Week 1: Studying Technology & Culture Discussion

Choose one of the following options for your Post #1.

Option #1: Terminology 

Choose five terms from the vocabulary list for this week that are new to you or discussed in our readings in a way you have not thought about. Make sure you choose a few terms from the readings on culture and a few from the readings on technology. 

For each of your five terms:

  1. Provide a brief definition in your own words. This should be a paraphrase of the definition from one of the readings. Please see tips on paraphrasing here
  1. Cite where you got the definition from in MLA format.
  1. Explain in a few sentences how you think this term might help you look at technology and culture in a new way in this class.

Option #2: Quotes 

Review the following quotes from the article “From Technological Autonomy to Technological Bluff: Jacques Ellul and Our Technological Condition” in the Learning Materials.

“A technological society, Ellul reasoned, begets autonomous technique, a condition in which technology’s values drive technology, and following from this technology will determine the rest of society…Ellul theorized that once human beings enter the technological society (our current situation), technology is not controlled by anything.”


“While the means–the technologies–become ever more complex…Goals such as freedom or wealth are seldom questioned, but it is often unclear what these mean, for whom, and at what cost. The focus is on extending the means of development, pursuing new technologies. Goals are given such content as will the technological means available. Thus “success” becomes not a state of flourishing but as acquiring more possessions. “educated” no longer connotes wisdom but possessing measurable and marketable skills.”


“We now generally, if sometimes grudgingly, accept new technology. This is the case even when it creates new difficulties, when it raises profound ethical questions, when it might work less well, or when it exacts greater demands than previous technologies.”


“Through advertising of particular devices or propaganda for acceptance of technologies in general, the marketing of technology persuades the public to accept new technologies. This process denies that technologies are simply freely chosen by the public in the marketplace and emphasizes the ability of advertising to sell the technologies to the public.”

Choose one of these quotes and do the following: 

  1. Place the quote at the top of your post.
  1. Paraphrase the quote in your own words. Please see tips on paraphrasing here
  1. Discuss how it relates to your relationship with technology in your everyday life OR why you disagree with something in the quote. 
  1. Use at least one or two specific examples from your life or our culture to illustrate your points. 
  1. Use at least one additional quote from this article in your discussion. 
  1. Make sure to cite your quote in MLA style.

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