Technological determinism essay

  1. Define technological determinism. Use an example of theory from the course that illustrates what the concept means.

”˜Technological determinism’ is a social theory which presupposes technology to be the main driving force of social change. Feenberg (2003) explains that determinists think that humans do not control technology, while technology shapes their society in accordance with the requirements of efficiency and progress. According to this view, science and technology develop autonomously and they do not depend on society. History is determined by the level of technological development. Thus, society is seen as a passive receiver of ”˜an impact’, but it is not an agent of any changes. This theory completely separates science and society. Scientists are locked in their scientific knowledge and they are not interested in what is happening in the society. Thus, scientific progress is a result of implementation of scientific method. New technologies are the results of scientific knowledge application. The outcomes of technology are the mechanisms that shape human history.  However, this concept has quite many opponents. The concept means that technology is introduced into the society and influences it. People have to accept and adopt it. It may be explained taking the example with cell phones. This invention was intended for distant voice communication. People had accepted this new technology and it changed their lives. It influenced many spheres of human life and now cell phone companies and operators have control over people in terms of novelties. Companies offer new models of cell phones, new options etc. Most people try to follow all the suggested opportunities. They change their old models of cell phones for new ones. They use operators’ services and new options suggested by cell phones manufacturers. In such a way, cell phone industry may demonstrate how technology controls society.

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