|Title:||The Role of Technology in the African Past|
|Authors:||Austen, Ralph A.
|Periodical:||African Studies Review|
|Abstract:||Two fundamental problems underlie the study of African technological history: 1) the relationship between technology and the broader social process; 2) the more specific question of African ‘backwardness’. The theme which dominates much of this paper is the failure of Africans to adopt various technologies which were available to them. The authors’ approach to technological history is dialectical and they make no claims to any rigorous method or formula for analysis. Instead, they simply seek to keep in mind factors of both material conditions and social-cultural structures which determine the adaptation and impact of any technology. They hope to clarify some specific historical problems and indicate the conditions under which future technological changes may take place. Sections: Methodological issues -African technology: the empirical record – Explaining the African pattern – Technological gaps and external dependency – Conclusion. Notes, ref.|
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