Fixing Diseases - Locating Modernity. the Role of Technology for Improving Uganda's Health System

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 16:40
Location: Hörsaal 45 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Rene UMLAUF, Martin-Luther University Halle/Wittenberg, Germany
The paper starts with a brief summary of some core characteristics of modernity. Here I will mainly draw from Anthony Giddens argument that modernity – in contrast to more traditional types of social order – features a distinctive pace and scope in how social change is brought about and enacted. I will argue that this observation is mainly drawn from institutional change in western settings. To critical examine Giddens claim my paper will ask if this still holds true if we turn to concrete technologies and how these are implemented and used in non-western settings. Taking the example of introduction of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Uganda I will show that technical change is a complex process involving and requiring various temporalities and spacialities. I will argue that we need a particular as well as broader understanding of Giddens features of pace and scale of change if we want to fully grasp the practical and organisational implications the use of new technologies in non-western settings renders visible.