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Conference Papers Year : 2018

Communication, Media, Technology, and Global Social Change


The acceleration of social change, linked to technological innovations, is now a global phenomenon. Technology influences the direction and the forms of global change. Capitalism and competition contribute to the development of new technologies and their global spread. Technology permits to act upon the social and physical environment and to solve problems. As Moore (1972: 5) wrote: “(Technology is) the application of knowledge to the achievement of particular goals or to the solution of particular problems.” It includes physical objects (e.g. a smartphone); a way of doing something (e.g. communicating by written language); and, an organization of practices (e.g. housing loans) (Massey 2012: 139). According to Rudi Volti (2001: 6, 11), technology is “a system based on the application of knowledge, manifested in physical objects and organizational forms, for the attainment of specific goals (…). (It is) not just material artifacts (but includes) human skills, organizational patterns, and attitudes.” Technology is created, supplied, adapted, used, and affects the life of people. They use these resources, possess skills, and understand this cultural element. If one regards computers and the Internet, one recognizes that this technology has meant new manners of interactions that are adapted to the interests of its users. Technology signifies to apply scientific knowledge to solve specific problems. Technological advances such as automobiles, airplanes, radio, television, cellular phones, and computers have brought major changes to world societies. In fact, 20th century technology has fundamentally changed the way people meet, interact, learn, work, play, and travel.
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hal-01834331 , version 1 (10-07-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01834331 , version 1


Ulrike Schuerkens. Communication, Media, Technology, and Global Social Change. Pouvoir, violence et justice: Réflexions, réponses et responsabilités, XIX Congrès mondial de Sociologie de l’ISA, Jul 2018, Toronto, Canada. ⟨hal-01834331⟩
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