technological determinism


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technological determinism

the assumption that technology is both autonomous and has determinate effects on society. Technology is seen as political and as an INDEPENDENT VARIABLE in social change. This assumption is criticized for ignoring the social processes and choices which guide the use of technology and the variety of possible social arrangements which coexist with different types of technology. Marx s famous phrase – ‘the handmill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist’ – is sometimes used (mistakenly) as an example of technological determinism. MARX, however, saw technology as intimately related to the social relations of production (compare HISTORICAL MATERIALISM). Technological determinism is associated with neoevolutionary theories which give technology primacy in the analysis of social change (see NEOEVOLUTIONISM, POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY, CONVERGENCE), and empirical studies in the SOCIOLOGY OF WORK which describe the ‘effects’ of technology. see also CULTURAL LAG.
References in periodicals archive ?
Technological determinism is the philosophical perspective that assumes that technology causes inevitable change in society (Leonardi, 2008; Leonardi, 2009), exerting a control over human society with technology considered in some way to be an autonomous force operating outside of social control (Feenberg, 2010; Hofmann, 2006; Leonardi, 2009).
Thus, relating the findings to this fourfold typology--(1) systems theory, (2) socio-technical theory, (3) technological determinism, and (4) reinforcement theory--correlates closely to explaining the discrepancies uncovered between city and country jurisdictions, notably, as the normalized data disclose.
Still, his theory stands up much better than realist theory, technological determinism, or strategic culture.
Although critiquing forms of technological determinism, Swaminathan suggests that as this globalization of the technoscape evolves, the processes of international politics have been transformed dramatically.
As such, Pripyat's 'big wheel' offers a salient example of the complexity of environmental relations in the Anthropocene, of the thick 'eco-cultural networks' that surround us; the knotty terrains of technological determinism, politics, economy, gender and ethnicity; and the forces of non-human agency and adaptation that muddy our material and cultural encounters with nature.
Furthermore, her analysis that the torpedo was the key driver of change in naval warfare before 1914 is simplistic to the point of verging upon technological determinism.
The article is convincing in pounding another much-needed nail in the coffin of technological determinism (much-needed, because it's a zombie that never rests), but at least to me, the paper seems less successful in showing how technology has much influence back on power.
This diversity of focus not only discourages technological determinism, but it also makes for varied and engaging reading; this is a book that can be dipped into, its eight chapters read alone or as a whole.
He rejects former perspectives because they have employed an "implementation line" or an empirical and theoretical divide between technology feature development and technology use that is based on the propositions of technological determinism.
There are "hard" and "soft" varieties of technological determinism that vary by the degree to which scholars believe technology shapes history.
Indeed, these positions represent the two main perspectives used to study technology: one is that of social determinism, whereby technological innovation and change is regarded as socially, politically, culturally, and economically situated; the other is technological determinism, which considers technology to be the catalyst for social change.
The figure of the 'cadavre exquis' (invented by the French surrealists, it was a play consisting of forming a phrase following a hazardous assemblage of words; first one was 'Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau') orders the book alongside a series of terms which allow Flonneau to scrutinise the risks of technological determinism, amnesia or unanimous criticism.

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