Saturday, October 02, 2004

rosenhaft/downey questions

1. Rosenhaft explains that poor Mr. Dies had every reason to expect that his work with the Intelligenz-Comtoir and the Calenberg would expediate his assent to the class of gentlemen and the scientific community. He was working with new technologies in a new field that directly affected the lives of a great number of citizens. Yet, it did't work out that way - Dies didn't do any social climbing. In fact, it seems that the longer he held his position, the lower he fell in the estimation of his employers and the public. Why wasn't Dies welcomed into the fold of the new information class? Why was he, in fact, actively excluded, and in what ways?

2. Barley & Orr and Zabusky all view technical work as being somehow positioned at a crossroads. Technical workers have a foot in two worlds - one moving forward technologically and one "not quite ready to leave behind the categories of industrialism." I agree with Dorothea that there are many places where this concept of boundaries fits in, and wanted to add to her examples the idea of boundaries in the nature of the labor performed by tech/information workers. Argh... this isn't coming out as a question. I guess my 'question' is pretty much: "Yeah, I want to talk about boundaries, too."

3. "The past isn't over - it's not even past." Post-industrial society, information age, technological revolution - whatever you want to call it - isn't happening in a vacuum. How do the social structures and institutions created by industrial and pre-industrial society still operate now? How "appropriate" are they - do they help us or hold us back? Also, what aspects of industrial and pre-industrial society have disappeared, and what has replaced them?

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