Real World of Technology

Good Essays
Shelby Hayne
Writing 50: Writing in a Digital World
Prof. Norvel
Precis: The Real World of Technology.

Citation: Franklin, Ursula M. "Chap. 1." The Real World of Technology. New York: House of
Anansi, 2011. Print.

In the first chapter of Real World of Technology, Ursula Franklin analyzes the profound impact that the development of different technologies has had on the lives of citizens of the world, both past and present, asserting that the scope of technology is all-encompassing and essentially inescapable. She examines technology ‘in context’; stressing that it is the context in which the technology exists that is of true importance in examining its social, cultural, and real-life ramifications. Franklin cautions the reader against blindly accepting technologies, even when they may seem ‘inevitable.’

She discusses different types of technologies, and how prescriptive technologies
(those that are broken down into specific steps, with a division of labor, and no room for creativity or innovation) have “overwhelmed” holistic technologies, in which the individual has total control over the final product as opposed to a manager, boss, or governing body who has the power to decide the proper way of doing things. Franklin uses real life examples, such as the technique used in ancient Chinese bronzecasting, to illustrate how prescriptive technology can result in a cultural mindset that only accepts one way of doing things, and so lead to a social and cultural rigidity in all aspects of life. Additionally, she analyzes the difference

between production and growth models, and examines how production models discount ‘the bigger picture’, and thus birth processes that are often efficient in the workplace/industry but
“wasteful and harmful in a larger context” (pg 21). She notes that the use of growth models would often be more appropriate, citing the structuring of the education system as an example, and yet today are generally not taken

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