David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 19 (2 & 3):261 – 282 (2005)
This article contributes to the project of historicizing the emergence of printed books as a mass cultural form in the 20th century and after, in addition to exploring the political-economic struggles both occasioning and occasioned by their constitution as such. In doing so, it both models and reflects on what a possible historiography of technology "after social constructionism" might look like. More specifically, it attempts to account for the behind-the-scenes or "back office" processes through which commodification takes place in the sphere of book distribution, and it does so by focusing principally on communication and information technologies such as the international standard book number (ISBN) and machine readable bar codes. This history, overall, complements the more hopeful narratives of mass culture's democratizing potential, by telling a story about how increased opportunities for middle class social advancement depend on intensified - and intensely technological - work processes for those employed in the sphere of commodity distribution. This essay demonstrates, moreover, how dominant metaphors and frameworks that have guided Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) research (e.g., "actor-networks," "seamless webs," and so forth) must be amended to account better for power, contradiction, and antagonism within the history of technology.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Ernesto Laclau (2001/2014). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Verso.
Stuart Hall, David Morley & Kuan-Hsing Chen (1996). Stuart Hall Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David J. Stump (2000). Socially Constructed Technology. Inquiry 43 (2):217 – 224.
Philip Brey (2008). The Technological Construction of Social Power. Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95.
Rayvon Fouché (ed.) (2007). Technology Studies. Sage Publications.
Ronald Edmund Doel & Thomas Söderqvist (eds.) (2006). The Historiography of Contemporary Science, Technology, and Medicine: Writing Recent Science. Routledge.
Erik Paredis (2011). Sustainability Transitions and the Nature of Technology. Foundations of Science 16 (2):195-225.
Peter Janich (2003). Technology and Levels of Culture. Poiesis and Praxis 1 (4):263-273.
Kimball P. Marshall (1999). Has Technology Introduced New Ethical Problems? Journal of Business Ethics 19 (1):81 - 90.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #539,062 of 1,725,989 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,693 of 1,725,989 )
How can I increase my downloads?