Technology crime and technology control

Contexts and history

Authored by: M. R. McGuire

The Routledge Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138820135
eBook ISBN: 9781315743981
Adobe ISBN:


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Just as productive uses of technology are all but contiguous with (if not directly responsible for) the emergence of human culture and society so – presumably – are its misuses. Yet whilst terms such as ‘technology-dependent crime’ or ‘technology-enabled crime’ have become increasingly widespread, the concept of technology itself remains rather under-discussed within the criminal justice field. Indeed the idea of technology crime seems only to have emerged in the post-1990s period and has come to refer, almost exclusively, to one very specific variety of offending – that perpetrated via digital networks like the Internet (so-called ‘cybercrime’). Our understanding of the ways in which technology has been used to impose forms of social control has, by contrast, been more developed. Here key contributions such as Marx’s account of the role of technical-production methods in shaping social order (2007), Heidegger’s assault upon technological instrumentalism (1949) or Marcuse’s claim that ‘technological rationality’ underpins contemporary governance (1982) have all helped shape our awareness of this uneasy relationship.

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