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Hardcover | Out of Print | 648 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 39 b&w illus., 5 tables | October 2008 | ISBN: 9780262101240
Paperback | $56.00 X | £46.95 | 648 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 39 b&w illus., 5 tables | October 2008 | ISBN: 9780262600736
eBook | $56.00 X | October 2008 | ISBN: 9780262326513
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Technology and Society

Building our Sociotechnical Future


Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Laurence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world. The careful ordering of the selections and the editors’ introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and other disciplines. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

About the Editors

Deborah G. Johnson is Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Department Chair, Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia.

Jameson M. Wetmore is Assistant Professor at the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.


Technology and Society is a highly readable book, mostly useful at the undergraduate level for its applied focus on future and values. The different textual genres serve well the ambition to make STS perspectives relevant in policy and in sociocultural negotiations about technopolitics. Technology and Society will encourage its audience to become concerned about its global sociotechnical future, and hopefully to feel empowered for this task.”—Isabelle Dussauge, Technology and Culture


“Johnson and Wetmore's collection of papers on the interplay between technology and society is the most comprehensive I've seen, exposing just how rich, complex, multidimensional, and vital that interplay actually is. Be prepared for quite an intellectual ride!”
Wm. A. Wulf, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia, and President Emeritus, National Academy of Engineering