Technological Choices deals with the adoption or rejection by a society of certain technological innovations. It demonstrates that in any society, such choices result from cultural values and social relations, rather than inherent benefits in the technology itself and highlights revolutionary viewpoint has crucial implications for current Western societies.
The book is based on case-studies covering a wide chronological and geographic span from Neolithic Europe to the modern industrial age, from the tribes of Papua New Guinea, India and North Africa to European peasant communities. The techniques studied range from the manufacture of stone implements to the development of high-tech transportation devices.
Technological Choices will be of great interest to students of archaeology and anthropology and the history of technology. It will also be valuable reading for economists and social historians.
Pierre Lemonnier is a research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. His research team is the Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Océanie, in Marseille.