Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

Iowa State University Catalog

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Technology and Social Change (T SC)

300 |400 |Graduate Courses |

Advisory Committee: Eric Abbott, coordinator; Robert Mazur, graduate coordinator.

Undergraduate Study

Technology and social change is a cross-disciplinary program examining the relationships between technologies and the social and cultural environments in which they operate. The program has a national and international perspective, with courses addressing the interrelationships, policies, and impacts created by the international exchange of technologies. Through T SC, students will better understand the institutional and sociocultural consequences of technological change from differing perspectives and will become sensitive to the issues attending the use of technology to improve people's lives. Work in the program can also serve as preparation for advanced study in this field.

The program requirement for a minor in technology and social change is a minimum of 15 credit hours. One of the courses must be T SC 341. An additional 3 credits must be taken from T SC cross-listed courses. The remaining 9 may be selected from T SC cross-listed courses or from the list of T SC approved courses. At least 9 of the 15 credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above. Because technology and social change is an interdisciplinary study, minor programs must include coursework in at least two departments. Students seeking a minor should develop a specific program of courses either with the T SC faculty representative in their department or with the T SC coordinator. The student's minor program must be approved by the T SC program coordinator.

T SC courses are listed below. The list of T SC approved courses is available from the program coordinators. Through the program coordinator, students may petition for approval of courses not on the approved list that address matters relevant to technology and social change.

Graduate Study

The graduate minor in technology and social change is a cross-disciplinary program that enables students to study the interactions between technologies and their users, on both societal and individual levels. The minor strengthens the ability of students to apply differing perspectives in understanding the effects of the global exchange of technologies and to heighten their sensitivity to the institutional and sociocultural issues attending the use of technology to improve people's lives.

Students choosing to minor in technology and social change will pursue a degree program in the major department. In consultation with their major professor, students are to identify a T SC Faculty member to serve on the committee guiding their program of study. This T SC Faculty member must be on the Graduate faculty and must be from a discipline outside the major field of study. With the agreement of the POS committee, the student declaring a minor in T SC will select a group of courses from the list of T SC approved courses available through the program coordinators. For the master's degree, this group should be at least 9 credit hours; for a doctoral degree, the group should be at least 15 credit hours. In either case, T SC/Soc 541 is required. Students may not include in their minor any courses from their own major. All programs of study that include a T SC minor must be approved by the T SC Program coordinator.

Courses open for nonmajor graduate credit: 342, 343.

Courses primarily for undergraduate students

T SC 341. Technology: International, Social, and Human Issues. (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Junior classification. An interdisciplinary study of the international significance of technology and of the societal and human issues attending its development and adoption.

T SC 342. World Food Issues: Past and Present. (Cross-listed with Agron, Env S, FS HN, U St). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S. Prereq: Junior classification. World hunger and malnutrition in social, ethical, historical, and environmental context. Emphasis on the origins and effects of global inequity on population trends, socioeconomic policies, and food systems in the developing world. Exploration of directions and improvements for the future. Team projects. Nonmajor graduate credit.
H. Honors Section. (For students in the University Honors Program only.)

T SC 343. Philosophy of Technology. (Cross-listed with Phil). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S. Prereq: 6 credits of social science or T SC 341 and 3 credits of social science. Moral and other philosophical problems related to developments in technology. Topics may include conditions under which technological innovations contribute to human emancipation, relationship of technology and democracy, utility and limits of technical rationality, and problems of ensuring that benefits of technological advance are communally shared. Topics discussed with reference to such issues as contemporary developments in microelectronics, technology transfer to the Third World, etc. Nonmajor graduate credit.

T SC 474. Communication Technology and Social Change. (Cross-listed with Jl MC). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Junior classification. Examination of historical and current communication technologies, including how they shape and are shaped by the cultural and social practices into which they are introduced.

T SC 490. Independent Study. Cr. arr. Repeatable. Prereq: 341, permission of instructor and of T SC coordinator.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduate students

T SC 541. Technological Innovation, Social Change, and Development. (Cross-listed with Soc, U St). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2008. Prereq: 6 credits in social sciences. Sources, theories and models of technological innovation; social and institutional contexts of technology transfer; appropriate/intermediate technology; issues and methods of impact assessment; planning technology related social change; democratic control of technological innvoations and application; local and international case studies.

T SC 574. Communication Technologies and Social Change. (Cross-listed with Jl MC). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: 6 credits in social science. Personal, organizational, and social implications of the use of communication technologies. Includes theories and empirical research across the continuum of perspectives, from techno-utopianism through an anti-technology stance.

T SC 590F. Special Topics: Technology and Social Change. (Cross-listed with U St). Cr. arr. Prereq: 541, permission of instructor and of T SC coordinator. Individual study of topics concerning global and local implications of technological change.