ERIC Number: ED207909
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Future, Extraterrestrial Space Humanization and Sociology.
MacDaniel, William E.
This paper suggests that sociologists should become actively involved with the study of the future as a means for revitalizing the profession of sociology. One aspect of the future that may be most exciting and challenging is the development of human society and culture in extraterrestrial human communities. A unique combination of technological knowledge and capability, financial motivations, ideological rationale, and political motivation virtually assures humanization of extraterrestrial space within the foreseeable future. Space society and culture are likely to differ substantially from that which is found on earth because of the unique exigencies of extraterrestrial living--e.g., extraterrestrial habitats will have access to unlimited solar power; there will be extensive electronic and computer capabilities; limited land areas will preclude land intensive activities. There are three alternative approaches that might be taken in the development of extraterrestrial society. First, space society may be allowed to evolve with no preplanning. Second, goals for a humanistically satisfying society can be formulated and a complete society can be preplanned. Third, unique problems associated with extraterrestrial living can be identified and solved through societal mechanisms. If sociologists do not become actively involved, the first approach is likely to occur. Tasks that must be undertaken by sociologists if extraterrestrial society and culture are to be appropriately planned for the benefit of mankind are suggested. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Space Colonization
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August, 1981).