Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Sociological implications of technology : the historical treatment of technology in sociological theory and a proposal for empirical research

Martin E. Hansen, University of Northern Iowa

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Technology permeates every aspect of our lives but is often misunderstood, taken-for-granted, or else goes relatively unnoticed. When technology becomes the subject of discourse we typically hear statements such as ''technology is the answer to all our problems" or, on the other hand, that technology is the ultimate "source of all our problems." Jay Weinstein, one of the few academicians addressing the specific interrelationships of technological and sociological knowledge, asserted that such a dichotomy of opinion has typified attitudes about technology since the advent of modernity and the subsequential birth of the natural and social sciences (Weinstein, 1982). However, both these views (the answer to problems vs. the source of problems) are reifications of the larger social phenomenon of technology.