Technology and Society

Module Two:  Work, Organization and Political Change
Questions for Volti Text

Chapter Nine
1.  For the following two statements, provide evidence that would support each one.  Then, explain which view you would choose as being “more accurate” and explain why.  (1) “The development of agricultural technologies was beneficial to [humanity] because it allowed more people to be supported,” or (2) “The development of agricultural technologies was harmful to [humanity] because it required people to work harder”?
2.  The development of a market economy stimulated technological and economic development, but at the expense of a rather cold-blooded approach to human relationships. (a) Is this a fair trade-off?  Explain the reasoning of your answer.  (b) Under what circumstances can marketplace exchanges coexist with emotionally satisfying interpersonal relationships?

Chapter Ten
3. (a)  List and explain problematic issues that may arise when  an economy centers on the production of services instead of the production of goods. (b) Is a country with such an economy in an inherently dangerous position when it confronts international economic and political competition?  Explain.
4.  (a) Should federal and local governments come to the aid of workers who have lost their jobs because of globalization and technological change? Why or why not?  (b) What sort of policies and programs might be formulated to meet workers’ needs in such a scenario?

Chapter Eleven
5.  (a) Do you agree that many early industrial technologies were used as ways of controlling labor?  Why or why not?  (b) What sort of historical research could be done in order to test this proposition?
6.  (a) Explain why employers may or may not have a legitimate right to electronically monitor their employees? (b) Should federal or state governments pass laws that limit electronic employee monitoring?  If so, what would be reasonable limits to this practice?  If not, explain why not.
7.  What are some of the key skills used by practitioners of an occupation you are interested in?  Which of these skills might be replaced by technological advances in the near future?  Would a diminished need for these skills make this occupation more or less attractive to you? Why?

Chapter Eighteen
8.  Some scientific and technological experts claim that nuclear power is safe and economical, and that catastrophes like Chernobyl and Fukushima were anomalies caused by highly unusual events.  Other experts say just the opposite.  (a) How can a nonexpert choose between the two?  (b) What sort of procedures might be used in order to determine which group’s claims are more valid?
9.  In this chapter the assertion is made that engineers cease to act as engineers when they are involved in the selection of the goals to be pursued by their organization.  (a) Do you agree or disagree? Why?  (b) How might the professional abilities of engineers make them effective participants in the goal-selection process?  (c) How might these abilities hinder them?

Chapter Nineteen
10.  Many key industries are dominated by a handful of large firms.  This tendency has been increasingly evident in recent years, as many separate firms have merged into larger ones.  (a) How might this trend affect technological innovation?  (b) Could it pose a threat to the overall development of the economy?  Explain.
11.  (a) Why have many organizational analysts fastened on information as a n organization’s key rsource? (b) To what extent do your experiences with organizations reflect this idea?  (c) How does the ability to control the flow of information reflect and reinforce power relations within an organization?

Chapter Twenty
12.  (a) Do you think that the government should establish an agency similar to Japan’s METI as a way of stimulating technological advance?  (b) What obstacles would such an agency confront in the American political climate?
13.  (a) What is your definition of democracy?  (b)  On the whole, has technological advance increased or decreased the amount of democratic participation in modern science? Explain.

Book "Society and Technological Change" seventh edition by Volti. Answere questions the best you can. Thanks!