Friday, 1 February 2013

Technological determinism

Technological determinism is basically the belief that when technology changes, it causes changes in society. Thinking about this, I could be guilty of determinism, for example, I have said “the smartphone has changed the way students communicate”. I now realise this is a deterministic statement, and the readings this week have challenged me to think more about this. 

Another useful reading
 To go further, some of the authors mention in the reading “hard” technological determinism where “changes in technology exert a greater influence on societies and their processes than any other factor”. I have always seen technology as an inevitable and inescapable progression, but from a utopian perspective. 

Way back in 1967 Robert L. Heilbroner, in “Do Machines Make History” looked at the effect of technology in determining the nature of the socioeconomic order. In a completely deterministic view he argued that “the technology of a society imposes a determinate pattern of social relations on that society.”  So this is not a new concept – 45 years ago the same views were being pondered. I find this comforting, in a way J

1 comment:

  1. I think that it has been refreshing to look back at some of the early literature...the Noble article listed fears we still hear today from faculty.