Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture
General Catalog Course Title:
Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture
Terms Offered:
Fall 2014
Spring 2014
Fall 2013
Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Spring 2012
Fall 2011
Spring 2011
Fall 2010
Spring 2010
Course Thread: 
Human-Centered Design
Course Thread: 
Sciences and Society
Holub, Renate
Wren, Gary

This is an interdisciplinary course that welcomes students of all disciplinary backgrounds. In it, we will focus on wo major technological paradigms which have emerged over the past 200 years in the transatlantic worlds. In part I of the course we … read more [+]will examine the interrelations between technology, industrialization, urbanization, and the emergence of the culture industry while reflecting on the impact of a variety of technologies [automobility, telephony, aviation, communications technologies -- TV, media, satellites--] on the structure of social organization in the global north (Europe and North America). In part II, we will examine major features of the information age, with particular emphasis of the evolution and structure of the internet and its impact on cultures and societies in a variety of global regions. Here we are not only interested in the integration of communication technologies in the organization of the ‘new economy’ [globalization]. We are also interested in linking technological facts to the democratic expansion of knowledge opportunities, economic opportunities, and rights opportunities for citizens around the world. Students will have an opportunity to develop their own studies --from a comparative and global perspective -- of currently emerging cutting edge technologies in relation to practices of sustainability, human rights, peace, and democracy. The purpose of the course is to provide students not only with a substantive understanding of the technological forces which have shaped “modernity,” “postmodernity,” and “globalization”, but also to raise theoretical questions about the relations which obtain between producers and users [active and passive] of technology under conditions of both the industrial age and the information age.

Sample Course Syllabus:
For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.