Social Evolution, Economic Development and Culture
Show Less

Social Evolution, Economic Development and Culture

What it Means to Take Japan Seriously

Ronald Dore and D. Hugh Whittaker

Social Evolution, Economic Development and Culture brings together Ronald Dore’s key writings for the first time, making his work accessible across a wide range of social science disciplines. It produces a distinctive perspective with four interlinking themes – technology-driven social evolution, late development, culture and polemics. These are highly topical in the current context of rapid technological innovation and socio-economic change, globalization and accompanying policy choices.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 8: A note about technological determinism*

Ronald Dore and D. Hugh Whittaker

Extract

Chapter 8 05/12/2000 13:44 Page 1 8. A note about technological determinism* I’ve always assumed that among sociologists ‘technological determinist’ was a term of abuse, and that declaring myself to be one has had an element of trailing my coat, of teasing the orthodox (even though I mean it only in the qualified sense that I’ve explained in Chapter 7). But I wonder how out-ofdate my notion that technological determinism is still seen as hopelessly naïve has become. Everybody now seems to be a technological determinist. Perhaps it’s a new kind of millennial bug. The ‘knowledge economy’ will totally transform our lives. IT is the revolutionary beginning of a new age, and so on. Are we going to eat information, clothe and house ourselves in knowledge? To be sure, the advertising industry and the stockbroking industry are expanding their share of GNP by leaps and bounds. But how will the availability of a new means of communication - the shift from telephone, mail and fax to the internet for the transmission of (some kinds of) information, business orders, designs or whatever - transform the production of beer or houses or insurance so fundamentally? To be sure, the pace of technological innovation has been accelerating in recent decades (just count the decade-bydecade increase in patent registrations in the United States), and that acceleration does change the nature of business competition quite considerably. But the quantum leap of the IT revolution? I don’t buy it. One can see how in...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.