Context of Technology
(Robert McGinn, S.S., Chapter
Understanding the "causes"
and consequences of scientific and technological development requires placing
them within the context of the Social-Cultural-Environmental System.
- MICRO (Internal) Contexts:
Immediate settings, situational contexts, group structure, etc.
- MACRO (External) Contexts:
Broad social, cultural, and environmental forces and patterns.
Dimensions of Contexts
- Individual qualities,
values and motivation
- Group structure
- Typically a micro context
- Needs of (and extensions
of) existing systems and/or technics: WWW and Security
- Consequences- innovations
may alter the pursuit of (or goals) of existing technologies: WWW again- Originally
for scientists to share information and collaborate- now....
- Micro and Macro levels
- Causal: Power, Defense,
Competition, Profit, Social Movements- Gay Activism and AIDS.
- Consequences: International
relations, World Stratification
- Typically Macro
- Combined with above:
Foreground- Immediate Social Context-Immediate Social System. Precipitating
- Background factors
- The "total way of
life" of a social system (lecture 1)
- The meaning systems and
values which propel or impede innovation, and which is reciprocally reshaped
- Natural environment:
climate, geography, fauna , and flora.
- Raw materials
- Environmental consequences
of technological developments.
- Environmental "envelope"
- Ideational Subsystem:
Values, Ideas, Attitudes, Norms, Goals
- Societal Subsystem: Institutions,
Groups, Stratification, Socialization, Social Control, Economy.
- Material Subsystem: Technics,
Artificial environments, technologies
- Personality and Behavioral
Subsystem: Personality traits and behavioral patterns- (aggressiveness, consumption
patterns, mating, etc,) as well as- behavioral settings (the nature of and
way things are arranged- table shape, lighting, room size, population density,
the Immediate Social System with the Cultural-Environmental System and you get:
- The Social-Cultural-Environmental
System of a particular society. (SCES)
- Foreground and Background
- What shapes and what
is at the same time shaped by scientific and technological innovations and
- Scientific Revolution
- Industrial Revolution
- Oral Contraceptive
- Snowmobile and the Lapps
Owner: Robert O. Keel: email@example.com
Monday, January 30, 2006 10:30