Technics, technicians, and techniques form the three basic cornerstones of what this book is about. Whether it is cell phones or airplanes, passengers or magazine advertisements, what the chapters collected here have in common is a basic orientation towards technology as a set of relations. This relational approach to technology demonstrates that technology is neither a utopian nor a dystopian force driving the universe towards progress or involution. For all the contributors to this book, what mobile communication technologies like smart phones and spatial mobility technologies like cars and ferry boats have in common is the potential to transform—and be transformed by—the very relationships in which technics and technicians are involved. Nothing more, and nothing less. Technology, therefore, becomes in this context a substitute term for a socio-technical assemblage in which multiple components play different roles based on circumstances, context, purposes, needs, affordances, material possibilities, and multiple other contingencies and variables.
Technologies of Mobility in the Americas, 2012, p. 1-20