Topic // Technology, Science, and Magic
Etymology of Technology & Science
• Technology: from Greek tekhnologia / tekhne = “art, craft”
– Latin technologia = “a systematic treatment”
• Science: from Latin scientia = “knowledge”
– Early meaning = a branch of learning
– Later meaning = science as theory VS technology as practical
application of theory
**Technology is the intermediary between us and the natural world.
The current century accepted technology. Most of the century found
technology and the advancements it brought to society very
conservative. Risks but potentiality is involved with what technology
L.Mumford – a theorist about technology.
Technology is a greek term originally but also took on a Latin meaning
Science comes from Latin meaning Knowledge and also was referred to
as a branch of learning.
Mumford, arguest that there are various stages in the development of
technology but what marks the major advancement in technology is
the merging between SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, this was crucial to
understand modernity and the modern era.
Because of the power that technology confers on to people
acertain mindset about technology has been developed. This is
because the idea that if there are any problems in society –
technology will solve it. This naïve perpsecitve about
technology has been created since its advent. Yes – technology
solves problems but it variably creates new problems.
What is the significance of technology to anthropology?
How culture is learned?
- through human interaction How is Culture Learned?
From Edward T. Hall:
- he was interested in non verbal forms of communication
The Silent Language, Beyond Culture, The Hidden Dimension, The Dance of Life
1. Formal – where one has to learn formal and arbitrary learning systems. Ex- signs,
legal law, religious doctrine
2. Informal - a type of learning that one merely learns thru just being a part of
3. Technical – a specialized type knowledge. Generally based on “pedagogy” – the
people that have this learning have to in an ideal sense – distribute their learning. If
the teaching is not effective, the students behavior will adjust the form of teaching.
Ex – hunting, healing, cooking, performing, manufacturing, dancing.
L. H. Morgan ‐ Ancient Society (1877)
** Conducts a study and categorizes them into different development stages:
1. Comparative history
2. Evolutionism & progress
3. A major contribution to social theory
Evolutionary stages of development based on technological criteria
**what are the social implications of TECHNOLOGY?!! Relate to science.
V. Gordon Childe claims that: technology was the key variable in classifying society. concernedwithlong-termculturechangeandwiththesimilarpatternsofdevelopmentthatmaybeseen
Leslie White claims that: he characterized society by how much energy they captured.
anthropology was the science of culture and he called it culturology. He was
interested in symbols as a crucial feature that helps human beings to form
culture. Thus culture was a mode of adaptation for human beings.
Julian Steward claimed that: White’s approach was too broad of an approach. He
developed an approach which he called cultural ecology – as defining the
interaction of specific cultures with their environments. He thought that while
cultures used energy to progress, it did not explain why all cultures did not
progress by using available free energy sources.
**Technology is seen as a primary driving force in social change.
Stahl (1995) Venerating the Black Box: M Technology is inherently conservative agic in
Media Discourse on Technology
• What is the basic question this research is trying to answer?
Answer: What is the role in magic and religion in the involvement of Technology is
inherently conservative technology
• What methods of study does Stahl use?
Answer: 1. A content analysis ~ he measures how much print is actually devoted to
computer reviews. How much “magical language” is actually used.
2. Hermeneutic Analysis – Stahl interprets how magical metaphors are used.
• What is a “technological frame”?
Answer: A combination of current theories, tactic knowledge, specializded testing
theories, goals, and handling and using practice. Example – Linux
• What is a “media frame”?
Answer: a filter for the medium. “Persistent patterns of cognition, interpretation, and
presentation, of selection and emphasis, and exclusion by which symbol-handlers
organize a discourse, verba