Fish Sticks, Sports Bras, & Aluminum Cans: The Politics of Everyday Technologies

Johns Hopkins. 2015. 212p. notes. index. ISBN 9781421417837. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421417844. TECH
Who knew that a sports bra was created from a jockstrap? Or that U.S. residents eat nearly 150 pounds of sweeteners annually and that fructose accounts for ten percent of our diets? Josephson (history, Colby Coll.; Would Trotsky Wear a Bluetooth??) explores our simple and everyday technologies, connecting them to our actions, as well as their uses (and misuses) and the ultimate problems that arise. What is intriguing about this book is that Josephson not only offers a well-researched background of the technology, he also chronicles its history and use, often detailing what its impact has been on our lives, economy, and society. For instance, we classify most disasters as natural even though often a human component such as building on a floodplain or situating a nuclear plant near a city is integral to that disaster. The author scrutinizes how technology can shape other technologies, which ultimately reflects on our cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental relationships.
VERDICT Because this book covers a variety of technologies that touch on numerous curriculum topics, it would be a fascinating first start for a classroom discussion on the origins of the many items that we use and why we do so.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing