HPS202 Technological Systems

History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Technological Systems
collection of elements that interact systematically to create and maintain a technology.
if a component of the system is removed from system its characteristics change, other
artifacts will alter characteristics accordingly. components of a tech system may be
technical, social, material, political, economic, etc
includes technical and organization elements
systems complex and far reaching
includes all things that have systematic relationship to technology
everything that is controlled or created by system builders is part of the system
factory building
machines (spinning jenny, water frame...)
canal system
organizational structures
anti-guild legislation
Production in the 17th Century
master artisans: high status position, clothiers not workmen, produce complete goods,
both whole cloth and complete garments to be taken to market
journeyman: trained and employed by masters, working to become master
small hold farmer or laborer: might own some own land, works as farm laborer,
supplements income during winter by taking in piece work, wives and children would
probably card and spin all year round
personal relationship between master and journeyman; journeyman work for someone
else buy have potential to become masters; masters hold high status position and work
for themselves
individual worker controls own time, work days follow length of day and turn of season,
unit of work largely family unit
masters and journeyman work together
most people have ability to supplement income by doing a small amount of farming or
piecework on the side
Labor Organization under Factory System
capitalist owns factory, has little contact with workers and no personal relationship with
overseer controls worker’s time strictly and imposes fines for breaking regulations,
taking unsanctioned breaks, or flawed work
machine sets pace of work
worker has no potential to rise to level of capital
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