Homework Help for Sociology

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Sociology studies human behavior, social life and how it changes, as well as the structure of social relationships and the interactions among different cultures.

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macolin925 asked for the first time

More and more current types of work are being automated. Marchant et al.'s article covers potential futures of technology and work. They outline six different types of options for how society could adapt to a world in which people's basic needs can be met through automated means (that is, with little to no human labor required to produce resources like food, clothing, etc.). Marchant et al.'s purpose is to outline all the options they could think of—they do not believe all these options are workable (especially not option A, eliminating new technologies that can improve people's welfare); they instead wanted to present all the possibilities so that everyone has a record of them.

When thinking about the future, people often think of just one thing changing at a time. For example, when presented with Marchant et al.'s idea of the average work week being shorter, many people consider how this would relate to CURRENT concerns (e.g., how would I meet my basic needs, like food or clothes, with less money?). However, social scientists need to consider how multiple changes happen simultaneously. So, for example, if work weeks are shorter AND sufficient food and clothes for everyone have been produced with little to no human labor--what might society look like? The rate of social and technological change tends to get faster over time (“exponential growth”), so we need to address these issues now so that we have feasible plans for using technologies effectively and building positive work opportunities when the time comes.

Contrary to popular belief, futurists nowadays are less concerned with trying to predict what is likely to happen but instead are concerned with identifying positive outcomes and ways to achieve these outcomes. In this assignment, you'll use a technique called a scenario (which is a rich description of what life could be like in the future) to reflect on the future of technology and work. Building positive scenarios for the future is an important way for us to use social science research to help us construct goals for the future and reflect on how stakeholders can have a role in achieving them.

For this assignment, you'll construct a scenario of the midpoint of the century (2050). Scenarios, like all social science analytical tools, can take some different forms. Your scenario can be a straightforward narrative description of what our society could look like in 2050—but some students find that other writing techniques help them construct scenarios. Some previous students have approached their scenarios by writing them as “diary entries” from 2050, where they describe what their life, or what the life of someone else (their child, a celebrity, etc.) could be like. Some students have written scenarios as news reports from the future. These are both ways of making abstract concepts more concrete.

In approximately 300 words, construct a scenario of a positive future, in which technology is used to meet our needs and people have opportunities to participate in work, education, and leisure. Ensure to paraphrase and cite information from Marchant et al.'s article about some of the changes they do believe are workable.

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