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TECHNOLOGY

Technology is one of the aspects of culture. The definition of technology in http://www.dictionary.com/browse/technology is useful. Technology is here defined as:

 

1) The branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the  environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science

2) The application of this knowledge for practical ends

3) .....A scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like

4) The sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization

Technology plays an important role in any lifestyle. Technology can become fixed in structures that are difficult to change, for example, it would be difficult for a country to start driving on the other side of the road. But in some cases it is easier to change the technology that is used than to change other aspects of a culture, such as certain world views, values, habits, traditions. This is so because technology is designed by humans and can often be redesigned. For this reason we often look for an alternative technical design when we want to solve a specific problem. However, technology is also used by humans. In the household, technology is imbedded in a usage pattern or domestic practice, which is also an aspect of culture; the practice determines the way the technology is used.

 

Many development efforts focus on changing people, often through education, to adapt to the given technological systems or institutions. Our view is that it is better to engage households and try to design a solution with them that they prefer, through technical means that are imbedded in a process or a domestic practice, rather than to try to change them to fit into a solution that we present from the outside. Finding a technological solution often seems to be the easiest way to go, but technological innovation is not enough, technology must function well within a wider context, within practices and institutions. That means that technological innovation must be integrated with social innovation and institutional innovation.

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