Critical Technical Awakenings

“These ten stages are somewhere between descriptive
and normative. They are descriptive, insofar as they describe a process undergone by the subjects of Mezirow’s study, but normative, insofar as Mezirow identified perspective transformation as something valuable and possibly aided by knowing about this sequence in advance and following it (following Freire, and the idea of critical consciousness as a normative goal).”

“A critical technical awakening destabilizes a positivist
worldview, opening up the possibility of a perspective
transformation that leads to people working with
deliberation and awareness towards a better world. But
it is not sufficient. In a reflection of the language of
Selbst et al. who talk about five “traps” of the
(positivist) formalisms of computer science, we discuss
two traps in critical technical awakenings that reject
positivism but may fail to achieve genuine
transformation. There are other traps as well, for
example co-option, as discussed in other articles in this
special issue, but here we discuss incomplete
awakenings, and technical abandonment.”