The term ‘technological revolution’ was first used in 1835 by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim. He explained that the progress of technology would be a process of adjustment of technological change with the changes that occurred in societies. He also defined the technology in terms of the ‘tendencies toward progress’ and the ‘tendencies toward change.’
Durkheim saw technology as a social phenomenon that would develop along a path of constant change. This change was a continuous process of adjustment between the ‘traditional’ and the ‘modern’ technological patterns. Technology was the sum total of various techniques, skills, processes, and systems used in the creation of goods and services or in the achievement of certain goals, including scientific research. The main process that would determine the direction of technology would be the need for it, the degree of its complexity, its scope, and the time that would be required to develop it. Technological advancement, therefore, could be viewed as a cumulative result of various activities that were taking place at a certain time. A simple example of the cumulative process is the development of electricity. In the past, there had been no reason to develop electricity as a solution to the problems of the time.
But when society began to use electricity for other purposes, this development resulted in new patterns of development. The new technologies were designed to solve more complex problems, so that the society was able to utilize the previously unutilized power. In short, technology was able to solve two problems at once – the creation of the new technologies and their application in society. Thus, new technological developments are seen as being a product of a continual process of adaptation. However, if technological development is viewed in isolation from the social changes that it is related to, then it becomes difficult to measure its progress in terms of cumulative changes.
The development of technological patterns is not simply the product of the forces of supply and demand, but of the interaction of different interests and beliefs in society. The interaction of technology and culture will depend on the relationship between people. Some people are more technologically advanced than others. Some people are more willing to accept changes, while others are more resistant. Some people have more knowledge and skills than others, while others have none.
The evolution of technological trends will always depend on the interactions of people. In a technological society, technological advancement will happen in parallel with the development of culture and social norms. The process will be a cumulative process. And the evolution of the society as a whole will also influence these patterns. A society’s culture will not be changed unless people are willing to adapt their ideas, habits, customs, attitudes, and beliefs to the change. and unless they are able to maintain the current values. In addition, technological advancements must be accompanied by the development of a certain balance between the forces of supply and demand.
Technology will not be the only factor in determining technological developments. It will not be possible to predict the future development of technological patterns on the basis of an assumption of the technological characteristics of the future. Therefore, it is important to understand that technological advancement will occur in accordance with the evolution of society.