The history of technology consists of the development of human inventions, tools, and assistive capabilities and techniques for improving quality of life. The term technology, derived from a combination of the Greek τέχνη (technē), meaning ‘art, craft’, and λογία (logia), meaning ‘study of’, refers to the aggregate body of techniques, processes, and methods involved in the production of goods, services, or accomplishment of established functions or objectives (such as scientific investigation or support). Technological history is not concerned only with devices or technological processes, but also the relationship of technology to politics, science, economics, fine and applied arts, and the organization of production within a historical domain.
The study of the history of technology investigates the role technology plays in the differentiation and assimilation of individuals within a societal structure, and how technological development may affect or otherwise be affected by cultural developments and changes in tradition within societies through history. This field also studies technology as a force for economic growth or the projection of imperial economic or political influence, and the place technology occupies within a global schema of political relations, trade, and economic development.
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