Technology and Culture:  by Allen W. Batteau
148 pages, $23.95 list
eBook availability
Technology and Culture
Technology and Culture provides a comprehensive overview of anthropological and other theories examining the place of technology in culture, and the consequences of technology for cultural evolution. The book develops and contrasts anthropological discourse of technology and culture with humanistic and managerial views. It uses core anthropological concepts, including adaptation, evolution, totemic identity, and collective representations, to locate a broad variety of technologies, ancient and modern, in a context of shared understandings and misunderstandings. The author draws on his own experience as an auto mechanic, computer programmer, ethnographer, and aircraft pilot to demonstrate that technologies are cultural creations, encoding and accelerating the dreams and delusions of the societies that produce them.
Technology and Culture showcases the ability of cultural anthropologists to fashion penetrating critiques of industrial societies.” — Technology and Culture

“The author’s mission is to integrate values, networks, evolution, diffusion, and identity of technology and culture in order to increase knowledge about them while beginning to imagine a post-technological society where humanity is technology’s master. Recommended.” — Choice

“Batteau covers the material well, devising a broad palette from which he selects the hues to paint the picture of technology and culture in an engaging, balanced manner. Students, who often think they know more about the topic than they do, will never think about technology in the same way again.” — Jerome W. Crowder, University of Houston
Table of Contents

1. Tools, Technologies, and Cultural Evolution
From Simple to Complex, and Back Again / From Servant to Master / From Isolation to Connection / From the State of Nature to the State of Technology

2. The Invention of Modern Technology
Modern Technology in America and Europe / Representing Technology

3. An Endless Frontier
The Gathering Storm / La Pensée Scientifique / Innovation and Its Discontents / An Endless Wilderness

4. Technology Stumbles
The Limits of Materials, Humans, and Institutions / Industrial Failure / Information Technology Successes and Failures / The Tragedy of the Commons

5. The Human Factor
Switchology / Living on the Screen / Design and Decomposition / The Secret Life of the Human Factor

6. Technoscience versus Culture
Strangers and Others / Understanding Culture / Authority / Boundary Explorations

7. Cultures of Technology
The Structure of Technological Evolutions / Disconnectivity / The Commodification and Mediation of Culture / Technology 2.0

8. Technology for Culture
The Poverty of Utility / Culture at Warp Scale / Technological Tribes / The Shape of Things to Come / Cultural Reclamation in a Posttechnological Society