Sociology and Technology

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Submitted By aggiethomson23
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The question we could ask is: what exactly is technology? Technology is generally used to meet the many challenges of globalization, and to control two concepts namely ‘time and space’ in human communication. This means that people working with technology create new ways and means to control and reduce ‘time and space’ in order to meet the global challenges we are faced with. We see that in the 21st century technology is another term used to represent our modern life style, thinking and behaviour. Technology is also used by people to improve their surroundings, and it involves having to have some sort of knowledge in order to use certain machines and tools to do so. Furthermore technology is used to control the world in which we live, and more specifically people use it to improve their ability to do work and improve products. This whole idea as to how we view technology is seen as the technological determinism approach. It has also been said that technology cannot work on its own, but rather it is found to work hand in hand with the environment in which we live (Lian, 2007). Therefore in my essay I will be looking at various types of technology from a technological determinist and cultural materialist perspective, and then looking at how these two approaches compare or differ from one another. This would also lead me to seeing if the cultural materialist approach does see society as being free agents and actually adapting technology to fit the culture.
1. The main ideas of technological determinism and the theoretical implications of it
Technological determinism has to do with the belief that technology shapes social change. A social scientist named Veblen first came up with this concept in the 1920s, and he believed that changes in beliefs; practices and goals of a society and culture were all influenced by technology (Murphie & Potts, 2003).

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