Define Technological Development. In economic development studies, Technological innovation is a subset of technological change, which is also known as technological evolution. Technological change refers to the combination of innovations that produce enhanced capabilities for human endeavors, making existing methods and techniques more efficient or effective.
The underlying assumption of this definition is that technology has been and will continue to affect societal institutions, activities, and events. It also assumes that technological determinism is a necessary and adequate component of socioeconomic theory. It further assumes that technological change is a self-reinforcing process, with social construction serving as a constraint on technological change.
In order to understand the relationship between technological determinism and the social construction of the technological system, it is necessary to understand the meaning of technological systems. Technological systems are the means by which humans interact and produce information. For example, an electrical grid defines the physical structure that allows electric power to be transmitted from a local electricity provider to homes and offices. Computers and digital devices are the software that allows individuals and organizations to communicate effectively. A social construction theory of technology follows these technological systems as the primary agents of change.
The study of historical societies shows that technological determinism and social determinism are intimately intertwined. Early medieval society was marked by natural and social constraints that served as a deterministic mechanism for societal organization. Natural constraints included the limitations of location, accessibility, and natural resources. Humans had little control over natural disasters or other external threats, which frequently destroyed crops and caused other catastrophes that were often devastating to the lives of individuals. Social determinism was also a significant force shaping the foundation of how individuals participated in their culture. Forced marriage and female infanticide, for example, contributed to the creation of gender boundaries and social norms, limiting the population of each gender and forcing women to be childless or perform dangerous work tasks.
Today, a different lens is required when thinking about technological determinism and social change. Rather than looking at the effects of technological change on specific societies, it would be more effective to look at the overall effects of technological development on society as a whole. The concept of technological determinism is no longer relevant when we consider the effects of technological developments on humanity as a whole. Although technological developments may serve some purposes in isolated situations, this is not true of the overall context of technological development. Ultimately, technological developments must be assessed in relation to society as a whole in order to evaluate their impact on individuals and society as a whole.
Technological systems and the manner in which they are put into place will always vary from society to society. In certain circumstances, the use of a particular technological innovation may prove beneficial to society at large, but in other cases, this technological innovation may prove to be harmful to society at large. As technology develops and becomes more sophisticated, there will be many different consequences for society. If we want to use technological innovations in order to benefit society as a whole, we have to be able to recognize the different situations where these innovations may lead and the manner in which they lead. We also need to be able to predict the future of technology and how it will impact society in general.