Technology and Society: A Canadian Perspective, Second Edition
Published: April 2013© 2013
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 272 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
272 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
Ebook - PDF
Since the publication of the first edition of Technology and Society: A Canadian Perspective in 1997, awareness of the pervasive effects of new and emerging technologies on our lives is, if anything, even more pronounced. New and emerging technologies in everything from health care to communication and the Internet hold enormous promise. However, the more ominous consequences of technology are also very much with us, from environmental degradation to uncertainty in the workplace in a post "dot.com" economy to terrorism and warfare.
Technology and Society, Second Edition, continues the rich tradition of Canadian writing on technology found in the work of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, George Grant, Ursula Franklin, and others. Like the first edition, the book begins and ends with an attempt to understand Grant's insistence that technology is a "fate," connected, in the anthropological sense, with the evolution of societies. In between, the book examines the social and historical foundation for the development and diffusion of technology in the Canadian context. The first three chapters define the phenomenon of technology by classifying the vast array of tools and techniques. They offer a conceptual scheme for understanding the interrelationship between society and technology and for the diffusion of technologies. Subsequent chapters shift to looking at the consequences of technology. The linkage between technology and economic development is explored, as is the significance of a technocratic value system. The relationship between work and technology—the significance of "automation," of a "branch plant" economy, "R&D," and communication—is examined. The final chapters consider new leading technologies such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology, as well as public attitudes towards technology.
Part I. Human Beings and Technology: Basic Relationships
- Technology as Fate
- Creating Technology
- Technological Diffusion
Part II. Some Consequences of Technology
- Technology and Economic Development
- Technology: Class or Culture?
- The D&D of R&D
- Communications: Hot and Cool
- Computer and Culture
- Technology as Second Self
Part III: The Evaluative Dimension
- Ethical Responses to Technology
- Technology, Free Will, Inequality, and Fate
Technology and Society is a thoroughly researched, insightful sociological analysis of complex issues in the technology/society relationship. Informed by a sincere interdisciplinary appreciation for the cultural, historical, political, and economic dimensions of human life, it well deserves to become one of the 'must have' books for those concerned with understanding the concrete, though often disturbingly 'fateful' relationship between humans and technology.David Long, The King's University College