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The Real World of Technology (Comprehensive Summary of First Four Chapters)

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Social Science
SOSC 1000
Terry Conlin

Ursula M. Franklin – The Real World of Technology (1989) Chapter I. Real World of Technology “Technology has built the house in which we all live. The house is continually being extended and remodelled. More and more of human life takes place within its walls, so that today there is hardly any human activity that does not occur within the house. All are affected by the design of the house, by the division of its space, by the location of its doors and walls” (Franklin, 2). Technology – Definition - The way we do things - Parallel with science, not necessarily intertwined with scientific developments - Invariably includes changes to social relations - Includes “Structures as well as the act of structuring” (5) Cultural link - Accepted practices and values  “that’s how we do things!” - Gender specific work tools Engineers – non-traditional for female Development of Technologies A. Work Related B. Control Related Definition Devices created to make Devices created to increase control over work for the individuals operation of work easier Example Mechanical vs. Electric Word processers linked to network in Typewriters which assignments can be divided and individuals can be timed … On a Work Level (Very Important) A. Holistic B. Prescriptive Definition Notion of a craft, in which the Very efficient systems, in which the producer is specialized for the process is specialized. External entirety of the final product management and control. This form of work entails a high social mortgage reduce skill and autonomy of the individual Example Chef knows a recipe and there Chinese bronze casting (>1200 AD) First is some uniqueness to all other documented production method in which chefs because of their minor labour was divided into a system which differences between cooking allowed for larger bronze castings that would not have been possible for one individual Externalities –Problems outside System st Similar to externalities as discussed in terms of market failure in Heilbroner’s 21 Century Capitalism, externalities in the technological framework are the impacts of the production model in a larger ecological or social context. Example – Education - university teach like production model - Go to certain university o become a particular product - Assumes learning can be properly ltaught like any assembly line - Franklin argues education should be holistic Another hallmark to the real world of technology Franklin agues is the inherent trust in machines society has. See Noble’s reading for more detail Chapter II. Technological Reality “I think of reality as the experience of ordinary people in everyday life. There are different levels of reality, and I would like to go through these levels and then look at how they are influenced by the technologies around which our world is built” (28) Forms of Reality A. Vernacular – Everyday direct action and experience of the private sphere B. Extended – Experiences we could have had Ex. War, old age, foreign travel C. (Re)Constructed – Manifested in fiction, advertising etc. that is archetypal to furnish us with patterns of behaviour as part of a fabric that holds common culture together. D. Projected Reality – Vernacular
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