This course is open only to students enrolled in the Master PSTS. In case you, as a student from another master’s programme, want to participate in this course, please contact the PSTS staff, at least two weeks before the start of the course: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com|
This course connects to the final qualifications K1, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 and S6 of the programme, according to the following five learning objectives
At the end of the course the student has knowledge of the relations between technology and society, drawn from an interdisciplinary approach that brings history, philosophy and sociology in conversation with each other, and practiced the writing of a research proposal.
At the end of the course the student is able to:
- analyse approaches about technology-society relations and understand the conceptual and methodological perspectives from which they are developed;
- understand how adopting a particular conceptual approach shapes the design of research in the field of technology and social order;
- discuss his/her views with fellow students, write a short interpretative essay, a research proposal, and present his/her views orally in class;
- design research which could function as basis for a more substantial research proposal and/or a research project
The relationship between technology and technological development, on one hand, and (changes in) society, on the other, has been variously theorized and examined by a number of significant philosophers, sociologists and historians. In the first half of this course students are introduced to the range of interpretive visions regarding their relation, which includes variations on the themes of ‘technological determinism’, ‘social construction’, ‘co-production’, and ‘hybridity’. Both the philosophical presuppositions and commitments behind these various interpretive frameworks are examined and the consequences of adopting them both for interpreting the past and advising for the future are considered. During the second half of the course, students apply their critical understanding to the analysis of ‘real world’ cases.
The assessment is based on a mid-term essay assignment (counts for 40% of the final mark) and the composition of a mock research proposal (counts for 60% of the final mark).
Note: each component of the assessment needs to be graded sufficient (i.e. 5.5 or more) in order to complete this course successfully.