*Ahem* Is this thing on? Here goes ...
The development and application of technologies has been one of the defining forces in Western civilization. A citizen’s ability to tame his or her environment and harness the elements has led to dramatic changes in every aspect of American life. Technology changes the way we work, the way we entertain ourselves and even the way we relate to one another.
However, scholarly study of technology often ignores the ways in which technology changes the social environment in which it is unleashed. Books documenting the history of technology are most often histories of hardware developments or of advances in scientific inquiry. Even the more critical books, which seek to capture the political forces behind a given set of innovations, often ignore the social environment that spawned new developments and also ignore the effect that the innovations had on that environment.
Determining the causes for the way society and technology interact with one another can be difficult. At times, it is the social environment that gives rise to innovation and discovery that results in new technology. At other times, new technologies are introduced that affect the social environment through their use. Often, elements of both relationships are present at the same time.
The purpose of this weblog is to delve into the relationship between technology and society. We will not only be delving into the nuances of technology theory, but also be applying these theories to specific social aspects of American life.