Sociology Lecture 1 - Sociology Lecture 1: 1/19/11 Notes...

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Sociology Lecture 1: 1/19/11 Notes What is Technology? o The Engine of Progress It is Neutral, and is the embodiment of objective Science Technology is “socialized” production Linked to the Idea of Progress However, it is necessary to drop this assumption Stop assuming technology makes things “better” o Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction o “guns don’t kill people” people kill people o We create technology w/o thinking of Social consequences A second theme is Technology is always external o This brings up the concept of Information Technology What Technologies do we produce? o Technology is socially produced and consumed o Production and consumption are activities that take place in the context of social relations o Technology: is Society given a material form. o Not always the newest stuff: Pencils are technology too. Technological Determinism: o Promise: technology creates social relations Leads to everyone wanting technology Technology is more available to everyone: YouTube Videos Podcasts Things are socially produced, and therefore, have an effect on social relations Sociology Lecture: 2 1/21/2011 Notes Reader will be available, but will not include current and next week’s reader- Fisher Piece should be read by next week Technology is social relations given material form, essentially o Created on the more recent end of the spectrum This course rejects this, as technology is not just Computers, and cell Phones. It’s also a pencil, a paper: anything with material form
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Why? Not just for respect for the objects, but that their production plays a roll Not about the big picture. Technology is also absent of social constructions No Race, Gender, Sexuality However, what isn’t absent of social construction is how we produce, market, and sell technology o Class is a role: Who can afford? o Gender/Race is a role: Who will we target in marketing? o Reflects relations of power, and authority o What is the nature of the social relations in this technology? Whose interests are satisfied in its use? Production? o Once a technology is formed, are there now inherent inequalities? What about the manufactures? People boycott productions because they aren’t produced in ideal conditions This makes technology a reflection of inequality Course Design: o Focused on 4 major case studies: o Bigger themes, so they aren’t rushed o Don’t try and wrap up the case studies into one big overlapping thing Case Study 1: Air Conditioning Not-so needed in CA, but popular elsewhere Chosen because most people don’t realize its existence, and most people take it for granted Case Study #2: The Internet Internet, unlike most technology, is not a physical thing It indeed is infect an: Information Technology o Social Networking is heavy o Berkeley has a large role in modern day computing o What is the purpose of internet??? o
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Sociology Lecture 1 - Sociology Lecture 1: 1/19/11 Notes...

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