Journal paper: The Alternative Technology Movement

Smith, A. (2005) ‘The Alternative Technology Movement: An analysis of its framing and negotiation of technology development’ Research in Human Ecology 12(2) pp.106-119

Technology mediates our relations with one another andwith nature.  Modern environmentalism recognised this fromits inception.  Alternative Technology (AT) activists called forinnovations that would pre-figure ecological society.  Thispaper analyses AT advocacy of technology.  Using the history of AT, two issues will be explored: 1) the relations between conceptualisations of environmental problems and the kinds of technology solution promoted; 2) the interplay and compromises environmentalists must make with other actors important in technological development. The paper concludes by reflecting upon how social actors advocate and construct technology. The AT experience highlights how technology-fixes provide only temporary solutions to problems that are, fundamentally, questions about prioritising multiple social values that are always shifting and developing.

Smith 2005 – AT movement