Technology, Culture, Education: Sociology of machines
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.
- 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
- Wallace, F.A.C. Rockdale Knopf 1978. pp. 73-239
- some people completely collapse education into schooling
- Mark Twain supposed said something like "I never let schooling interfere with my education."
- France: schools as social reproduction
- Bourdieu: schools will fail students systematically
- debate on schooling and what can be done can be connected back to "Culture as disability" Aaron Hung 14:16, 25 June 2008 (EDT)
- similar idea to Latour; looking at a small town and see the changes that occur over time
- find out people involved in building the factories, including the trouble that different groups have
- ethnographies of workplaces are rare
- Rockdale an ethnography of processes and transformation, not static state
- location (proximity to river) allowed for power
- factory owners had to take a lot of risks, face a lot of competition
- workers not being trained to use machines; manuals not provided
- industrialization occurred in the late 1800s
- Marx and others believed that it would transform the whole society
- societies can be explained in terms of the rise of capitalism
- V: there's a difference between industrialization and capitalism
- constructions of factories (or any building) will require blueprints and planning, that requires the distribution of knowledge and tasks
- how did capitalism rise in China? how did it shift from socialist ownership to private ownership?
- V: sequentiality often misunderstood as causality; many things need to happen for certain things to unfold in a certain way
- V: prefer education model to enculturation or socialization model; people change, but in more deliberate fashion
- initially used for military use
- as it became more popular and affordable, others found new ways of using it
- interesting to compare it to present-day evolution of computers
- how much of this is chance or chaos? difficult to predict impact until the factors come together
Human capital theory
- need skilled workforce in order to understand how to work machines
- V: building of the factory produces the skilled workforce
- capitalists need to invest money in order to earn more money
- felt that this fit into Protestant vision, that profit should be reinvested rather than consumed
- everyone within this cycle (workers, managers, engineers) get caught up in it
- not only were machines badly made, they were badly planned
- bricolage vs. engineering
- bricolage: making do with what tools you have on hand; not systematic following of rules
- capitalism more fit with engineering
- Levi-Strauss, C. (1968) The savage mind. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press ISBN 0226474844
- Noble, D. F. (1977). Americaby design: Science, technology, and the rise of corporate capitalism (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. ISBN 0195026187
- Weber, M. (2001). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. London: Routledge. ISBN 041525406X
- In Niger, Trees and Crops Turn Back the Desert
- New York Times article on planting trees in Niger.