Essentials of Sociology: New Technologies

Essentials of Sociology: New Technologies

Agricultural as a whole was given a jolt, when the plow was invented. This changed the way the agriculture field produced to meet the growing demands of larger populations by increasing the yields. Transportation capabilities in the 1 8th century were given a boost with the unavailing of the first steam engine. People and materials were able to be transported across larger distances at record speeds. Again meeting the demands of an increasingly growing population.

Transitioning from hunting/gathering mode to a pastoral society changed by abandoning previous migratory practices in favor of establishing fixed residences. This led to plants and animals becoming domesticated to conform to the new “home-?based” needs of people. Lastly,computers have most recently changed the societal course in mostly every way possible. The introduction of the micro-chip and subsequently the computer, forever altered the fundamentals of how society is organized. This spanned across education,personal use and business- allowing constant and instant flow of information.

Four technological innovations were responsible for social revolutions: The mastication of plants and animals over ten thousand years ago, the invention of the plow, the invention of the steam engine, and the invention of the computer all led to massive social change (Heinlein 390). The transition from hunting and gathering to a pastoral society changed earlier societies by enabling them to abandon migratory practices and establish fixed residences. The invention Of the plow revolutionized agricultural techniques and increased yields, allowing societies to sustain larger populations.

The invention of the steam engine in the 18th century transformed the remonstration capabilities of society and spurred further innovation as people and materials could be quickly transported on land for distances previously unimaginable. Finally, it is difficult to understate the ways in which the microchip and personal computer have fundamentally altered the organization of society; the instant access to and constant flows of information have changed communication, education, and business in modern society. American sociologist, William Osborn, had a theory three processes of social change;innovation, discovery, and diffusion.

The invention is the combination of existing cultural items into a form that did not exist before, such as with agricultural invention the plow. Discovery, Suburb’s second process, is a new way of seeing and understanding reality. This is illustrated perfectly in the “finding’ of North America by Christopher Columbus. North America was an already existing continent prior to Columbus,but it was new to Europeans. Lastly, diffusion is the process of the spreading of a feature or trend from one place to another over the course of time.

Examples of this old be the spread of democratic government ideals across the globe, or the usage of gun powder which was originally discovered by the Chinese and world wide accepted now. Shogun also identified the concept of cultural lag, which refers to the propensity of cultural elements to trail behind social changes brought on by invention, discovery and diffusion. Therefore, while processes are ultimately compelling drivers of social change, it’s typically technology that changes first. Culture reacts and adapts to the technological innovations presented to the world.

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