Technology and Society

Building our Sociotechnical Future

by Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

ISBN: 9780262326513 | Copyright 2008

Click here to preview

Instructor Requests

Digital Exam/Desk Copy Print Exam/Desk Copy Ancillaries
Tabs

Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Laurence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world. The careful ordering of the selections and the editors’ introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and other disciplines. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

Johnson and Wetmore's collection of papers on the interplay between technology and society is the most comprehensive I've seen, exposing just how rich, complex, multidimensional, and vital that interplay actually is. Be prepared for quite an intellectual ride!

Wm. A. Wulf Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia, and President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering
Expand/Collapse All
Contents (pg. v)
Acknowledgments (pg. ix)
Introduction (pg. xi)
I VISIONS OF A TECHNOLOGICAL FUTURE (pg. 1)
1 ‘‘Technology and Social Justice’’ (pg. 5)
2 ‘‘The Machine Stops’’ (pg. 13)
3 ‘‘The Prolongation of Life’’ (pg. 37)
4 ‘‘Reproductive Ectogenesis: The Third Era of Human Reproduction and Some Moral Consequences’’ (pg. 51)
5 ‘‘Nanotechnology: Shaping the World Atom by Atom’’ (pg. 63)
6 ‘‘Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us’’ (pg. 69)
II THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY (pg. 93)
7 ‘‘Do Machines Make History?" (pg. 97)
8 ‘‘The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts" (pg. 107)
9 ‘‘Technological Momentum’’ (pg. 141)
10 ‘‘Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts’’ (pg. 151)
11 ‘‘Code Is Law’’ (pg. 181)
12 ‘‘The Intersection of Culture, Gender, and Technology’’ (pg. 195)
III TECHNOLOGY AND VALUES (pg. 205)
13 ‘‘Do Artifacts Have Politics?’’ (pg. 209)
14 ‘‘Control: Human and Nonhuman Robots’’ (pg. 227)
15 White (pg. 257)
16 ‘‘Manufacturing Gender in Commercial and Military Cockpit Design’’ (pg. 265)
17 " Pas de Trois: Science, Technology, and the Marketplace" (pg. 275)
18 ‘‘Amish Technology: Reinforcing Values and Building Community’’ (pg. 297)
IV THE COMPLEX NATURE OF SOCIOTECHNICAL SYSTEMS (pg. 319)
19 ‘‘Will Small Be Beautiful? Making Policies for Our Nanotech Future’’ (pg. 323)
20 ‘‘Sociotechnical Complexity: Redesigning a Shielding Wall’’ (pg. 355)
21 ‘‘The Naked Launch: Assigning Blame for the Challenger Explosion’’ (pg. 369)
22 ‘‘Bodies, Machines, and Male Power’’ (pg. 389)
23 ‘‘Crash!: Nuclear Fuel Flasks and Anti-Misting Kerosene on Trial’’ (pg. 407)
24 ‘‘When Is a Work Around? Conflict and Negotiation in Computer Systems Development’’ (pg. 423)
V TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY CHALLENGES (pg. 441)
25 ‘‘Shaping Technology for the ‘GoodLife’: The Technological Imperative versus the Social Imperative’’ (pg. 445)
26 ‘‘The Feminization of Work in the Information Age" (pg. 459)
27 ‘‘Nanotechnology and the Developing World’’ (pg. 475)
28 ‘‘Nanotechnology and the Developing World: Will Nanotechnology Overcome Poverty or Widen Disparities?" (pg. 485)
29 ‘‘People’s Science in Action: The Politics of Protest and Knowledge Brokering in India’’ (pg. 499)
30 ‘‘Security Trade-Offs Are Subjective’’ and ‘‘Technology Creates Security Imbalances’’ (pg. 515)
31 ‘‘Questioning Surveillance and Security’’ (pg. 537)
32 Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future (pg. 565)
33 Introduction to Environmental Justice: Creating Equality, Reclaiming Democracy (pg. 579)
34 ‘‘Icarus 2.0: A Historian’s Perspective on Human Biological Enhancement’’ (pg. 599)
Index (pg. 613)
Series List (pg. 625)
eTextbook
Go paperless today! Available online anytime, nothing to download or install.

Features

  • Bookmarking
  • Note taking
  • Highlighting
Support