Ursula Franklin: The Real World of Technology (1990–)

21 July 2014, dusan

“In her 1989 CBC Massey Lectures, renowned scientist and humanitarian Ursula M. Franklin examines the social and political effects of technology. For her, technology is much more than machines, gadgets or electronic transmitters. It is a comprehensive system that includes methods, procedures, organization, “and most of all, a mindset”. She distinguishes between holistic technologies used by craft workers or artisans and prescriptive ones associated with a division of labour in large-scale production. Holistic technologies allow artisans to control their own work from start to finish. Prescriptive technologies organize work as a sequence of steps requiring supervision by bosses or managers. Franklin argues that the dominance of prescriptive technologies in modern society discourages critical thinking and promotes “a culture of compliance”.

The revised edition features four added chapters, in which Franklin tackles issues such as the dilution of privacy and intellectual property rights, the impact of the current technology on government and governance, the shift from consumer capitalism to investment capitalism, and the influence of the Internet upon the craft of writing.

Franklin acknowledges her intellectual debt to Jacques Ellul, Lewis Mumford, C.B. Macpherson, E. F. Schumacher and Vandana Shiva, among others.”

Publisher CBC Enterprises, Montréal, 1990
ISBN 0887943756
132 pages

Revised edition
Publisher House of Anansi Press, Toronto, 1999
ISBN 088784636X, 9780887846366
xii+209 pages
via seasounds, in the Unlimited Edition

Publisher (1999)
WorldCat (1999)

PDF (1990, 4 MB, added on 2021-2-27)
EPUB (rev.ed., 1999)
Audio recording

One Response to “Ursula Franklin: The Real World of Technology (1990–)”

  1. Monoskop Wiki and Log | Katarzyna M. Wyrzykowska on June 2, 2015 8:38 am

    […] Franklin, The Real World of Technology […]

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind