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SOC 325 Science, Technology, and Public Policy: Get started

Subjects: Sociology

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Evaluating Sources

Deborah Abston, one of ASU's Librarians, has created a great set of pages on how to evaluate sources:

Evaluating Sources

What if I cant' find the full text?

ASU Libraries does not have everything online. If what you need is in paper format somewhere at ASU Libraries or if we don't own it at all, you can request the items through Interlibrary Loan. We will make every effort to get the item for you quickly.

 

Getting started

Technology is pretty much anything we use to modify our environment. In the last 150 years we have seen mechanization of many occupations (Industrial Revolution of the 1800s on to today), the creation of calculators that became computers and smartphones, telegraph as that age's twitter or news feed, railroads gave way to airplanes & jets for passenger travel, the interstate highways encouraged the growth of automobile use, gaslights changed to electric, indoor plumbing with hot & cold water became standard, and TV, radio, internet, WiFi and smart homes are still changing how we live and equally important, changing public policy.

Social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, among others, have changed how we communicate and has impacted how society perceives and reacts to current events. The reliability and credibility of these forms are questionable because they can be hard to trace to the real owner. We often need to verify the information with credible news reporting in the main stream media. Credible or not, these sources, like newspapers and other news sources, are considered primary sources -- recording events and opinions at the time. Because scholarly articles generally get published at least a year or two after an event, you will need to pick aspects of the technology that are older (at least 5 years to get enough articles).

The Arab Spring events now have scholarly articles written about the events in the various countries and the concept as a whole. Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, and the standoff in Oregon are too recent. However, each of these is a resurfacing of an older idea or movement. You can find articles on the historical roots of these current events but checking for references in the current news articles to names of groups or other historical events related to the current one.

Current events in the news are attempting to implement changes in public policy right now. Keep your eyes on Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidential Elections. On a more local level, the incident with police killing citizens is shifting local & state policies.

Remember that disasters often lead to technology changes, changes in society, and public policy changes. 

 

Your Librarian

Jenny Mueller-Alexander
Subjects:
WP Carey: Agribusiness, Economics, Information Systems, Marketing, Health Management;
Ira A. Fulton Engineering: Polytechnic School &
ASU Libraries @ Polytechnic campus
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