ANT 3150 Nov 30 - Technology in the Human Context...

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Slide 1 Technology in the Human Context Technology in the Human Context Anthropology 3150 November 30, 2009
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Slide 2 Technology in the Human Context The Buzz on Technology It will save the world It will destroy the world It is eliminating jobs It is creating jobs
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Slide 3 Technology in the Human Context Technology = tools? Instrumental values Other values:  moral, aesthetic, kinship,  religious, … A modern conceit:  technological  aesthetics
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Slide 4 Technology in the Human Context Technology = religion? In the United States, yes. Fetish objects Magical qualities Medieval antecedents Engineers and freemasons:  George  Washington et al. The technological sublime
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Slide 5 Technology in the Human Context Technology = social authority? “The computer says …” Technototemism:  creating social distinctions Technology as a repository of capital Technology as a repository of social  relationships
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Slide 6 Technology in the Human Context Product technology, process technology, lifestyle technology New products:  computers, avionics,  New production tools:  flexible machining  cells, robotics, CNC, CAD, … New production processes:  JIT,  SPC, … New styles of life:  24 x 7, cell phones,  pagers, home office,  …
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Slide 7 Technology in the Human Context The Two Basic Contexts: Development context:  who created the  technology, what their assumptions were,  how they expected it to be used Use context:  Who actually uses the  technology, what they expect from it, how  they understand it
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Slide 8 Technology in the Human Context A Basic Point: Technology is always a social creation: it is created in a social context, and re-created in successive contexts, as it is deployed, used, re- used, and recycled. Technological form is always the expression of the will of social actors, either in the present or the past.
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Slide 9 Technology in the Human Context Illustration #1: CAD/CAM Computer-Aided Design:  Smart drawing  tools Computer-Aided Manufacturing:  Design 
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ANT 3150 Nov 30 - Technology in the Human Context...

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