The social construction of technological systems; New directions in the sociology and history of technology

"[T]he three approaches that together were to constitute 'the new sociology of Technology'- social construction of Technology (SCOT), systems (later known as large scale technological systems [LTS), and actor-network theory (ANT) - stood out clearly when we started editing the volume: As distinct approaches they have not informed our shaping of the workshop”

" [t]he empirical research into the social processes whereby actors engaged with  Technologies was to be done by what we called "thick description", implicitly citing Clifford Geertz(1973). This method underlined the clearly anti-deterministic goal of the volume. One other way in which we often described the common program in the volume was by using the metaphor of 'opening the Black Box'"

 The main argument of this edited volume with the theme of “social construction of technological system" tries to point out how technology and science are not separate by itself or considering one as applied and pure, we should understand that it is the social context in the social world rather than the natural world determining it. The authors argue that technology is situated in different cultural milieus shows different outcomes and possibilities.  A segregated understanding which leads to considering technology as autonomous gives a false perception. The co-relation with economic, political and cultural systems helps to evolve the technological system. Their argument was based on their understanding of constructivism rather than accusing something to be deterministic or unilinear. For example, one of the chapters on 'reconstructing man and machine' argues that the very social critique of cognitive determinism in assessing the concept of artificial intelligence is misled to the point where cognitivism became a false promise.


Analytic (Question)





Creative Commons Licence