Technology, Culture, Education: Print
This page was composed by Aaron Hung on the basis for the lectures notes as they were in the Summer 2008. I want to thank him for the work. I am making some changes for the Summer 2009. The notes on the main web site for the course will generally be more up to date.
Everyone is welcome to use and edit these pages, perhaps on the basis of your own notes (since sometimes I do not follow my own notes).
Link to Professor Varenne's notes for this course.
For your reaction papers, click on the "Study" tab. You might also wish to watch a video tutorial on how to post your reaction papers on Youtube.
- Technology: possibility and determination?
- (Ethno-)Methodology for (de)constructing human production
- Human (dis-)abilities: expansions through tools and institutions
- Hoes, plows and familial strategies
- Irrigation: Power and social structure
- The power of the printed word
- Possibilities in print: Play and control
- Industrialization I: The imagination of the machines
- Industrialization II: The experience of machines
- Living with the bomb
- The body and the machine
- Further reading
- Ong, Walter Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. New York: Methuen. 1982
- big change in the world (at least in Western Europe) happened between 1300 and 1600 with the rise of mercantilism and capitalism
- Marx and Weber fought about the cause of this; Weber argued it was the dominance of Protestantism
- if money used to reinvest in factory instead of spending it yourself, then you can increase your wealth
- Weber saw it as an ideological movement that would change societies across thresholds
- ideas used in international development studies
- problem is that many countries (like Japan) as able to advance without becoming Protestant
- requires movable type as well as paper, all of which preceded Gutenberg
- needed way of producing cheap paper
- next big change after the printing press would be the newspaper
- small group of people (usually political and commercial leaders) were able to write
- leads to social differentiation
- powerful people do not really need to know how to write; they can use a secretary
- if you are unable to do something, it doesn't become a disability if there is the social support that allows you to do it
- Brian Street problematizes literacy which people often use to impose their ideologies on others
- some missionaries taught people to read but not to write
- Goody's "domestication of the savage mind" was about the stabilization of tradition and ideas, having less chance to be "wild" (uncontrolled)
- writing limits the things that people can do
- Ong discussed whether Homer was illiterate, and performing to an illiterate audience
- some performers today improvise their songs, depending on the audience
- there is probably no "real" version of Homer's epics because it was probably performed differently each time
- Ong believes that writing changes people's consciousness
- we put ourselves under the control of those who write things down
- are ideograms different (and better) than alphabet?
- Vygotsky and other Russian psychologists tried to understand how non-Russians were thinking
- they gave various examples of people who refused to answer questions in the terms that psychologists wanted to answer (e.g. if all the bears in the north pole are white, what color would be the bears if you visited the north pole?)
- Cole and others tried to create a field of social psychology (including Jean Lave, Ray McDermott)
- students who've attended even a year of Western schooling know the type of questions that are asked and how to answer them
- questioned whether those who cannot answer those questions are "stupid"
- Cole wanted to fight cognitive psychology and the idea that people who cannot respond to syllogisms are stupid
- Varenne's page on Jakobson
- phatic communication: language used to check if communication is taking place and understood
- occurs in both oral and written communication, but takes place in different forms
- Studyplace page
- people were turning up at her website and making insensible comments about Ashton Kutcher
- interested in finding out why it's happening
- some commenters do not seem to be reading the post or participating in a dialogue with the post
- not just spam because it is highly repetitive and commercial; looks for some financial interaction; done by automation
- different types:
- looking for a celebrity
- looking for technical help
- are these the same thing?
- some sites are "fake", e.g. medical sites that do advertising
- weak case: Internet is disrupting traditional ways that people make judgments about the truth-value of texts
- V: most people are more readers than writers (e.g. letters to family); these are restricted to certain genres
- V: someone will consider these blogs as "art"
- Goody, J. (1977). The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521292425
- Lord, A. B. (1960). The singer of tales. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674002830
- Scribner, S., & Cole, M. (1981). The psychology of literacy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 1583484396
- Seife, C. (2000). Zero: The biography of a dangerous idea. New York: Viking. ISBN 0140296476
- Street, B. V. (1995).Social literacies: Critical approaches to literacy in development, ethnography, and education. New York: Longman. ISBN 0582102219
- Encyclopaedia Britannica To Follow Modified Wikipedia Model
- Encyclopedia Britannica follows the Wikipedia model to allow users to edit its content. It is probably not a pure wiki model, but it is still interesting to see how encyclopedias have evolved since Diderot's time.
- Technical support
- A hilarious clip on the collison of literacies.