4809912: FU_Technology and Society – Understanding the Cultural Dimension of Artifact

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Semester:WS 19/20
Lektionen / Semester:28.0 L / 21.0 h
Selbststudium:69.0 h



Bachelorstudiengang Betriebswirtschaftslehre (01.09.2012)
Masterstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Bachelorstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Masterstudium Information Systems (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Finance (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Entrepreneurship (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Entrepreneurship und Management (01.09.2018)
Masterstudium Wirtschaftsinformatik (01.09.2019)
Bachelorstudium Architektur (01.09.2019)
Masterstudium Architektur (01.09.2019)


The seminar investigates the intertwinings of technology and society. Technology is a cross-sectional dimension of our life world and a catalyzer of socio-cultural change. For example, IT and containerization enable more efficent workflows and supply chains. However, the powerful story of technological progress (i.e., technological determinism) has to be challenged: A sociological/anthropological perspective on technology and technological change emphasizes that technology is (hertofore) invented by individuals within society and thus developed according to social norms. The course aims at broadening the understanding of how technology is socially constructed, e.g., in the realm of work and in our everyday life in general. We will read select key literature (theory, case studies) from the disciplines of cultural anthropology, history and sociology of technology.


  • Knowledge of the topics and theories dealt with in the course
  • Competence in basic concepts and canonical texts in science and technology studies (STS)
  • Competence in critically reading and reflecting on cultural theoretical texts
  • Competence in discussing and developing social scientific lines of argumentation
  • Training in presenting the contents of social scientific texts to fellow students
  • Capacity to write a short scientific text on BSc and MA level



Seminar: lecture elements, text-based discussions within class, student presentations


Bijker, Wiebe E., Thomas Hughes, and Trevor Pinch (eds.). 1987. The Social Construction of Technology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Latour, Bruno. 1991. The Berlin Key Or How to Do Things with Words. In: Paul M. Graves-Brown, ed.: Materiality and Modern Culture, 10-21. London: Routledge.
O'Carroll, Aileen. 2006. "Work Organization, Technology, Community and Change: the Story of the Dublin Docker." Saothar 31, 45-53.
Wajcman, Judy (1991): Feminism Confronts Technology. Cambridge etc.: Polity Press.

(a complete bibliography with required and further reading will be handed out in advance of the seminar)


Part A: (50 %) preparation and active participation in class (reading, discussions, group presentation)
Part B: (20 %) 2 written summaries (each 150-200 words)
Part C: (30 %) 1 final essay of 1,000 words

Compulsory attendance (min. 80 %)



  • Course based on continuous assessment, details see under "assessment".
  • Meeting attendance obligations is an essential pre-requisite for successfully completing a course based on continuous assessment.
  • Attendance must be proven for at least 80% of the stipulated contact time. Responsibility for checking and providing written proof of this obligatory attendance lies with the course lecturer who is required to store this information at least until the end of the semester.
  • In the case of absenteeism that exceeds the specified limits of absence, a medical certificate is required. Responsibility lies with the head of the Coordination Office for Cross-Faculty Elective Subjects to approve the reason for the student's failure to attend.
  • Participation in other activities of the university are not recognized as an excused absence.


Fakultätsübergreifendes Wahlfach:
Es gelten spezielle Anmeldemodalitäten.


  • P-FU_Technology and Society – Understanding the Cultural Dimension of Artifacts (WS 19/20, in Planung)