Friday, July 28, 2006

Article on Zhongguancun Published

After a long wait, I have finally published an article on Zhongguancun. It is not free, but fairly priced. If you have disposable income, feel free to purchase.

The article, "Technology as Practice in the Silicon Valley of China," is not focused solely on Zhongguancun. Instead it is about technology, and how viewing technology at the level of everyday life (the location of ethnography) yields insights into how technology comes to exist. I argue that companies and markets are necessary for technology to occur. In turn, technology's existence implies company and market.

This may seem to be a very specific definition of technology. However, I believe it to be general. For example, anthropologist Levi-Strauss analyzes a club that is used to hunt fish. The intricate, particular design and existence of the club is a objectification of the practice of killing fish (solving a problem) that comes into existence as a result of company (the people who make clubs and can make a living off that) and market (the demand for eating fish).

As you can see, this article is a little theoretical, and perhaps not suited to everyone. It does take place in Zhongguancun, and the three technology practices that I analyze come from my 2 years of fieldwork in Zhongguancun. In the article, I give some context to my fieldwork and describe the companies where I made observations. Technology, using my definition, is a key component of how Zhongguancun serves as a context for everyday life. Zhongguancun is also inseparable from technology practices that make it the Silicon Valley of China.

Eppur si mouve.

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