Video: “Returning to Gitxaata” http://anthfilm.anth.ubc.ca/returning.html
Neutrality of technology within a culture is a question that I haven’t placed much thought prior to this point, and my immediate (and probably obvious) though would be to say, no, technology isn’t neutral within any culture.
The tools and technology we use everyday for whatever reasons may appear neutral, but while we use them to inquire and inform ourselves about the world and surroundings around us, we are immediately exposed to virtually everything the Internet can offer just with a click of a button and enticing us as the user to indulge in what the source has to offer. Thus in turn the technologies are encouraging us to transform our opinions to think one way or another, much like most media messages.
To solely focus on the good or bad of technology, or what is right and/or wrong way of using the technology tools, we forget that regardless of how one views technology, bottom line it brings significant change to the way we manage daily tasks or jobs. When thinking about neutrality of technology, this is where I think neutral ground can be met or achieved within a culture.
To encourage neutrality, the user needs to look at the context of how technology is being used and for what purposes. Bowers et al (2000) discusses this point by adding, “It all depends on how the technology is used. In other words, technology, including the computer, is completely neutral (p.183).
Regardless of where technology is being used or how it is being incorporated, technology will create a sense of biasness to those who might not be as open to using new tools. If technology is being offered to a group of peoples within a culture, than the technology tools or the use of technology needs to be offered to everyone, and than a choice can be made to use technology or not.
When viewing the short video on “Returning to Gitxaata,” it appears that all the parties involved where given the opportunity to participate or not, and if the individual chose to, his/her voice was heard and was reflected in the research.
For whatever reasons of what technology is being used within a culture, looking at the context of how technology is used and allowing for individuals the choice to use or not, will hopefully provide some neutrality in the end.
Bowers, C.A., Vasquez, Migues, and Roaf, Mary, “Native People and the Challenge of Computers: Reservation Schools, Individualism, and Consumerism,” American Indian 24(2), 2000, 182-199.