This course explores the relationship between communication and technology by focusing on the key moments of media technology development and the social changes that accompanied it. We start by defining technology and learning about the main theories that deal with the relationship between societies and technologies, namely technological determinism, social shaping of technology, and actor-network theory. The rest of the course will provide a survey of the major technological inventions in the history of mankind, such as writing, books, printing press, the telegraph, and the internet. We will discuss how these inventions emerge from society and relate to social change.
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Describe what technology is, and its relationship to media and communication.
- Explain the relationship between communication, society and technology.
- Compare and contrast theories of technological determinism vs. social shaping of technology and actor-network theory.
- Describe and provide an overview of the major technological inventions in the history of mankind.
- Explain how these inventions are both a product of society and triggers of social change.