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week1 - understanding “technology” as a cultural object...

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Week 1: Conceptualizing the relation between media technologies and social change Readings Fischer, C.S. (1992) America Calling: A social history of the telephone to 1940. Pp 1-28 Read: “Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor, World Wide Web”, Rolling Stone, November 15, 2007. Watch the video on the beginnings of the Internet: http://www.archive.org/details/CC1232_internet Key concepts Modernization theory Technological change Social change Technological determinism Technology as a cultural object Web 2.0 Semantic web Questions: 1. What is the idea of “modernity”? what are the historical roots of modernization theory? Identify some of the main propositions of modernization theory. 2. How has the idea of “modernity” shaped studies of technology and technological development? 3. According to Fischer, what is technology? What are some of the implications of
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Unformatted text preview: understanding “technology” as a cultural object? In his view, what is the main question we have to consider in order to understand the relationship between information technologies and social change? 4. According to Fischer, are all media technologies the same? Why yes or why not? 5. Identify some of the “approaches to the study of technology” mentioned by Fischer? 7. Consider Tim Berners-Lee’s account of the beginnings of the World Wide Web. How would you characterize his vision of technological development and the web? What are his assumptions about the relation between the Internet and society? 8. According to Berners-Lee, what is the difference between the WWW and the Semantic Web?...
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