Technology & Society

Are you working 24/7 because you can’t unplug from your mobile phone or the Internet? Technology has blurred the lines between work and home, affecting everything from how we use our time to how we relate to one another. These books examine technology’s impact on our society, culture, and economy.

Elsewhere, U.S.A.: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms, and Economic Anxiety
By Dalton Conley
The division between work and home has been all but demolished, replaced by a weightless, wireless economy that encourages work at the expense of leisure. Conley, a preeminent social scientist, provides an X-ray view of the nation's new social reality.

24/7 book jacket

24/7: How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way We Live, Work, and Play
By Jarice Hanson
Just as the automobile radically changed people's lives at the beginning of the 20th century, so too has the revolution in online services (including blogging, podcasting, videogaming, shopping, and social networking) and cell-phone use changed our lives at the turn of the 21st century. As Hanson demonstrates in her new book, these technologies enable us to work and play 24/7, anytime, anywhere. What does this mean for us as individuals and for society as a whole?

Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob
By Lee Siegel
Siegel challenges the conventional wisdom about the most consequential cultural development of our time: the Internet. He argues that our ever-deepening immersion in life online doesn't just reshape the ordinary rhythms of our days; it also reshapes our minds and culture, in ways with which we haven't yet reckoned.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
By Thomas L. Friedman
The World Is Flat is Thomas L. Friedman's account of the great changes taking place in our time, as lightning-swift advances in technology and communications that put people all over the globe in touch as never before – creating an explosion of wealth in India and China, and challenging the rest of us to run even faster just to stay in place.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
By Clay Shirky
Shirky examines how technology is changing the way human beings form groups and exist within them, and the resulting long-term economic and social effects.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
By Eric Brende
On a mission to prove that modern technological advances make lives more inconvenient and less healthy, Brende and his wife lived for 12 months among an energy-free farming community.

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900
By David Edgerton
Offering a fresh way of thinking about the history of technology, this book radically revises ideas about the interaction of technology and society in the past and in the present. It provides an entirely new way of looking historically at the relationship between technology and society as well as invention and innovation themselves.

Books by Dalton Conley

The Pecking Order book jacket

The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why
By Dalton Conley
Inequality begins at home, according to this exploration of the "pecking order" in American families. Counter to the belief that birth order predicts a child's success and role within a family, Conley argues that what really matters is family size, parental time and attention, and how much of the family's financial resources are available for the child. Conley concludes from his findings that parents can more easily affect their children's development by their choices of family size and spacing of births than by attempts to move up the economic ladder.

By Dalton Conley
This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New York's Lower East Side. Honky poignantly illuminates the vulnerability of childhood complicated by the effect of race and class at the deepest human level.

Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America
By Dalton Conley
Being Black, Living in the Red demonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership -- as measured by net worth -- reflects this legacy of economic oppression.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.