This course examines technology as a dynamic yet fundamental force in our society – shaping progress, power relations, and social problems and inequalities. Students will be introduced to sociological perspectives on technology, exploring the changing nature of technology and its impact on society both historically and in the contemporary world. By examining specific kinds of technologies, including digital media and the Internet, military technologies, technologies of production, and medical and reproductive technologies, we will address the question of how technologies are shaped by the social context in which they developed. Key to this course will be understanding the relationship between technology and various forms of social inequalities – including race, gender, disability, and class. We will explore how technology shapes civic engagement, examining the role of social media in current social movement organizing, as well as the relationship between technology and work in an era of increasing automation. We will examine the relationships between technology, the body, media, war, and economy.
Instructor: Ethel Mickey, Ph.D.
If you have any questions regarding the course, feel free to contact me, emickey at wellesley dot edu