Washington State University
Fall 2002, MW 12:00-1:15 pm
Office Hrs.: West 207E, MW 1:30-2:30 pm
tel. (509) 372-7375, fax (509) 372-7100
Often, technology is seen as a frightening monster beyond human control. "Living in the modern age," so this view goes, "we have no choice but to bend to its wishes. Inevitably, technology determines who we are, what we do, even how we think. We cannot escape from its clutches!" In the last 20 years, however, social scientists have created a vital "new sociology of science and technology" challenging such deterministic views of the relationship between people and technology. Social constructivists of technology examine the impact of human choice and decision-making on technology development, and prospects for social control of technological systems. Feminist scholars analyze the gendered implications and embodiments of contemporary scientific & technological research. Environmental pioneers invent new ways to (re)design social systems in more sustainable ways. Students in this class will read course texts, participate in classroom discussions, view related films, and conduct semester-long "ethnographies of technology," at work, home, or in the community.
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last updated December 06, 2002