Prominent Technology


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A. There are prominent technologies that are depended upon by industrialized societies as described by Rejeski (2004) and Perrow (1984) in their articles. Rejeski examines nanotechnology which is utilized in the production of various products. Playing tennis is one of the activities that make use of nanotechnology. This is due to the fact that Dunlop tennis balls have liners that are made of clay transformed at the level of nanoscale in order to minimize air leakage and maintain the bouncing nature of the ball. Driving is the other activity that depends of nanotechnology due to the fact that carbon nanotubes are used for the production of highly effective automobile parts (Rejeski, 2004, pp 42).

Perrow on the other hand describes the high-risk technologies which are utilized in aircraft, nuclear power pants, nuclear weapons, chemical plants, genetic engineering, air traffic controls, dams and ships. One of the activities that make use of high risk technology is cooking by use of electrical appliances such as coffeemaker and electric cookers (Perrow, 1984, pp 6). One of the challenges associated with nanotechnology as described by Rejeski is that it is not environment-friendly. Majority of the manipulated atomic molecules have been known to cause environmental pollution.

The other challenge is that of health whereby inhaling of nanoscale molecules poses a great risk to the lungs and blood.  It is also challenging to ensure that the technologies are widespread and available to individuals who need them most around the world. Perrow on the other hand states that high-risk technologies are associated with a high potential of causing catastrophes and may result to the loss of many lives. It is challenging to manage high-risk technologies to reduce the extent of catastrophes that may occur (Rejeski, 2004, pp 42).

B. Some of the everyday activities include interacting with friends, cooking, driving, walking and swimming. Cooking makes use of high-risk technologies while driving and communicating using cell phones makes use of nanotechnologies. The use of such technologies is important because it makes work much easier. For instance, it is much easier to cook using electrical appliances, which make use of high-risk technologies (Rejeski, 2004, pp 42). An example of an everyday activity that does not use a technology is jogging or walking. This is an activity that just makes use of human energy and strength.

There are various adverse effects related with high-risk technologies utilized when cooking.  The effects may range from fatal accidents and other serious accidents as a result of electric currents. Nanotechnology on the other hand has effects on the health of the user especially when the particles are inhaled through the lungs and eventually entering the blood system. Inhaling of particles could lead to respiratory complications and lung diseases.

C. Consumption can be defined as the act of trying to provide for the sake of the well-being of an individual or a group of individuals. According to Jackson (2005), there is ambiguity in the concept of sustainable consumption. There has been no clarification on the meaning of sustainable consumption. There are some approaches that define sustainable consumption in terms of consuming differently rather than consuming less. Other approaches denote a critique that is more radical whereby sustainable consumption refers to the act of managing or controlling greed (Jackson, 2005, pp 20).

There are two prominent positions that Jackson (2005) contrasts, and these positions are “consumption as well being” and the second one is consumer as social pathology. Under consumption as well-being Jackson (2005) argues that consumption is beneficial because it promotes an individual or a group of individuals’ well-being. Hence, the pursuit of higher consumption levels ensures that the society achieves continual enhancement of well-being.

However, this position of consumption as well-being does not account for the complexity associated with consumer motivations. Moreover, it does not give much information regarding the sustainable consumption policies (Jackson, 2005, pp 21-22). Under consumer culture as social pathology, Jackson (2005) argues though there is a notion of consumption relating to prosperity, this prosperity leaves its consumers unsatisfied. Consumption is associated with increasing levels of suicide and depression.

Research studies have shown that some of the countries that are poor in the world are in fact the happiest. This implies that consumption does not necessarily lead to a state of happiness and satisfaction (Jackson, 2005, pp 23-24). According to Jackson (2005), consumption is beneficial since it not only promotes an individuals well-being but it also gives individuals a social identity. Individuals are able to differentiate themselves from other social groups through consumption. Through consumption, people can communicate with each other as well as with their ideals, pasts, fears and their different aspirations. Hence, consumption enables individuals to develop and maintain their personal identities (Jackson, 2005, pp31).

There are also adverse effects associated with consumption. It is clear that consumption does not satisfy the entire human psychological and social requirements. Consumption has also been associated with environmental damage as well as damage of the social and psychological well-being. Health complications such as stress and depression have been linked to consumption (Jackson, 2005, pp 25).


Jackson, T. (2005). Live better by consuming less? Is there a double dividendin sustainable consumption? Journal of Industrial Ecology 9, 19-36

Perrow, C. (1984). Normal Accidents. Living with High-Risk technologies. New York

Rejeski, D. (2004). The next small thing. The environmental Forum, March/April 2004, 42-49.

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