I wrote up a post for the CASTAC blog suggesting that the recent debates about airline seat space (do we have a right to recline? do we have a right to have more knee-space?) might be good fodder for teaching undergraduates about the relationship between technology and politics. Particularly, the device known as the Knee Defender.
I submit that the Knee Defender might be a great test-case for an introductory STS class (right there with the speed-bump) to teach undergraduates about the relationship between technology and politics. Three reasons: there is a big-picture story about the air-line industry that undergraduates might enjoy parsing; there is a concrete material environment–the inside of an aircraft–that the Knee Defender operates in; and finally, debates over this device can be a great introduction to the vexed concept of ideology.You can read the whole thing here.