The purpose of this assignment is to display an understanding of some of the major ideas of the humanities course. Even though you can use outside sources to get background knowledge for writing and inform yourself, no secondary sources are supposed to be used other than the ones provided which are directly from course readings and materials. You are expected to draw upon all relevant course material – readings, lectures, screenings, and online resources and cite accordingly for this sources.
Thus far, this course has emphasized the question of technology, a technocultural studies approach, and changes technology and social reality in the context of modernity and postmodernity. In order to go beyond a view of technology as useful ‘things,’ it is first of all necessary to be aware of the power of language in shaping our assumptions about technology, to perceive the interconnectedness of technology and culture, and to put technologies into the broadest possible sociohistorical context.
For the first part of this assignment, discuss the problem of defining “technology.” (Drawing on Slack and Wise (2015), first outline the chief difficulties they identify in defining the word “technology.” Then discuss what definitional move they propose to gain a more sophisticated understanding of technology.)
For the second part, explain how technology, as part of an assemblage, shapes space and time. (First, focus on how Slack & Wise rethink “space” and “time.” Give examples of how technological culture is spatialized and temporalized. Finally, consider how space and time are intertwined with modes of communication).
For the third part, from a Marxist perspective on machines and modernity, how has technological change transformed human experience and existence? (With reference to Marx’s analysis of the industrial revolution in the 19th century, identify the major changes in machine tools, patterns of work in factories, and being human. In the 20th century, how did Fordism and Taylorism expand mass production and mass consumption? How does Modern Times reflect the social reality of the factory? What critical insights did Ellul contribute to understanding technique? Marcuse to understanding technological rationality and consumer consciousness?)
For the fourth part, consider the role of technologies of reproduction with a focus on the predominance of visual media technologies in the representation and construction of “reality.” Why is social reality no longer what it used to be? (With reference to Debord’s thought, what kind of spectacular visual culture emerged in the 20th century? In the postmodern period, how does Baudrillard understand how reality has become hyperreality? Drawing upon the Marx’s concept of commodity fetishism, what is the reality behind Apple’s brand image?)
Length, Organization and Format
This assignment is intended to cover course material only. Your discussion paper should be no less than 7 pages (minimum) and no more than 7 pages and half. Organize your paper into four subsections: 1 1⁄2 pages for part one, 1 1⁄2 pages for part two, 2 pages for part three, and 2 pages for part four.
Be sure to include all four parts; if you do not then your paper will not be complete and will be marked down accordingly. Use paragraph structure for each part, indenting the first line of a new paragraphs five spaces. Do not exceed the page limit but use all the space you have wisely.
Your writing will have to be concise and cogent. An informed, thoughtful, meaningful discussion paper is expected. Please proofread and revise your comprehensively before uploading and make sure to polished the final version.
Authors sometimes express ideas better than we can paraphrase. You need to be able to paraphrase properly, but a few short quotations of terms or phrases to support your discussion may also be appropriate. To support your discussion, quote At LEAST TWO required reading in each part of your paper. In addition, also make reference to class lectures or screenings and online resources provided. All references should be in either APA or MLA style. Your paper should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, stapled, and have 1″ margins. Include a title page with a thoughtful title (try to get the reader interested in reading the your paper), name, tutorial number, student number and date.
Course Sources You May or may not need to use:
You don’t need to use information from all of them but use reference to as many as possible where suitable to your argument and cite accordingly in MLA or APA. Also make sure to draw back to Marx’s analysis and Slack’s where mentioned in the assignment and cite. If you didn’t find enough information about Marx’s and Slack in the links provided below to say what you need to support, you may use secondary sources from any peer reviewed and scholarly source, but you need to cite properly in case of drawing direct content. If you were talking about Marx’s or Slack’s ideas in general form of knowledge/background in your own words you don’t need to cite anything about these two.
- Digital NationURL
- Interview: Sherry TurkleURL
- Why it’s time to put your smartphone down. URL
- Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?
What is Technology?
Technology and Modernity
- Lecture 2 OutlineFile
- “Capitalism” in New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and SocietyPage
- Modern Times (1936) Eating Machine SceneURL
Technology and Postmodernity
- Lecture 3 OutlineFile
- Postmodernism Page
- Spectacle and SurveillancePage
- A User’s Guide to DétournementURL
- On SimulationURL
- Society of the Spectacle (1973)URL
- Society of the Spectacle (remix)URL
- Black Shoals Stock Market PlanetariumURL
- Apple Gamma iPod+iTunes TV ad (2008)URL
- The stark reality of iPod’s Chinese factoriesURL
- Internet ‘fame’ for factory worker who forgot to delete her photo from mobile phoneURL
- Worker commits suicide after losing secret prototype iPhoneURL
- Inside Apple’s magic factory: Rare look at secret world