History 408  History of American Science and Technology

Reading Worksheet


What Is Technology

Smith Chapter 1

Date:                                                    Name:

1. What¡¯s new and striking to you in this chapter?




2. On Leo Marx¡¯s essay: How did ¡°technology¡± differ from ¡°mechanical arts¡±?




3. What is ¡°technological determinism¡±?  What is a technological system?




4. On Winner¡¯s Essay: What did Mumford mean by ¡°authoritarian¡± and ¡°democratic¡± technologies?  Can you think of examples of those two kinds of technologies today?





5. On MacKenzie¡¯s essay: Do ¡°better¡± technologies always win?  Can you think of a ¡°better¡± technology that lost to its competitor?




6. On Lerman¡¯s essay: Why does she prefer ¡°technological knowledge¡± to technology?




7. On Pursell¡¯s essay: Can you think of examples or ways that we associate technology with manhood?




8. On Latour¡¯s essay: Why does he advocate the use of terms like ¡°hybrids¡± and ¡°networks¡± in describing technology?




9. Do you find the readings helpful? Questions and comments?