HST 286 - Evolution of Work in America (3 Credits)
During this course, students will review and analyze the development of American technology from the colonial period to the present. They will focus on the achievements and attitudes of Americans, as well as the social consequences of their choices about technological development. Students will be asked to examine the social and ethical dimensions of technological development, as well as its contribution to political and economic growth of the United States.
Topics to be considered include: the nature of technological systems; the nature of colonial technology and its limitations; the development of artisan crafts and skills; the creation of the American system of manufacturing; the era of American invention and entrepreneurial endeavor; the social impact of industrialization; and the age of mass production. Later discussions will examine the impact of the automobile on American society; the development of aviation the aviation industry; the development of communication technologies; and the arrival of biotechnology. Finally, students will be asked to address the issue of whether the American passion for technological solutions is a valid cultural response to the major problems of the workplace and society.