Social Structure, Technology, and Change: Some Basic Concepts and Approaches
The totality of
learned, socially transmitted behavior. All the "products" of a SOCIETY:
A large number of people who live in the same territory, subject to a common
political structure and participate in a common culture. Society/SOCIAL STRUCTURE
is the interaction; Culture is the product of the interaction, both material
and non-material (meanings, beliefs, values, ideas, norms, etc).
- A Human Construction--thousands
of years in the making: Biology (brains, hands, vocal), and Universal: practices
at general level--language, food, housing, sport, families, etc. VS. variation
at the specific level.
Culture as a stable
ELEMENTS OF CULTURE
The way in which
society is organized into predictable relationships, patterns of social interaction
(the way in which people respond to each other). These patterns etc, are to
some extent independent of the particular individual, they exert a force which
shapes behavior and identity.
respond to meaning: Symbolic
Interaction. "Symbolic Interactionism rests on three primary premises.
First, that human beings act towards things on the basis of the meanings those
things have for them, second that such meanings arise out of the interaction
of the individual with others, and third, that an interpretive process is
used by the person in each instance in which he must deal with things in his
environment." © The Society for More Creative Speech, 1996, http://www.cdharris.net/text/blumer.html
- REALITY is shaped
by perceptions, evaluations, interpretations
THOMAS THEOREM: "If people define a situation as real, then it is
real in its consequences for them."
as a Negotiated Order.
- Structure arises
out of the face-to-face interactions of people who are operating from both
a shared sense of reality (culture and socialization) as well as a individual
and group oriented biography which produces particular definitions and interpretations.
- We attempt to
make sense out of situations for "all practical purposes."
- We bargain,
compromise, redefine and produce an emerging sense of order as a stable reality.
- Some situations
allow for little negotiation, others more.
a product of human interaction, is a negotiated and socially constructed reality
Culture forms the foundation of Social Structure:
- Some sort of
shared reality: Language, Norms and Values.
- Out of this
basis we attribute meaning and significance to others in terms of where they
are placed in relation to ourselves and others.
- Technology comprises
one of the most significant elements of human culture.
Elements of Social
Technology changes, the relationships and interactions between the people who
occupy positions within the structure of society changes. As technology
changes, the shape of the social system changes (and vice versus!).
The Changing Structure
and Gathering Societies (1:3)
Societies (1:15) Social Surplus
Plow Power==> Land
(1:5000) Power==> Money
Societies (?) Power==> Information
- Division of
- Come to identify
people by what they do versus who they are, i.e. their social position vs
distinctive human qualities.
- Social Bond
tolerance of deviance
- Daniel Bell:
Post-Industrial Society (Functionalism)
- Conflict: Harrington-The
(Emergence of the post modern world==> the death of modernist architecture
at 3:32 p.m. July 15, 1972 <Lemmert 1990>). Actually,
it was probably March 16, 1972
with consumer goods and media images
- The Mass
"demise of the nation-state"
integrative, yet focus is upon control mechanisms
- The impact of
of Technology and Society
- "An actor
network is simultaneously an actor whose activity is networking heterogeneous
elements and a network that is able to redefine and transform what it is made
- An actor-network
includes both human and non-human elements
- An actor-network
is not fixed or stable- it is capable of redefining its identity and relationships
in new ways.
- (From: Michel
Callon, "Society in the Making: The Study of Technology as a tool for
Sociological Analysis" in The Social Construction of Technological Systems)
- Power and Control
- Technology as
a tool used to control and maintain differential social relationships
development guided and controlled by particular group interests
systems contain messy, complex, problem-solving components."
- "They are
both socially constructed and society shaping."
- They contain:
artifacts, organizations, and institutions
- They are shaped
by their components.
- They are goal
oriented and evolve over time
- (from: Thomas
P. Hughes, "The Evolution of Technological Systems" in The Social
Construction of Technological Systems
Owner: Robert O. Keel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, January 20, 2011 16:00