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Technological Determinism

Technology is also associated with advancement and change.  One of the most prolific debates of our time is how far do allow technology to change our lives and society.  Exploring even further, can we stop technology in society?  This exploration into technology and society is under the auspices of a popular theory of the day called technological determinism.  Technological determinism is the view that social change is led primarily by technology.  Technical advancements such as the telephone, newspaper, television or the computer are the reasons society changes and is forced to advance to more complex systems.  It is obvious that technology does influence change in society, but to what extent?  Are the human factors and social mores of the times secondary to what technology dictates?

Technological Determinism

Karl Marx is one of the more well known technological determinists.  Basic Marx theory is that poverty is created by the uneven distribution of wealth.  Technological advancements have spurred capitalists on and created an even greater chasm between the rich and the poor. However, a recent technological determinism term paper points out that technology has provided a “fix” and if capitalism could be put in check, theoretically, there would be enough goods to go around and wealth could be distributed among the masses.  It is a utopian idea that would not survive reality.

Neo-marxist theories can also be regarded as privileging the social shaping paradigm in that they emphasize that ultimately it is the socio-economic imperative that determines the development and production of technology. On this view, the capitalist ruling class is continually seeking to lower costs in order to maximize profits and new technological developments are the means to achieving this end. In a capitalist representative democracy, the foundation of society rests on the freedom of the individual to advance and “capitalize” on the goods and service he has to offer.  The opportunity to increase his wealth is done through technical advancements and learning to apply a complex system to a practical procedure for maximum results.

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