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Let us begin by claiming that cultural appreciation and cherishing cultural diversity go hand in hand. To understand that relationship we must unravel the notion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity refers to cultural variability between and within societies, meaning that societies around the globe differ culturally. Societies vary in terms of their norms, values, beliefs and practices or conducts. Yet, they also vary in terms of their material culture. Material culture refers to artifacts, objects, and resources that people make and use to define their culture and carry out diverse activities. That includes homes, paper, pencils, buildings, crosses, bridges, clothes, etc. An important aspect of material culture, as the previous list suggests, is then technology.

The term technology is often used to refer to tools, machines and equipment, including computers and like devices. Sociologists and other social scientists, however, use a broader definition that includes social relationships dictated by the technical organization and mechanization of activities, for example, the technical organization of work and bureaucracies.

Technology and cultural diversity

Technology defined broadly or not is culture. Hence, to acknowledge cultural variability is to affirm that among other things cultures vary in terms of their material culture and in terms of technology. For instance, different societies may produce different technologies to do the very same thing. For example, while people in America and Europe use forks and spoons to eat people in Asia use chopsticks. They use different technologies to do the same thing, namely eat.

Peoples from different cultures may also use the very same technology differently, according to their specific culture. The diffusion of technologies from one culture to another exemplifies that fact. The accepting culture not only adopts the technology in question but may actually adapt it to its cultural necessities. Consider, for example, cultural variability in the use of gunpowder. The Chinese, inventors of the substance, firs regarded gunpowder as a medicinal substance, and only after centuries of experimentation did they began to use it for fireworks and for military rockets (Volti 2008). Although the Chinese once used it to fire projectiles from vase shaped guns gunpowder never became an important military technology. But when adopted by Europeans in the thirteen century this soon changed. Europeans adopted and adapted gunpowder to their military needs and cultural imperatives (Volti 2008). They immediately began to use gunpowder for weapons of steadily increasing power.

As the above examples show technology represents an excellent window from which to study, understand and appreciate cultural diversity. The purpose of this module is to provide some insights into the ways in which technology reflects and even embodies culture, which should be helpful in appreciating other cultures and their technologies.

From a sociological perspective, technology is not simply the product of rational technical imperatives, the making of autonomous, unbiased, impartial and entirely objective experts. Rather, any given technology results from a series of specific decisions made by particular groups of people in particular places at particular times for their own interests and purposes. These decisions are made either in the context of conflict or in the milieu of cooperation, involving various stakeholders beyond their inventors or designers. Technologies always bear the imprint of people, their social relations and their culture in a given place and time. Consider Andrew Feenberg’s (1992: 177) words:

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Civis project - uprm. OpenStax CNX. Nov 20, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11359/1.4
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