What is Technology and how did it impact on the Society, Culture, and/or
generate Social Changes?
A. Technology encompasses the universal of tools, means, and methods through which we interact with our environment. It is an integral part in social and cultural change. It both causes social change and is itself influence by culture. The evolution is continuing. Computers, robots, gene splicing, nuclear research, interactive information system all are currently in the process of changing our society, presenting us with new problems and new horizons.
B. In 1810 canning food was developed by Nicholas Appert, the invention came from Napoleon Bonaparte. As early as 1795, he recognized the importance of preserving food after nearly losing the Battle of Marengo because of lack of provisions – hence the famous statement that “an army marches on its stomach”. .
C. JohnGorrie,adoctortryingtosolvetheproblemofmalaria,whichwasrampantinFloridaat the time, discovered that the disease occurred more frequently in hot, humid weather; He felt he could reduce its incidence if he could lower the temperature of his hospital wards. At first he did this by blowing fans over blocks of ice, but when an ice shorting pushed the price to high levels, he decided there must be a better way.
D. Gorriecontractedasteamenginethatwouldcompressair(agas)inacylinder.Asthepiston withdrew, it would allow the air to escape and expand into another cylinder. Gorrie put a brine solution around this cylinder and found that it would get cold because the air inside the cylinder was cold. By pumping this cold air into his hospital wards, he invented the first air conditioner.
The Industrial Revolution:
The Industrial Revolution is the name given to the sum of all the changes in economic and social organization characterized by the replacement of hand tools with power-driven machines and by the concentration of industry in large establishments. It had its beginning in England around 1760. There, for the first time people began to employ power machines for industrial production and to build factories to house them.
The English Industrial Revolution was brought about by accumulation of inventions. A new invention in one industry was followed by improvements and inventions in related industries. James Watt devised a greatly improved steam engine, the revolution really took off. Machinery for producing cotton textiles was modified and applied to the production of woolen cloth.
The Development of Industrialism in the United States:
In the early nineteenth century, the machine industry and factory system began to develop in the United States. The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and the War of 1812 gave U.S. industrialization a strong push because they made it difficult for the United States to import English Textiles.
In some respects, conditions in the United States favored industrialization, first our domestic market was rapidly growing. Second, raw material was plentiful. Third, labor was relatively scarce and wages
were higher than in Europe. The chief reason was: Workers kept leaving their jobs to settle on free or cheap land along the frontier – hence the phrase: “Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country”.
Standardization, Interchangeability, and Mass Production:
Standardization was the production of uniform, substitutable parts was made possible by a humble but far-reaching development: the improvement of measurement devices. To understand the problem of standardization, think of a car. If you blow a piston, you go out and buy a new one. Getting the new piston is not cheap, but it is a lot cheaper than if you had to have a machinist make a new piston to fit your individual engine.
Interchangeability: the ability to substitute one part for another:
Without it, there would be far fewer goods than we now have, and those that we do have would be more expensive. So interchangeability is important; that’s obvious. But if it is obvious that interchangeability has so many advantages, why weren’t early machines built with interchangeable parts?
This is the use of standardized parts to construct great quantities of a product on an assembly line. Naturally, it does not pay to make large amounts of a product if they cannot be sold. But when the market is large enough, the use of standard interchangeable parts makes mass production possible and substantially reduces costs.
What was the impact of Standardization, Interchangeability, and Mass Production on Society?
A. This development had significant effects on society: It led to displacement of jobs, social status, and the emergence of the newly rich. Workers were replaced by machines and fortunes were built by industrialists, and high society had to make room for these newly rich. Business provided a way to move up the social ladder, as business people moved up, they brought their own values and world view.
B. As the interchangeable- parts approach to production spread, these effects were multiplied. With the development of low-priced cars, the limitations that natural geography/environments placed on society changed and the nature of cities changed. Low-priced tractors increased productively in farming, lowering food prices and forcing more and more people off the farms, and thus began accelerated urbanization.
C. Thedevelopmentsintechnologyhavediminishedtheimportanceofanindividual’sphysical strength, making male-female roles based on physical strength no longer relevant, if they ever were. (Some authorities claim that men’s physical advantages over women are minimal.) Thus many of the cultural aspects of society, such as the patriarchal family, have come into question.
Technology and Globalization
Globalization is the integration of world economies. Globalization has been occurring at a fast rate in recent years, and traditional societies are often shaken by change, as less expensive goods come in from more technologically advanced countries.
Technology also affects traditional societies in another way. Firms are always lining for cheaper ways to produce goods. If they can hire workers in a traditional society at a lower rate than they can in their own society, if allowed to do so they will often transfer production facilities. Another aspect of globalization involves the movement of production facilities and technology from one economy to another.
Modern Technology and the need for skilled Workers
It is said that prior to the industrial age workers were weaver, shoemaker, candlemaker, or a tailor. Standards of technique were high, and because one worker made the entire product, a high level of skills was demanded. After the advent of machines, individual skills became almost useless. Machines performed the principal operation required to make a product, and the worker became an ‘automation’ whose function was to operate or feed the machine.
To compensate for this loss of routine jobs, modern machine technology has created great number of jobs that require specialized skill or knowledge. There are engineers who plan and design machines and factories; skilled construction worker, plumbers, and electricians.
Global warming is the gradual warming of the earth’s temperature due to the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide main culprit, but also includes methane and nitrous oxide, leading to a “Human-enhanced greenhouse effect” and warming of the environment due to the depletion of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons (derived from fossil fuels).
Most scientists are now convinced that global
warming is taking place, and this was confirmed
by the United Nations’ Inter-governmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) which is highlighted in
the relationship between carbon dioxide and
temperature. The report also built upon the
Montreal Protocol of 1987 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.
We now know that the average surface temperature of the earth is already higher than it was a hundred years ago. The USA produced more such pollution than any other country. China produces the second- highest amount, even though it has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent since 1992.
Explain the role of technology in the Past and the Present.
2. Explain the impact of Industrialization on Western Civilization.
3. Name a few inventions that African Americans have contributed in the nineteenth and twenty-first Centuries in contemporary society.
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