ERIC Number: ED034413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: 0
How Technology Will Shape the Future. Harvard University Program on Technology and Society; Reprint Number 5.
Mesthene, Emmanuel G.
Science, v12 p3837 Jul 12 1968
The development and adoption of new technologies make for changes in social organization and values by creating new possibilities for human action and thus altering the mix of options available to men. Because it alters the conditions of choice, new technology has a high probability of changing individual and social values: adopting new means to better accomplish old ends very often results in the substitution of new ends for old ones. There is only a "soft" determinism in the technology-society relationship, hence different societies can react differently to the same new possibilities. Our own age is characterized by a deliberate fostering of technological change and by the growing social role of knowledge. A fundamental implication of a world of flux (a "Heraclitean world") is the greater theoretical utility of concepts of process over those of structure, in sociological and cultural analysis. This shift in philosophical emphasis will alter conventional thinking regarding personal identity and social stability in the future. Education, and the interdependence between industry, government and the university will predominate. (BB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Change Agents, Educational Policy, Industrialization, Innovation, Public Policy, Social Change, Social Influences, Social Structure, Social Systems, Social Values, Sociology, Technological Advancement, Technology, Universities, Values
Harvard University, Program on Technology and Society, 61 Kirkland St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: International Business Machines Corp., White Plains, NY.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Program on Technology and Society.
Note: Article based on chapter from the book, "Environment and Change: The Next Fifty Years," scheduled for publication in the Fall of 1968. Printed by permission of the American Institute of Planners & Indiana Univ. Press