SOC 368
Technology and Modern Society Fall 2009
Division II
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Class Details

With expanding access to and use of the internet, controversial developments in such biotechnical practices as the cloning of mammals, rapid advances in various forms of telecommunication, and the increasing sophistication of technological weaponry in the military, the triumph of technology remains a defining feature of modern life. For the most part, modern humans remain unflinchingly confident in the possibilities technology holds for continuing to improve the human condition. Indisputably, technology has benefited human life in innumerable ways. However, as with other features of modernity, technology has also had significant, albeit largely unanticipated, social consequences. Working within a sociological paradigm, this course will focus on the less often examined latent functions of technology in modern society. It will consider, for example, the social effects of technology on community life, on privacy, and on how people learn, think, understand the world, communicate, and organize themselves. The course will also examine the effects of technology on medicine, business, education, and the military and will consider such countercultural reactions to technology as the Luddite movement in early-nineteenth-century England and the U.S. agrarian movements of the twentieth century.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1280
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two short papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives
HSCI Interdepartmental Electives
SCST Elective Courses

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