STS.001 Technology in American History, Spring 2003
Author(s)Smith, Merritt Roe, 1940-
Technology in American History
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A survey of America's transition from a rural, agrarian, and artisan society to one of the world's leading industrial powers. Treats the emergence of industrial capitalism: the rise of the factory system; new forms of power, transport, and communication; the advent of the large industrial corporation; the social relations of production; and the hallmarks of science-based industry. Views technology as part of the larger culture and reveals innovation as a process consisting of a range of possibilities that are chosen or rejected according to the social criteria of the time. From the course home page: Course Description This course will consider the ways in which technology, broadly defined, has contributed to the building of American society from colonial times to the present. This course has three primary goals: to train students to ask critical questions of both technology and the broader American culture of which it is a part; to provide an historical perspective with which to frame and address such questions; and to encourage students to be neither blind critics of new technologies, nor blind advocates for technologies in general, but thoughtful and educated participants in the democratic process.
colonization, Civil War, World War II, Cold War, industrialization, mass production, craftsmanship, transportation, Taylorism, aeronautics, systems approach, computers, control, automation, nature, popular culture, terrorism, rural society, agrarian society, artisan society, industrial society, power, industrial capitalism, factory system, transport, communication, industrial corporation, social relations, production, science-based industry, technology, innovation, process, social criteria, American history, America, technologies, democratic process, political, politics, progress, United States, U.S., Science -- History -- United States