ST251: INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY |
in 20th Century America
Prof. Leonard Reich
Mon-Wed 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Office: Miller Library 312
Industry and technology are inextricably linked, and their development together during the last century has profoundly affected the ways we live and work. This has been an especially complex process because our evolving social and economic systems--themselves influenced by changing technology--have strongly affected the types of technologies developed and the ways that they have been used, all of which then fed back into industry's decisions about what technologies to produce and how to market them. Growing environmental awareness and international competition have also been part of the mix, and the information technology revolution of the last third of the century brought not only new generations of products but surprising new organizational structures and methods. It's been quite a ride!
In addition to studying these technological-industrial-cultural/political relationships, we will continually ask how changing technologies influenced the ways Americans lived, thought, and communicated, as well as how they related to each other and to the industrial culture of which they were part.
Our study of this material will follow a reading-discussion format. Most classes will be devoted to articles and chapters assigned for that day. This means that everyone should: (1) Come to class thoroughly prepared, not only having read the assignment but having thought about the issues it discusses. For most readings, questions will be made available in advance on the course web site (http://www.colby.edu/admin.sci/syllabi/STS251/index.html). To get the most from this course, it is important to read critically, not just for information. (2) Speak up. People learn best when they are involved, and (3) Listen to what others have to say and be prepared to respond. People who do not speak up in class will be called on by the professor.
Class participation grades will be assigned on people's level of preparation and their willingness to get involved. Please note that class attendance is expected. More than two unexcused absences will lead to a lowering of the final grade; more than five will result in failing the course. Course requirements comprise class participation (20%), one examination during the semester (20%), a research paper/project (30%), and a final exam (30%). The project (and the schedule for completing it) is described in detail on the attached document, "Research Project."
The following book should be purchased for the course:
Gary Cross & Rick Szostak, Technology and American Society
Other readings will be made available as necessary.
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