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East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal

Vol. 1 (2007) through current issue

Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS) aims to bring together East Asian and Western scholars from the fields of science, technology, and society (STS). Examining issues such as human embryonic stem-cell research, family and reproductive technologies, and the globalization of Chinese medicine, the journal publishes research on how society and culture in East Asia interact with science, technology, and medicine. EASTS serves as a gathering place to facilitate the growing efforts of STS networks from Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe to foster an internationally open and inclusive community.

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eGirls, eCitizens

Putting Technology, Theory and Policy into Dialogue with Girls’ and Young Women’s Voices

Jane Bailey

eGirls, eCitizens is a landmark work that explores the many forces that shape girls’ and young women’s experiences of privacy, identity, and equality in our digitally networked society. Drawing on the multi-disciplinary expertise of a remarkable team of leading Canadian and international scholars, as well as Canada’s foremost digital literacy organization, MediaSmarts, this collection presents the complex realities of digitized communications for girls and young women as revealed through the findings of The eGirls Project (www.egirlsproject.ca) and other important research initiatives.

Aimed at moving dialogues on scholarship and policy around girls and technology away from established binaries of good vs bad, or risk vs opportunity, these seminal contributions explore the interplay of factors that shape online environments characterized by a gendered gaze and too often punctuated by sexualized violence.

Perhaps most importantly, this collection offers first-hand perspectives collected from girls and young women themselves, providing a unique window on what it is to be a girl in today’s digitized society.

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Engineering and Social Justice

In the University and Beyond

Edited by Caroline Baillie, Alice Pawley, and Donna Riley

An increasing number of researchers and educators in the field of engineering wish to integrate considerations of social justice into their work and practice. In this volume, an international team of authors, from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, invite scholars to think and teach in new ways that acknowledge the social, as well as technical, impact engineering can have on our world and that open possibilities for social justice movements to help shape engineering/technology. The book examines three areas of an engineering academic’s professional role: teaching, research, and community engagement. Some of the authors have created classes to help students think through their roles as engineering practitioners in a changing society, and present case studies here. They also explore questions of access to engineering education. Others contributors are focusing their research on improving the lives of the marginalized and powerless. Yet others are engaging local groups and exploring ways in which universities might serve their communities and in which academic institutions can themselves be more socially just. The contributors take a broad social and ecological justice perspective to critique existing practices and explore alternatives. The result is a handbook for all scholars of engineering who think beyond the technical elements of their field, and an essential reader for anyone who believes in the transformative power of the discipline.

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Engineering in American Society

1850--1875

Raymond H. Merritt

Technology, which has significantly changed Western man's way of life over the past century, exerted a powerful influence on American society during the third quarter of the nineteenth century. In this study Raymond H. Merritt focuses on the engineering profession, in order to describe not only the vital role that engineers played in producing a technological society but also to note the changes they helped to bring about in American education, industry, professional status, world perspectives, urban existence, and cultural values.

During the development period of 1850-1875, engineers erected bridges, blasted tunnels, designed machines, improved rivers and harbors, developed utilities necessary for urban life, and helped to bind the continent together through new systems of transportation and communication. As a concomitant to this technological development, states Merritt, they introduced a new set of cultural values that were at once urban and cosmopolitan. These cultural values tended to reflect the engineers' experience of mobility -- so much a part of their lives -- and their commitment to efficiency, standardization, improved living conditions, and a less burdensome life.

Merritt concludes from his study that the rapid growth of the engineering profession was aided greatly by the introduction of new teaching methods which emphasized and encouraged the solution of immediate problems. Schools devoted exclusively to the education and training of engineers flourished -- schools such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stevens Institute of Technology. Moreover, business corporations and governments sought the services of the engineers to meet the new technological demands of the day. In response, they devised methods and materials that went beyond traditional techniques. Their specialized experiences in planning, constructing, and supervising the early operation of these facilities brought them into positions of authority in the new business concerns, since they often were the only qualified men available for the executive positions of authority for the executive positions of America's earliest large corporations. These positions of authority further extended their influence in American society. Engineers took a positive view of administration, developed systems of cost accounting, worked out job descriptions, defined levels of responsibility, and played a major role in industrial consolidation.

Despite their close association with secular materialism, Merritt notes that many engineers expressed the hope that human peace and happiness would result from technical innovation and that they themselves could devote their technological knowledge, executive experience, and newly acquired status to solve some of the critical problems of communal life. Having begun merely as had become the planners and, in many cases, municipal enterprises which they hoped would turn a land of farms and cities into a "social eden."

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The Ethnography of Rhythm

Orality and Its Technologies

Haun Saussy

Who speaks? The author as producer, the contingency of the text, intertextuality, the "device"-core ideas of modern literary theory-were all pioneered in the shadow of oral literature. Authorless, loosely dated, and variable, oral texts have always posed a challenge to critical interpretation. When it began to be thought that culturally significant texts-starting with Homer and the Bible-had emerged from an oral tradition, assumptions on how to read these texts were greatly perturbed. Through readings that range from ancient Greece, Rome, and China to the Cold War imaginary, The Ethnography of Rhythm situates the study of oral traditions in the contentious space of nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinking about language, mind, and culture. It also demonstrates the role of technologies in framing this category of poetic creation. By making possible a new understanding of Maussian "techniques of the body" as belonging to the domain of Derridean "arche-writing," Haun Saussy shows how oral tradition is a means of inscription in its own right, rather than an antecedent made obsolete by the written word or other media and data-storage devices.

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Finding Augusta

Habits of Mobility and Governance in the Digital Era

Heidi Rae Cooley

Finding Augusta breaks new ground, revising how media studies interpret the relationship between our bodies and technology. This is a challenging exploration of how, for both good and ill, the sudden ubiquity of mobile devices, GPS systems, haptic technologies, and other forms of media alter individuals' experience of their bodies and shape the social collective. The author succeeds in problematizing the most salient fact of contemporary mobile media technologies, namely, that they have become, like highways and plumbing, an infrastructure that regulates habit.

Audacious in its originality, Finding Augusta will be of great interest to art and media scholars alike.

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From Pigeons to News Portals

Foreign Reporting and the Challenge of New Technology

David Perlmutter

Ever since the invention of the telegraph, journalists have sought to remove the barriers of time and space. Today, we readily accept that reporters can jet quickly to a distant location and broadcast instantly from a satellite-connected, video-enabled cell phone hanging from their belts. But now that live news coverage is possible from virtually anywhere, is foreign correspondence better? And what are the implications of recent changes in journalistic technology for policy makers and their constituents? In From Pigeons to News Portals, edited by David D. Perlmutter and John Maxwell Hamilton, scholars and journalists survey, probe, and demystify the new foreign correspondence that has emerged from rapidly changing media technology. These distinguished authors challenge long-held beliefs about foreign news coverage, not the least of which is whether, in our interconnected world, such a thing as "foreign news" even exists anymore. Essays explore the ways people have used new media technology--from satellites and cell phones to the Internet--to affect content, delivery modes, and amount and style of coverage. They examine the ways in which speedy reporting conflicts with in-depth reporting, the pros and cons of "parachute" journalism, the declining dominance of mainstream media as a source of foreign news, and the implications of this new foreign correspondence for foreign policy. Entertainment media such as film, television, and video gaming form worldwide opinions about America, often in negative ways. Meanwhile, live reporting abroad is both a blessing and curse for foreign policy makers. Because foreign news is so vital to effective policy making and citizenship, we imperil our future by failing to understand the changes technology brings and how we can wrest the best practice out of those changes. This provocative volume offers valuable insights and analyses to help us better understand the evolving state of foreign news.

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High Techne

Art and Technology from the Machine Aesthetic to the Posthuman

R.L. Rutsky

In an age of high tech, our experience of technology has changed tremendously, yet the definition of technology has remained largely unquestioned. High Techne redresses this gap in thinking about technology, examining the shifting relations of technology, art, and culture from the beginnings of modernity to contemporary technocultures. Drawing on the Greek root of technology, (techne, generally translated as “art, skill, or craft”), R. L. Rutsky challenges both the modernist notion of technology as an instrument or tool and the conventional idea of a noninstrumental aesthetics. Today, technology and aesthetics have again begun to come together: even basketball shoes are said to exhibit a “high-tech style” and the most advanced technology is called “state of the art.” Rutsky charts the history and vicissitudes of this new high-tech techne up to our day—from Fritz Lang to Octavia Butler, Thomas Edison to Japanese Anime, constructivism to cyberspace. Progressing from the major art movements of modernism to contemporary science fiction and cultural theory, Rutsky provides clear and compelling evidence of a shift in the cultural conceptions of technology and art and demonstrates the centrality of technology to modernism and postmodernism.

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Husserl's Missing Technologies

Don Ihde

Husserl's Missing Technologies looks at the early-twentieth-century "classical" phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, both in the light of the philosophy of science of his time, and retrospectively at his philosophy from a contemporary "postphenomenology." Of central interest are his infrequent comments upon technologies and especially scientific instruments such as the telescope and microscope. Together with his analysis of Husserl, Don Ihde ventures through the recent history of technologies of science, reading and writing, and science praxis, calling for modifications to phenomenology by converging it with pragmatism. This fruitful hybridization emphasizes human-technology interrelationships, the role of embodiment and bodily skills, and the inherent multistability of technologies. In a radical argument, Ihde contends that philosophies, in the same way that various technologies contain an ever-shortening obsolescence, ought to have contingent use-lives.

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Imperial Technoscience

Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India

Amit Prasad

The origin of modern science is often located in Europe and the West. This Euro/West-centrism relegates emergent practices elsewhere to the periphery, undergirding analyses of contemporary transnational science and technology with traditional but now untenable hierarchical categories. In this book, Amit Prasad examines features of transnationality in science and technology through a study of MRI research and development in the United States, Britain, and India. In an analysis that is both theoretically nuanced and empirically robust, Prasad unravels the entangled genealogies of MRI research, practice, and culture in these three countries. Prasad follows sociotechnical trails in relation to five aspects of MRI research: invention, industrial development, market, history, and culture. He first examines the well-known dispute between American scientists Paul Lauterbur and Raymond Damadian over the invention of MRI, then describes the post-invention emergence of the technology, as the center of MRI research shifted from Britain to the U.S; the marketing of the MRI and the transformation of MRI research into a corporate-powered "Big Science"; and MRI research in India, beginning with work in India's nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) laboratories in the 1940s. Finally, he explores the different dominant technocultures in each of the three countries, analyzing scientific cultures as shifting products of transnational histories rather than static products of national scientific identities and cultures. Prasad's analysis offers not only an innovative contribution to current debates within science and technology studies but also an original postcolonial perspective on the history of cutting-edge medical technology.

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