The Culture of Technology

The Culture of Technology

Arnold Pacey

ISBN 9780262281133
220 pp.
September 1985


Content Publisher
The MIT Press

The Culture of Technology

The Culture of Technology examines our often conflicting attitudes toward nuclear weapons, biological technologies, pollution, Third World development, automation, social medicine, and industrial decline. It disputes the common idea that technology is “value-free” and shows that its development and use are conditioned by many factors-political and cultural as well as economic and scientific. Many examples from a variety of cultures are presented. These range from the impact of snowmobiles in North America to the use of water pumps in rural India, and from homemade toys in Africa to electricity generation in Britain-all showing how the complex interaction of many influences in every community affects technological practice. Arnold Pacey, who lives near Oxford, England, has a degree in physics and has lectured on both the history of technology and technology policy, with a particular focus on the development of technologies appropriate to Third World needs. He is the author of The Maze of Ingenuity (MIT Press paperback).


  1. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Technology: Practice and Culture
  3. 2. Beliefs about Progress
  4. 3. The Culture of Expertise
  5. 4. Beliefs about Resources
  6. 5. Imperatives and Creative Culture
  7. 6. Women and Wider Values
  8. 7. Value-conflicts and Institutions
  9. 8. Innovative Dialogue
  10. 9. Cultural Revolution
  11. Notes
  12. Select Bibliography
  13. Index