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

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University of California


Summer 2006

July 5-August 12, 2006

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

Professor: renate holub

M/Tu/W/Th 2-4 pm office hours: Mondays, 4-6 (sign up sheet)

39 Evans 317 Campbell Hall and by appointment

CC: 53010

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: Class attendance (33%), One Midterm Exam (33%) and One Final Exam (34%). Research Projects for extra credit are available. Particularly welcome are projects on Google and China, India’s Silicon Valleys, South Africa and Wireless, North Africa, Wireless, and Gender, Subsahara Africa and Technology, Latin America and Telesur; etc.

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. Himanen, Pekka (2001) The Hacker Ethic Random House, New York

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

4. Castells, Manuel and Pekka Himanen (2001) The Information Society and the Welfare State. The Finnish Model. Oxford UP, 2001.

Additional Reading will be posted on Blackboard weekly.

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

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

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

Reading: Polanyi, The Great Transformation , chapters 3-10.

Week I

July 5 Lectures 1-2: Paradigms of Transformation: The Industrial Revolution

July 6 Lecture 3: Factories, Bureaucracies, Financial Industries

July 7 Lecture 4: Urbanization

Week II Reading: Polanyi, chapters 11-18 and 19-21

July 11 Lecture 5: Railroads and Oil

July 12 Lecture 6: Culture Industries and Knowledge Industries

Part II: Transportation and Communication: Automobility, Aviation, Telephony, and the Media

July 13 Lecture 7 Taylorism, Fordism, Sloanism

July 14 Lecture 8: Telephony and Automobility

Week III

July 18 Lecture 9: Aviation

July 19 Lecture 10: The Gutenberg Galaxy

July 20 Lecture 11: Modernity and Postmodernity

July 21 Midterm Exam

Part III: Information Technology Revolutions

Week IV Reading: Manuel Castells, the Internet Galaxy, chapters 3, 8, 9.

July 25 Lecture 13: Globalization, Technopoles and Informational Capitalism

July 26 Lecture 14: The Evolution and the Structure of the Internet

July 27 Lecture 15: Regionalization and the Digital Divide

July 28 Lecture 16: Cyberatlas and Telegeography

Week V Reading Pe kka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic ,all chapters

Manuel Castells, The Internet Galaxy, chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

August 1 Lecture 17: From Polanyi to Castells

August 2 Lecture 18 : From Weber to Himanen

August 3 Lecture 19: Openness, Open Source, Creative Commons

August 4: Lecture 20: Global North and Global South

Week VI Reading: Castells and Himanen, The Information Society and the Welfare

State:The Finnish Model

Review and Final Exam

August 8 Lecture 21: The Finnish Model

August 9 Lecture 22: China, Leap-Frogging and Reverse Engineering

August 10 Lecture 23: Conclusion: Three Paradigms

August 11 Final Exam


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