The Other Side of Technology: Lacan and the Desire for the Purity of Non-Being

University dissertation from Lund Business Press

Abstract: Against the deeply ingrained belief that technology is instrumental and neutral, this thesis argues that our relation to technology is inextricably bound up with fantasies. But what is the nature of these fantasies and where do we find them? Are they strictly reserved to the domain of Science Fiction, or can we also find them in more mundane contexts, like the business organization? These are some of the central questions of the present study. Combining the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan with dominant perspectives within information systems research, this thesis offers an alternative perspective on technology in which fantasy, and not least a fantasy of non-being, plays a central role. With support from an empirical case study these points are further contextualized and conceptually developed. The arguments that follow from this investigation have far-reaching consequences for studying information technology (IT), suggesting a turn towards more affective components involved in IT implementation and use.

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