Some writers argue that there is a distinctive type of society, typically emergent from various forms of industrialism
, in which technology
and a technocracy
increasingly determine the nature of institutions and change. Optimistic versions include much technicism
and the so-called convergence thesis (see INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY
) favoured by many American functionalists of the 1950s and early 1960s. An early, more pessimistic, account is given by Jacques Ellul in The Technological Society
. In the tradition of the Sociologie du Travail
, technology is treated as a form of alienation, and as domination by artefacts. The growing interest in alternative technology, ecology, and the environment may be regarded as a reaction born of an analogous interpretation of late twentieth-century industrialism.
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