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Technology, Values, and Society

Social Forces in Technological Change


Mitra Das and Shirley Kolack

Technology is not value-free; nor does it exist in a vacuum. It needs a social basis – technology is affected by society and influences it. Technology, Values, and Society illustrates this using an examination of cross-cultural case studies representing simple, intermediate, and complex societies. Certain forms of technology exist when conducive values and structures sustain them. However, this relationship is not one-way. Technological changes do precipitate social and value changes. It is impossible to sustain egalitarian values in a society involving technology based on hierarchical relationships. Understanding this connection is vital if we are to keep some control over the way in which technology affects us. This revised edition brings the topic to life for both faculty and students.
Contents: Hunters and foragers of the rain forest: Pygmies - Hunters of the Arctic: Eskimos - Hoe cultivation: The African example - Plow cultivation: The Indian example - The Industrial revolution: The case of Lowell, Massachusetts - Conclusion - Bibliography - Index.