Technology-Society Interactions

“Technology-Society Interactions”

Fall 2018

Book Assignment


Book Selection:

Pick a book about a technology and its likely social impacts. This could be a book about a specific technology such as autonomous vehicles or pesticide use. The book you select must have a minimum of 150 pages. Assignments written about books that have fewer than 150 total pages (149 pages or less) will not be graded.

Book Assignment

Once you have selected a book about a technology you should read it and then write a paper having the following structure:

Part 1: Tombstone in point form (same as bulleted list) (10 points)

Please also note that you are not to collect any information directly from authors. I do not authorize such information gathering for this course. If you do collect information directly from an author and I become aware of it, your project will not be graded.

– Title; sub-title (if any)

– Author

– Publisher, Date of Publication

– How you obtained the book.

– Author’s background (including educational background…where and what the author studied)

– Important issues raised in the book.

Part 1 must be no longer than one page.

Part 2: Outline Structure of the Book in point form (bulleted list) (20 points)

Point form outline of the book’s sections and/or chapters. For each section and/or chapter, include a maximum of three entries that reveal the author’s main ideas presented in the section and/or chapter (one idea per entry). Part 2 must be no longer than 2 pages. You must stay within the page limit. For books with many chapters, it may be necessary to aggregate chapters in order to stay within the page limit. Do not meet the page limit by changing font size or line spacing.

Part 3: Connection with Kranzberg’s “Laws of Technology” (50 points)

Read the following article: Kranzberg Melvin “Technology and History: ‘Kranzberg’s Laws’” Bull. Sci. Tech. Soc. Vol 15, No. 1, pp. 5-13, 1995. You should also refer to the discussion of this paper presented in the September 6th lecture. Answer the following questions:

1. How does the book’s description of the technology fit with Kranzberg’s First Law?

2. How does the book’s description of the technology fit with Kranzberg’s Second Law?

3. How does the book’s description of the technology fit with Kranzberg’s Third Law?

4. Do you think that the book explicitly or implicitly fits a “technological determinism” view?

Part 3 must be between 3 and 4 pages (more than 3 full pages/less than 4 full pages).

Part 4: Organization/readability/editing/references (20 points)

Write the assignment clearly using paragraphs. Edit the assignment (to avoid spelling errors, for example). Any material you refer to or quote in the assignment must be given a reference (a separate reference page must be included as the last page of the assignment…after the last page of Part 3) and a citation in the body of the assignment that points to the reference. References/citations should be in a suitable format. This is important to avoid plagiarism that can carry severe penalties. The paper should be double-spaced throughout using an 11- or 12-point font (no mixed fonts). Any material in your assignment that is not accompanied by a citation and reference will not be graded.

Submit the book assignment by October 19th. Please submit your assignment to the Book Assignment Drop Box that will be posted on cuLearn. Submissions must be in pdf format. Submissions in other formats (or in pdf formats that I cannot open) will not be accepted for grading.

Assignments must be submitted by 11 pm on October 19th for full credit. Assignments submitted between 11:01 pm on October 19th and 11 pm on October 20th will receive a 20% penalty for lateness. No assignments will be accepted after 11 pm on October 20th. There are no extensions to these dates except for documented emergencies beyond your control. Poor time management is not an emergency beyond your control. CuLearn establishes the dates and times. Students are responsible for checking that their submissions have been received by cuLearn and that what they have submitted is the correct file. The last file submitted establishes the date and time. There are no extensions for failure to carry out these responsibilities.