the social construction of technological systems new directions in the sociology and history of technology

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The Social Construction Of Technological Systems

Author : Wiebe E. Bijker
ISBN : 0262521377
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 32. 81 MB
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The impact of technology on society is clear and unmistakable. The influence ofsociety on technology is more subtle. The 13 essays in this book draw on a wide array of casestudies from cooking stoves to missile systems, from 15th­century Portugal to today's AI labs- to outline an original research program based on a synthesis of ideas from the social studies ofscience and the history of technology. Together they affirm the need for a study of technology thatgives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions.

The Social Construction Of Technological Systems

Author : Wiebe E. Bijker
ISBN : 9780262300872
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 27. 10 MB
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This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry--social construction of technology, or SCOT--that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume--collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.

How Users Matter

Author : Nelly Oudshoorn
ISBN : 0262651092
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 33. 6 MB
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A collection of essays that examines how users shape and are shaped by technology in all phases, from design to use.

Of Bicycles Bakelites And Bulbs

Author : Wiebe E. Bijker
ISBN : 0262522276
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 86 MB
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The stories of the safety bicycle, the first truly synthetic plastic, and the fluorescent light bulb -each a fascinating case study in itself- reflect a cross-section of time periods, engineering and scientific disciplines, and economic, social, and political cultures. The bicycle story explores such issues as the role of changing gender relationships in shaping a technology; the Bakelite story examines the ways in which social factors intrude even in cases of seemingly pure chemistry and entrepreneurship; and the fluorescent bulb story offers insights into the ways in which political and economic relationships can affect the form of a technology.

Whole World On Fire

Author : Lynn Eden
ISBN : 080147289X
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 66 MB
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Whole World on Fire focuses on a technical riddle wrapped in an organizational mystery: How and why, for more than half a century, did the U.S. government fail to predict nuclear fire damage as it drew up plans to fight strategic nuclear war?U.S. bombing in World War II caused massive fire damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but later war plans took account only of damage from blast; they completely ignored damage from atomic firestorms. Recently a small group of researchers has shown that for modern nuclear weapons the destructiveness and lethality of nuclear mass fire often—and predictably—greatly exceeds that of nuclear blast. This has major implications for defense policy: the U.S. government has underestimated the damage caused by nuclear weapons, Lynn Eden finds, and built far more warheads, and far more destructive warheads, than it needed for the Pentagon's war-planning purposes. How could this have happened? The answer lies in how organizations frame the problems they try to solve. In a narrative grounded in organization theory, science and technology studies, and primary historical sources (including declassified documents and interviews), Eden explains how the U.S. Air Force's doctrine of precision bombing led to the development of very good predictions of nuclear blast—a significant achievement—but for many years to no development of organizational knowledge about nuclear fire. Expert communities outside the military reinforced this disparity in organizational capability to predict blast damage but not fire damage. Yet some innovation occurred, and predictions of fire damage were nearly incorporated into nuclear war planning in the early 1990s. The author explains how such a dramatic change almost happened, and why it did not. Whole World on Fire shows how well-funded and highly professional organizations, by focusing on what they do well and systematically excluding what they don't do well, may build a poor representation of the world—a self-reinforcing fallacy that can have serious consequences. In a sweeping conclusion, Eden shows the implications of the analysis for understanding such things as the sinking of the Titanic, the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and the poor fireproofing in the World Trade Center.

Networks Of Power

Author : Thomas Parke Hughes
ISBN : 0801846145
Genre : Science
File Size : 35. 91 MB
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Awarded the Dexter Prize by the Society for the History of Technology, this book offers a comparative history of the evolution of modern electric power systems. It described large-scale technological change and demonstrates that technology cannot be understood unless placed in a cultural context.

Shock Of The Old

Author : David Edgerton
ISBN : 9781847650672
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 38. 56 MB
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This first ever history of technology casts aside the usual stories of inventions and focuses instead on what people actually use. It reassesses the relationship of technology and society, using unrecognised examples such as Spanish synthetic petrol, Japanese rickshaws, American gas chambers, Soviet tractors and Turkish battleships. We do not live in an era of ever increasing change, and the most important technologies of the twenty first century are often overlooked today. Drawing on political, economic and cultural history, The Shock of the Old dispels misplaced futurism and exemplifies a radical new way of looking at our world.

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