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the 1st midterm
Terms in this set (24)
A way of doing something novel or improving on an extant practice
Created surplus, thus birthing property, wealth (consequently wealth disparity), and ultimately society/civilization
What was the impact of the plow? (direct and indirect effects)
Integrates cultural and organizational aspects to a purely technical understanding- need road laws for cars
What do we mean when we say that technology has to be understood as a system ?
The result of uneven technological development(one technology 'holding back' another)- needing better aerodynamics/landing for better plane engines
No, sometimes we solve problems for the sake of solving problems lol
Is technology always designed with a practical purpose in mind?
-Systemic: need system to support it (infrastructure, pre-req tech)
-Uncertainty: more than one way to skin a cat
-Dynamic: Evolving and creating, material outpaces cultural/social
-Cumulative: builds on extant knowledge/experience
4 characteristics of Technology
No, technology can be political and muddle things up
Is technological progress the same thing as social progress?
Reductionist theory that assumes that a society's technology determines the development of its social structure and cultural values.
Incorporates the consequential cultural and organizational effects of technology in addition to its purely theoretical/technical analysis
What is Pacey's concept of "technology-practice", and how does it differ from the conventional notion of "technology"?
It can be very political, see: creating bridges low enough to preclude buses and therefore poor people, agricultural tech's cost of entry encouraging monopoly, etc.
Is technology really neutral, or can it be political (non-neutral)?
Dramatic breakthroughs- often characteristic of wild, creative notions which aren't immediately able to be capitalized on
Refinement: Small changes that can have large effects as they alter context of all extant forms of the tech. More responsible for final 'product form'
How do the two types of technological innovation - the dramatic breakthroughs, and the improvements and refinements to existing technologies - differ from each other?
Argument that technology does not determine human action, but that rather, human action shapes technology. They also argue that the ways a technology is used cannot be understood without understanding how that technology is embedded in its social context
What is Bijker's "social construction of technology" (SCOT) approach, and how does it differ from both technological determinism and Pacey's technology-practice?
The most basic relevant groups are the users and the producers of the technological artifact, but most often many subgroups can be delineated - users with different socioeconomic status, competing producers, etc. Sometimes there are relevant groups who are neither users, nor producers of the technology, for example, journalists, politicians, and civil organizations. Trevor Pinch has argued that the salespeople of technology should also be included in the study of technology. The groups can be distinguished based on their shared or diverging interpretations of the technology in question.
Bijker- relevant social groups
Just as technologies have different meanings in different social groups, there are always multiple ways of constructing technologies. A particular design is only a single point in the large field of technical possibilities, reflecting the interpretations of certain relevant groups.
Bijker- interpretive flexibility
Bijker- society and its values/desires shape tech
Pacey- Tech shapes culture/organization
Tech Determinism: Tech determines nearly everything
Bijker vs Pacey's Tech Practice and Technological Determinism
R&D is the slow honing of a process to make it ready for market/practical use
What is R & D, and what is the role of each in technological development?
Improving a technology to the point where it can be implemented on a grater scale
What is 'scaling up'?
Analytical engine- had all the parts of a computer but was nowhere near as effective as modern computers due to nonexistence of electricity
How does technological advance in one area stimulate technological development in other areas?
Translators are people who apply technology in areas where it hadnt been before, often 'boots on the ground' who move ideas around
Who or what are translators, and what role do they play in technological development and the diffusion of technology?
Cameras being made under the assumption that only white people would be onscreen resulted in photographic technology that was poor at capturing non-white faces. Presumption of contraceptive responsibility being female stymied male contraceptive development and exploded female
How have social forces such as gender, race and class impacted the development of technologies?
-Competition incentivizes innovation to outdo peers
-Fosters development of auxiliaries such as raw materials
In what ways do the market forces of a capitalist economy work to promote technological innovation?
Central planning was efficient for meeting goals in terms of production but poorly suited to fostering something as unpredictable and non-standard as innovation
-Productivity quotas were rewarded whereas innovation was not(due to not aligning with plan) so risk was not rewarded
-accommodating needs of new technologies did not align with 'plan'
How did the centrally-planned (non-market driven) economies of the Soviet Union and other state socialist societies of the 20th century inhibit the development of technology?
Very, but there are non-economic drivers such as state defense/offense
How important are economic considerations in the development of technology? Are there technologies where economic considerations take a back seat to other factors?
Why did China fall behind Europe and Japan in technological development?
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