social construction of technology

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.

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3 thoughts on “social construction of technology

  1. jeremy hunsinger

    so which part of SCOT did you read? I’m more of an actor-network, well network systematicity with actants or the like, type of guy myself and i look at the socio-political and economic aspects of technologies and technics and there are other possibilities also that look at the same thing. However, i think you have to be careful with SCOT in part because the model tends contrary to intention externalize the technology being examined, though not always.

  2. sean

    Dana did you realize that a Google search on “social construction of technology model” returns this page as the FIRST result?

    The whole world is watching

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