Theories of technology and society

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This is an excerpt from a lecture that I give at the National University of Maynooth on the relationship of technology with society. It reviews concepts of technological determinism and outlines Raymond Williams' influential social shaping of technology perspective.

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Theories of technology and society

  1. 1. MD353Socialisation of TechnologyDr Trish Morgan Week 3
  2. 2. TechnologicalDeterminism
  3. 3. Determining and DystopianNeil Postman
  4. 4. Determining Manuel and Castells Utopian
  5. 5. Information Age New World Order Super-Text and Meta-Language
  6. 6. Alternatives
  7. 7. Social Shaping / Social Construction of Technology
  8. 8. Raymond Williams
  9. 9. Television:Technology andCultural Form
  10. 10. effects
  11. 11. cause
  12. 12. whether it is to describe any technology as a cause, or, if we think of it as acause, as , and inwhat relations with other kinds of causes
  13. 13. IF causeor somethingthat ‘leads to’ a societal or cultural outcome ?
  14. 14. we can modify or seek to control its effects
  15. 15. if we do that technology has an effect, what are the that has resulted in its particular use ?
  16. 16. andcultural forms
  17. 17. ‘when it is consciouslydeveloped for particular social uses that thegeneral significance begins’
  18. 18. process
  19. 19. these processes are
  20. 20. social order
  21. 21. technology use is not hard codedusers are active and socially situated decoders of technologies
  22. 22. mcluhan and williams compared
  23. 23. 1 Human Agency (Williams) vTechnological (McLuhan)
  24. 24. ‘all technologies have been and improved to helpwith known human practices or with forseen and desired practices’ (Williams)
  25. 25. ‘change of scale or pace’ (McLuhan)
  26. 26. why a technology is developedthe social, cultural and economic factors that shape it the ways that technologies are mobilised for certain ends (Williams)
  27. 27. 2Multiple andUses of a Technology
  28. 28. the unforeseen
  29. 29. 3 Concepts ofTechnology
  30. 30. “man”
  31. 31. The concept of medium
  32. 32. a medium is aparticular use of a technology
  33. 33. When isa technology a medium?
  34. 34. a medium issomething we do with

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