Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Society and Technological Control: A Critical Review of Models of Technological Change in Ceramic Studies

Helen L. Loney
American Antiquity
Vol. 65, No. 4 (Oct., 2000), pp. 646-668
DOI: 10.2307/2694420
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2694420
Page Count: 23
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($9.95)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Society and Technological Control: A Critical Review of Models of Technological Change in Ceramic Studies
Preview not available

Abstract

The use of evolution as either analogy or theory in ceramic change artificially imposes a view of technology that is directed. The use of progress has led to a tendency to equate technological change with technological improvement, as if change were unidirectional. This improvement is usually measured by modern standards of industrialization, such as increasing standardization, increasing speed of production, increasing quantity of production, and the overall increasing formality of the workshop. Within models that employ an evolutionary paradigm there is the implicit notion that: a) technology change, when it occurs, only occurs towards improvement; b) improvement occurs toward the most logical, efficient solution to a technological problem; and c) such a solution is rooted in fundamental scientific "truths" or "facts," which scientists or technicians "discover." Over the past twenty years, social scientists studying the development of modern technology and society have questioned the usefulness of evolution as a model for change. A critical appraisal of technologically determinist history of scientific discovery has found that important discoveries are frequently credited with fundamentally changing the course of history. The evidence of modern history and ethnography, however, shows that cultural values and embedded beliefs may be more powerful in selecting and directing developing technologies than any external factors. European archaeologists van der Leeuw, Petrequin, and Loney, among others, are now applying the findings of the techno-sociologists to the development of ancient pottery production. Their perspective on ancient technology takes into account personal choice as well as ecological resources and economic organization. The approach of European archaeologists permits the investigation of the varied trajectories of ancient ceramic technology without resorting to self-perpetuating, internally self-generating models of biological evolution.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
646
    646
  • Thumbnail: Page 
647
    647
  • Thumbnail: Page 
648
    648
  • Thumbnail: Page 
649
    649
  • Thumbnail: Page 
650
    650
  • Thumbnail: Page 
651
    651
  • Thumbnail: Page 
652
    652
  • Thumbnail: Page 
653
    653
  • Thumbnail: Page 
654
    654
  • Thumbnail: Page 
655
    655
  • Thumbnail: Page 
656
    656
  • Thumbnail: Page 
657
    657
  • Thumbnail: Page 
658
    658
  • Thumbnail: Page 
659
    659
  • Thumbnail: Page 
660
    660
  • Thumbnail: Page 
661
    661
  • Thumbnail: Page 
662
    662
  • Thumbnail: Page 
663
    663
  • Thumbnail: Page 
664
    664
  • Thumbnail: Page 
665
    665
  • Thumbnail: Page 
666
    666
  • Thumbnail: Page 
667
    667
  • Thumbnail: Page 
668
    668