Isf 100D: Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture

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University of California


Summer 2007

July 2-August 10, 2007

ISF 100D: Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture

Prof renate holub

Tu/W/Th 155 Kroeber office hours: T & W 8:30-9:30

2:00-4:30 (sign up sheet)

317 Campbell Hall and by appointment

This is an interdisciplinary course that welcomes students of all disciplinary backgrounds. In it, we will focus on three major technological paradigms that have emerged over the past 150 years in the global north: the industrial revolution, the transportation and communication revolution, and the information technological revolution. In part I of the course we will examine the interrelations between industrialization, urbanization, marketization and their ideological-cultural organizations. In part II we will focus on the impact of automobility, telephony, and communications technologies (TV and media) on the structure of social organization in the global north (Europe and North America). In part III we will examine the evolution and structure of the internet and its impact on cultures and societies in a variety of global regions. Here we are not only interested in the integration of the internet in the organization of the economy (new economy or globalization), but also in the ways in which the very structure of the internet, namely its openness and its open source movements, has been used for expanding knowledge opportunities, economic opportunities, and rights opportunities for citizens around the world. The purpose of the course is to provide students not only with a substantive understanding of the technological forces that have shaped “modernity” and “postmodernity,” but also to raise theoretical questions about the relations that obtain between producers and users of technology under conditions of globalization, cyberspace, and the information age.

Requirements: One Midterm Exam (40%) and One Final Exam (40%), and a research project (20%). Particularly welcome are projects on Google and Censorhip, India’s Silicon Valleys, South Africa and Wireless, North Africa, Wireless, and Gender, Subsahara Africa and Technology, Latin America and Telesur; etc. Students are encouraged to bring to our discussions relevant materials. The required reading for specific lectures should be completed before the lecture, i.e. in Polanyi, foreword and intro by July 5.

For more information:

Satisfies the International Studies or Social and Behavioral Studies Breadth Requirement

Required Books:

1. Castells, Manuel (2001) The Internet Galaxy Oxford University Press

2. Polanyi, Karl (1944) The Great Transformation Boston Beacon Press

Required Links









Recommended Books:

Abbate, Janet (2000) Inventing the Internet MIT Press

Artz, Lee and Yahya R. Kamalipour, eds (2003) The Globalization of Corporate Media Hegemony

Borgmann, Christine (2000) From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure

Campbell Kelly, Martin and William Aspray (1996) Computer: A History

Castells, Manuel (1996-2000) The Rise of the Network Society

Castells, Manuel (2007) mobile communication and society. A global perspective

El-Nawawy, Mohammed and Adel Iskandar, (2003) Al-Jazeera Westview Press

Fischer, Claude (1992) America Calling University of California Press

Feyerabend, Paul (1978) Science in a Free Society

Flink, James ( ) The Automobile Age

Himanen, Pekka (2001) The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age

Marx, Karl (1848) TheCommunist Manifesto Ed. Findlay, LM The Bro

McLuhan, Marshal (1962) The Gutenberg Galaxy The University of Toronto Press

Mestrovic, Stjepan (1997) Postemotional Society


Part I: Industrial Revolutions

July 3 Lecture 1: Paradigms of Transformation:

The Industrial Revolution and Capitalism

July 5 Reading: Polanyi, Foreword by Joseph Stiglitz, Intro by Fred Block

Lecture 2: Factories, Bureaucracies, Financial Industries

July 10 Reading: Polanyi, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4,

Lecture 3: Urbanization, Trade, Railroads, and Oil

July 11 Reading: Polanyi, chapters 5, 6, 7,

Lecture 4: The Transatlantic World, Geopolitics and Gold

July 12 Reading: Polanyi, Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11

Lecture 5: Culture Industries and Knowledge Industries

Part II: Transportation and Communication

July 17 Reading: Polanyi, Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,

Lecture 6: Taylorism, Fordism, Sloanism, Telephony, Automobility

July 18 Reading: Polanyi, Chapters, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

Lecture 7: Modernity and Postmodernity: Gutenberg Galaxy

July 19 Lecture 8: Review and Midterm Exam

Part III: Information Technology Revolutions

July 24 Reading: Manuel Castells, the Internet Galaxy, Opening & chapters 1, 2,

Lecture 9: Globalization, Technopoles and Informational Capitalism

July 25 Reading: Castells, chap 3, 4

Lecture 10: The Evolution, Structure and Culture of the Internet

July 26 Reading: Castells, chap 5, 6, 7

Lecture 11: The Hacker Ethic

July 31 Reading: Castells, chap 8

Lecture 12: Cyberatlas and Telegeography

August 1 Reading, Castells, chap 9

Lecture 13: Regionalization and the Digital Divide

Aug 2 Lecture 14: From Polanyi to Castells and from Weber to Himanen

Aug 7 Reading:

Lecture 15: Openness, Open Source, Creative Commons, E-Waste

Aug 8 Reading: Stieglitz on WTO, World Bank, Bretton Woods, and NAFTA

Lecture 16: Global North and Global South: Leapfrogging?

Aug 9: Review: Three Paradigms


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