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Society and Technological Change [Paperback]

Rudi Volti
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

January 1995 0312096429 978-0312096427 3rd
This is a fully-revised and updated edition. It has a non-technical narrative text that describes and analyzes the causes and consequences of technological advance. The book uses timely, internationally-focused examples to illustrate the social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of technology. It focuses on three social phenomena in particular - work, communications and warfare - to help readers understand the forces that produce technological change and the consequences that result. The contemporary theme - nuclear threat (chapter 13), television violence (chapter 11), the environment (chapter 6), among others - are of particular interest to students of the 1990s. The intercultural perspective allows readers to understand that these technological changes and events are a worldwide phenomenon. See, for example, the development of indigenous steel production in Japan (chapter 5). The chapters end with questions for discussion and there is a selected bibliography for further readings and/or for essay topics. The author has also written "Technology, Politics, and Society in China".
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY BORING BOOK April 25 2004
By A Customer
This book is extremely boring! I had a class -Society and Technology where I had to read this book and I love reading but to finish one chapter of the book was hell! no kidding.
I don't know why teachers pick such boring books to educate students...we simply loose interest!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the Best Text Jan. 4 2008
By Pat Munday - Published on Amazon.com
I have taught a sophomore level class in Technology & Society for about 20 years, and long ago quit using the Volti text. Students find the book boring, it is overly superficial and lacks in-depth examples or analysis, and it does not cover many of the issues central to Science and Technology Studies. The book's breezy "factoids" are maddening, and unless you are willing to build your entire course around explaining and analysing them, the text will confuse students and encourage shallow thinking.

The recent text by Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo [Science, Technology, and Society (Blackwell, 2006) provides a much better foundation in the key intellectual issues for STS.

The Marcus and Segal text [Technology in America (Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1989) provides an excellent historical overview--including a periodization that helps students grasp the way technology and society interact and shape our lives.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please to reorganize book this Dec 9 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Society and Technological Change is a respectable effort to present the issues relating to technology's impact on society. The information is sound and the research is reliable. But some important ideas are neglected--there is little about social construction of technology--and many ideas are confusingly overanalyzed as Mr. Volti argues various points of view. But the main shortcoming of this textbook is that it is in need of reorganization. Throughout, the reader wonders why this or that idea was not presented with earlier related notions. Mr. Volti should be commended for his scholarship and chided for his editorial choices.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vaporous Boring Spittle Aug. 8 2011
By Subjectofnietzscheantendencies - Published on Amazon.com
I have had to use this text for a few years now in one version of the Technology & Society classes that I teach. Most of the students I've had who had to read this book hated it. They found it just as boring, if not more so, than I did. I'll say that, although Volti does present bits and pieces that should be covered in an introductory class on STS, overall not only is the book boring and tediously lethargic, Volti makes various presumptuous claims, logical and ethical contradictions, and demonstrates the metaphysics of language and capitalism throughout. Volti might tell you what there is, as he and many perceive it, but the text certainly falls short of any academic work of critical importance.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's going to be perfect for my class March 17 2000
By knord - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm going to build a class around this book next fall. This book will be perfect for my freshman-level "Technology and Society" class. I found the book very interesting and I think my class will too.
The book is well researched and well written. Some may argue that the book lacks depth, but for my purposes, I appreciate the book's breadth versus depth compromise. I was wonderfully pleased to find a book that actually met the expectations I formed as a I perused its table of contents.
It is true that the book could be organized differently, but I didn't find the current organization to be as poor as the previous reviewer did.
Once again, the book is perfect for my purposes and I was thrilled to find it.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE Nov. 17 2004
By E. L. Helson - Published on Amazon.com
As a student of philosophy, this book is fantastic. Volti's intelligent perspective on technology and its affect on society is breathtaking. Furthermore, his style is unique and fun to read, leaving no room for misunderstandings. Volti is a professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the highly esteemed Pitzer College in California. I highly recomend reading this book, Volti's insight will change your life.
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