Technology's impact on social institutions

We must critically analyze the representative views of the social role of technology. In doing so we address two fundamental questions:

1. What is the nature and extent of impact of technology on social institutions and individual lives?

2. To what degree is this impact beneficial and to what degree is it harmful?

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...treme" views concerning the social role and value of modern technology: the Utopian view, the Dystopian view, and the Socialist view.

In this area of expertise, in one way or another, we develop these differing views, set them in conflict with one another, and then attempt to determine which is closest to the "truth" (if there is such a thing). An analysis of the ways in which these views oppose one another provides the unifying framework and sets the tone for a discussion of the major issues and controversies concerning the social role of technology.

So, within the context of this debate, the key questions, concepts, and distinctions relating to all these issues and controversies will present themselves naturally and in due course. The resolution of this debate will presuppose that these distinctions and concepts have been adequately analyzed, and that these questions have been answered as well as possible. That is the underlying goal of this research.

An outline of the three views:

1) The Utopian View

According the utopian view, all or most of our social progress is due primarily or exclusively to the growth of technology. Technology growth, if unimpeded by any major disaster, will in the long run bring about the demise of every social evil. They believe that it will eliminate scarcity and disease, that it will significantly improve communications and education, and that it will undermine the environmental conditions which reinforce aggression, prejudice, nationalism, oppression, exploitation. This view construes the major world problems as "technical", rather than "political" or ...