Technology as a Lens for Investigating Social and Cultural Norms in Japan


  • Melchior Tamisier-Fayard New York University


Today more than ever, technology is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, whether in public spaces or at home. While we tend to take our interactions with various mundane technologies for granted, they can reflect socio-cultural values, and in turn technology becomes a lens to investigate particular cultural contexts. In this research paper, using a qualitative approach, I investigate Japanese cultural mores and norms through individual narratives of  interactions with mundane technology. In order to understand the role of technology in contributing to a certain perceived culture, I focused on three particular examples which emerged from my interviews: vending machines, air conditioners, and rice cookers. In doing so, I hope to demonstrate the reflective and conversational aspects of technology within socio-cultural contexts.






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