In class today, we were introduced to the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) framework/methodology. I am certainly not an expert on this approach, but i’m quite curious to learn more as it’s the first direct methodology that i’ve seen to address the socio-political impacts of technology creation and adoption. All too often in tech-land, we think of efficiency and desire as our metrics of the success of a piece of technology and its adoption. But there’s so much more to how and why these items are created and popularized.
Update 11/06/03: Ack, given that this is way too high on Google’s search for SCOT, i thought i’d give some proper references on the topic. Anyone who is interested in knowing what SCOT is (not just my version) should read:
Bijker, W. E. (1995). King of the road: the social construction of the safety bicycle. In Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: Toward a theory of sociotechnical change (pp. 19-100). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pinch, T. (1996). The social construction of technology: a review. In R.Fox (Ed.), Technological change (pp. 17-35). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.