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Sociology of Technology

  • By: Sarah Boslaugh
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

The most basic questions in the sociology of technology can be broadly formulated as, “How does technology influence and shape human society and how does society shape the development and use of technology?” The term technology in its broadest sense refers both to tools and to a system of knowledge with practical uses; thus, the history of technology could be dated back to prehistoric humans who used tools such as clubs, hammers, and fire to attempt to control and shape the world.

Technology is often contrasted with science: technology is more focused on developing and using knowledge and tools that have applications for practical problems (e.g., the best way to build a bridge in a specific geographical context) rather than accumulation of knowledge for its own ...

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