Technology and Society Building our Sociotechnical Future

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2008-10-17
Publisher(s): The MIT Press
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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, Lawrence 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 Societya coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and in such other disciplines as engineering, sociology, and anthropology. 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.

Author Biography

Deborah G. Johnson is Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Department Chair, Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia.

Jameson M. Wetmore is Assistant Professor at the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.

Trevor Pinch is Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and coeditor of The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (anniversary edition, MIT Press).

Wiebe E. Bijker is Professor at Maastricht University and the author of Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (MIT Press) and other books.

Thomas P. Hughes is Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bruno Latour, a philosopher and anthropologist, is the author of We Have Never Been Modern, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, Facing Gaia, Down to Earth, and many other books. He coedited (with Peter Weibel) the previous ZKM volumes Making Things Public, ICONOCLASH, and Reset Modernity! (all published by the MIT Press).

Langdon Winner is the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Daniel Sarewitz is Professor of Science and Society and Cofounder and Codirector of the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University and the author of Frontiers of Illusion.

Jameson M. Wetmore is Assistant Professor at the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.

W. Patrick McCray, Professor in the History Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of four other books, including the prize-winning The Visioneers.

Dominique Vinck is Professor at Pierre Mendès-France University and at the Polytechnic National Institute of Grenoble. He is also a member of CRISTO, a research center associated with CNRS that focuses on sociotechnical innovation and industrial organizations.

John L. Pollock is Regents Professor of Philosophy and Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona.

Judy Wajcman is Professor of Sociology in the Demography and Sociology Program at Australia National University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. ix
Visions of a Technological Futurep. 1
"Technology and Social Justice"p. 5
"The Machine Stops"p. 13
"The Prolongation of Life"p. 37
"Reproductive Ectogenesis: The Third Era of Human Reproduction and Some Moral Consequences"p. 51
"Nanotechnology: Shaping the World Atom by Atom"p. 63
Interagency Working Group on Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology
"Why the Future Doesn't Need Us"p. 69
The Relationship Between Technology and Societyp. 93
"Do Machines Make History?"p. 97
"The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts"p. 107
"Technological Momentum"p. 141
"Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts"p. 151
"Code Is Law"p. 181
"The Intersection of Culture, Gender, and Technology"p. 195
Technology and Valuesp. 205
"Do Artifacts Have Politics?"p. 209
"Control: Human and Nonhuman Robots"p. 227
Whitep. 257
"Manufacturing Gender in Commercial and Military Cockpit Design"p. 265
"Pas de Trois: Science, Technology, and the Marketplace"p. 275
"Amish Technology: Reinforcing Values and Building Community"p. 297
The Complex Nature of Sociotechnical Systemsp. 319
"Will Small Be Beautiful? Making Policies for Our Nanotech Future"p. 323
"Sociotechnical Complexity: Redesigning a Shielding Wall"p. 355
"The Naked Launch: Assigning Blame for the Challenger Explosion"p. 369
"Bodies, Machines, and Male Power"p. 389
"Crash!: Nuclear Fuel Flasks and Anti-Misting Kerosene on Trial"p. 407
"When Is a Work Around? Conflict and Negotiation in Computer Systems Development"p. 423
Twenty-First-Century Challengesp. 441
"Shaping Technology for the 'Good Life': The Technological Imperative versus the Social Imperative"p. 445
"The Feminization of Work in the Information Age"p. 459
"Nanotechnology and the Developing World"p. 475
"Nanotechnology and the Developing World: Will Nanotechnology Overcome Poverty or Widen Disparities?"p. 485
"People's Science in Action: The Politics of Protest and Knowledge Brokering in India"p. 499
"Security Trade-Offs Are Subjective" and "Technology Creates Security Imbalances"p. 515
"Questioning Surveillance and Security"p. 537
Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Futurep. 565
Introduction to Environmental Justice: Creating Equality, Reclaiming Democracyp. 579
"Icarus 2.0: A Historian's Perspective on Human Biological Enhancement"p. 599
Indexp. 613
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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