The article shows the relevance of the analysis of the broader context of productive human activities in modern anthropology of technology. The different views of this context were made salient in anthropology of technology starting from evolutionary view, in works of a French scientist A. Leroi-Gourhan, to cognitive view, which has become a subject of research in modern times. The identification of the broad context of technology application is a reflection of the continuum approach to the analysis of technology that encompasses biological and social sciences. The distinction between the concepts of technological fact and technological trend make it possible to determine what elements of technology are culturally and socially determined. It is important to highlight the concept of the technological environment and its relationship with the social environment. In anthropology of technology the general trend of evolution is associated with the phenomenon of externalization; it can be considered as the basis for the genesis of technological activity. Technological activities are organized in the operating chain. The concept of operating chain allows us to consider social relations and culture as aspects of technological activity. The study of cognitive processes allows us to understand the connection between technology as a set of techniques and artifacts and socio-cultural context. A number of researchers have shown that the integration of the social component of the technology is done at the individual cognitive level. The social component of the technology is probably fixed in the automatic cognitive processes of categorization and stereotyping. The deficit of cognitive resources in the environment oversaturated by artifacts and agents of social relations is a frequent situation, even in everyday life. This increases the likelihood that the perceiving subject will use the previously activated stereotypes.

Keywords: anthropology of technology, operating chain, cognitive processes, stereotyping