Notes on a non-event: Y2K as social construction and its discontents
AuthorAdams, Ami Rhae
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the late 1990s, a 30-year-old decision by computer programmers was translated into "Y2K," a problem that threatened the technological and social infrastructure of contemporary Western society. This work examines that translation from the dominant perspective and juxtaposes it to the experiences of people who believed Y2K was real. In contrast to "mainstream" views that ultimately saw Y2K as a "non-event," these individuals constructed and experienced Y2K as an event with significant impact on their lives. In the dominant view, Y2K was understood through the lens of technology; when the technological failure markers that came to define Y2K in this construction did not materialize, Y2K became a non-event. For believers, who used a different set of markers, Y2K retained significance. This work demonstrates the importance of examining alternate perspectives on events, by showing that Y2K was only a non-event in its dominant construction.
Degree ProgramGraduate College