of life (Bryson and de Castell 1998). The Amish community in Pennsylvania, USA, are a more contemporary example of people who shun technologies, such as the radio and the televi­ sion, the telephone and electricity, all of which are regarded as a threat to their efforts to articulate and maintain a distinct community identity and practices (Zimmerman Umble 1992).