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SOC 232 (1)

Comprehensive Study Guide Provides detailed descriptions and definitions to the list of terms he gives the class at the end of the term. Also included is a summary of key points from the Menzies and Kurzweil books as well as some points to sample essay qu

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University of Saskatchewan
SOC 232
John Goyder

SOC 232 Study Guide: Names and terms you should recognize and know at least a little bit about: Module 1: George Grant -it is our destiny to be technology users -Lament for a Nation US is the quintessential technological society/Europe Less/ Canada in the middle -technology as fate technological determinism -technology determines everything else in the culture (be cautious with this assumption) Defining Technology: -in a broad sense, everything is technology, i.e. job interview -William Leiss technologies are essentially a crystallized form of human knowledge -referring to knowledge which is in the culture -Volti application of knowledge manifested in physical objects for achieving goals Wilbert Moores definition of technology -application of knowledge to achievement of particular goals/problems Technique (vs technology), techne/ logos dimensions of technology (concept of dimension) 1) Material Base - What is it made of? 2) Power Source What drives the technology? 3) Knowledge Base series of ideas that go into technology 4) What are some of the other dimensions? a. Scale of technology (micro vs macro) b. Function c. Ethics (good or bad) Examples of historical tech Plough, Printing Press, Clock, Windmill, Water wheel, Steam Engine Social Change and Technology: -machines taking over, labour force decreased from 25%-3% in farming -Energy consumption generally increasing -More people in universities than before -Women in workforce doubles over last 50 years -Service sector increasing social construction(ism) -much of what seems necessary in society is invented by people rather arbitrarily. Alvin Toffler (third wave, and first and second) -First wave agricultural society up to the steam engine -Second wave industrial wave up to invention of handheld calculator -Third wave information age, current -transitions between waves are marked with chaos -society itself becomes standardized society adapts to the wave -optimistic viewpoint: increased options for people are a good thing (de-massification) Marshall McLuhan, mechanical and electronic technologies -Mechanical Technologies Explosion of scale; get larger in dimensions and magnitude - fragmentary quality you can see the parts/transfer of forces - leads to detatchment removes emotional involvement between people -Electronic Technology -movement is rapid -involvement Marshall McLuhan, global village -mechanical technologies sequence is clear and causal, cause and effect similar to social science ideas (rooted in this age) -electronic ear...has it affected our style of thinking about humans and society? Marshall McLuhan, medium is the message Module 2: Creating Technology Three Levels of Explanation -congruent with Grants view of fate -Technology (as an indep. Variable) Geography Sociobiological Edward Wilson, socio-biology -Stone age tools, hominid, Darwinian evolution Social Environment -economy, policy, family, education, religion -Analyzable in terms of two main concepts: -social structure -form/architecture of the society -e.g. distribution of income, networks of connection -culture (cultural) -language, beliefs, justice system, knowledge base, material and sources of power technology as independent and as dependent variable -dependent variable caused by all these factors -independent variable social consequences of technology Fundamental Processes (that create technology): -Economic Surplus -more money means more money invested in innovation - One Technology Causes another - George Basalla, example of the wheel -attacks notion that technology is a result of human intent -technology has its own momentum -Social Definition of Need - Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone(meant for businesses orignally) - Bijker on bikes, as example of social construction of technology(rec. Vehicle) -Unintended Consequences of Technology - Edward Tenner, revenge effects: phone numbers become longer Capitalism and Technological Innovation: -What drives what? -Intended to be a surplus generating engine (which drives technology) -Ethics of capitalism conducive to technology impersonal/removes ethical dimension (Lewis Mumford) - patents(patent law and encourage or discourage investment based on the strictness) Cultural Factors within the social environment: -Scientific Revolution (1500-1600) -general climate of opinion begins to shift (perhaps after plagues) -Saha: -value dominance over nature -valuation of struggle (military combat) -supremacy of reason -valuation of happiness pursuit of happiness drives technologies -David Noble, fit between religion and technology -Protestant stream of western tradition is pivotal -critical of technology and that human reason should be watching over it closely -second coming of christ -National Systems of Innovation (concept of) - USA spending money on military, Kennedy and the space program -Government policy allocating money on research
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