This text provides an overview of debates in the sociology of technology, including definitions of the main terms and concepts and discussion of the dominant positions, especially in recent scholarship. At the same time, it develops a novel perspective on the subject based in critical theory, bridging work in the sociology of science and technology with wider debate in social theory. It integrates empirical and theoretical elements in well-themed chapters and draws on interesting contemporary examples such as (...) mobile phones and computer games to offer a distinctive sociological perspective on an important dimension of social life. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the human, social and economic aspects of science and technology. It examines a broad range of issues from a variety of perspectives, using examples and experiences from Australia and around the world. The authors present complex issues in an accessible and engaging form. Topics include the responsibilities of scientists, ethical dilemmas and controversies, the Industrial Revolution, economic issues, public policy, and science and technology in developing countries. The book ends (...) with a thoughtful and provocative look towards the future. It includes extensive guides to further reading, as well as a useful section on information searching skills. This book will provoke, engage, inform and stimulate thoughtful discussion about culture, society and science. Broad and interdisciplinary, it will be of considerable value to students and teachers. (shrink)
Holding the promise of both emancipation and oppression, technology at once terrifies and disturbs the social order. Its dazzles, seduces, yet it also unsettles and raises the specter of the loss of human values and our replacement by machines and silicon. In Living with Technology , Hans Oberdiek and Mary Tiles explore the cultural and philosophical tensions shrouding technology and its place in society. Examing the relationship between instrumental reason and technology, fact and value, efficient (...) and responsibility, Oberdiek and Tiles employ an accessibile and philosophical methodology to assess the embeddness of technology in daily life. Investigating such aspects of technology as its transfer to third world nations and the genetic development of seeds, Oberdiek and Tiles give the strictly practical a compellingly philosophical look--analyzing why, in fact, the West often uses technology to do rather stupid things in rather clever ways. (shrink)
The prehistory of science and technology studies -- The Kuhnian revolution -- Questioning functionalism in the sociology of science -- Stratification and discrimination -- The strong programme and the sociology of knowledge -- The social construction of scientific and technical realities -- Feminist epistemologies of science -- Actor-network theory -- Two questions concerning technology -- Studying laboratories -- Controversies -- Standardization and objectivity -- Rhetoric and discourse -- The unnaturalness of science and technology -- The public (...) understanding of science -- Expertise and public participation -- Political economies of knowledge. (shrink)
Thoroughly revised, this new edition of Critical Theory of Technology rethinks the relationships between technology, rationality, and democracy, arguing that the degradation of labor--as well as of many environmental, educational, and political systems--is rooted in the social values that preside over technological development. It contains materials on political theory, but the emphasis has shifted to reflect a growing interest in the fields of technology and cultural studies.
This thoughtful and engaging text challenges the widely held notion of science as somehow outside of society, and the idea that technology proceeds automatically down a singular and inevitable path. Through specific case studies involving contemporary debates, this book shows that science and technology are fundamentally part of society and are shaped by it. Draws on concepts from political sociology, organizational analysis, and contemporary social theory. Avoids dense theoretical debate. Includes case studies and concluding chapter summaries for (...) students and scholars. (shrink)
In Search Of An Integrative Vision For Technology will stimulate its readers to consider the 'whole story that is information systems' within the context of an integrative vision of technology. It integrates disparate areas of debate and research while appreciating the contribution that philosophy can make to such thinking. It is deliberately broad in coverage, and designed to provide useful pointers so that researchers, students, practitioners, and developers can easily apply each point as needed. "Human issues of (...) class='Hi'>technology and their normative aspects" is a theme that runs throughout the entire book. The integrative vision is centered on an understanding of human practice — the twin notions of structure and direction, and the leading and the founding functions of such practice. While this understanding applies to all technologies, it is worked out in more detail for information technology. From this philosophical understanding, many interdisciplinary areas of interest are identified. (shrink)
Technology, in its current usage, can most simply be understood to have three components: artifacts, practices, and knowledge. Artifacts are the material objects that exist in the world. Practices are the methods and techniques used to interact with artifacts and knowledge represents the underlying theoretical and conceptual paradigms that influence technology in different cultural contexts. Using these components as the framework, this four volume major work traces the intellectual, scholarly, and public evolution of technology studies and ultimately (...) questions whether technologies are truly autonomous within the societies they inhabit and whether or not technological changes drive social changes. Rayvon David Fouché presents the evolving conceptualizations of technology to understand the ways in which technology has shaped global society. Technology Studies is part of the ‘Key Issues for the 21st Century’ series published by SAGE which brings together collections on those critical issues that will shape our future. This four-volume set covers: Volume 1: Conceptualizing Technology Volume 2: Theorizing Technological Change Volume 3: Politics of Technology Volume 4: Technology and Culture. (shrink)
Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master? Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann's controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and (...) significance of technology in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann's work, especially his "device paradigm" apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally. Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies. (shrink)
Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach is a comprehensive guide to the emergent field of science, technology, and society (STS) studies and its implications for today’s culture and society. Discusses current STS topics, research tools, and theories Tackles some of the most urgent issues in current STS studies, including power and culture, race, gender, colonialism, the Internet, cyborgs and robots, and biotechnology Includes case studies, a glossary, and further reading lists.
"More than any thing else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being," says W. Brian Arthur. Yet, until now the major questions of technology have gone unanswered. Where do new technologies come from -- how exactly does invention work? What constitutes innovation, and how is it achieved? Why are certain regions -- Cambridge, England, in the 1920s and Silicon Valley today -- hotbeds of innovation, while others languish? Does technology, (...) like biological life, evolve? How do new industries, and the economy itself, emerge from technologies? In this groundbreaking work, pioneering technology thinker and economist W. Brian Arthur sets forth a boldly original way of thinking about technology that gives answers to these questions. The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology's origins and evolution. It achieves for the progress of technology what Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress. Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Conventional thinking ascribes the invention of technologies to "thinking outside the box," or vaguely to genius or creativity, but Arthur shows that such explanations are inadequate. Rather, technologies are put together from pieces -- themselves technologies -- that already exist. Technologies therefore share common ancestries and combine, morph, and combine again to create further technologies. Technology evolves much as a coral reef builds itself from activities of small organisms -- it creates itself from itself; all technologies are descended from earlier technologies. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, and writing in wonder fully engaging and clear prose, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives. (shrink)
Donna Haraway's work has transformed the fields of cyberculture, feminist studies, and the history of science and technology. Her subjects range from animal dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History to research in transgenic mice, from gender in the laboratory to the nature of the cyborg. Trained as an historian of science, she has produced a series of books and essays that have become essential reading in cultural studies, gender studies, and the history of science. The Haraway Reader (...) brings together a generous selection of Donna Haraway's work. Included is her "Manifesto for Cyborgs," in which she famously wrote that she "would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." Other selections are taken from her three major works, Primate Visions, Modest Witness , and Simians, Cyborgs and Women , as well as some of her more recent writing on animals. For readers in cultural studies, feminist theory, science studies, and cyberculture, Donna Haraway is one of our keenest observers of nature, science, and the social world. This volume is the best introduction to her thought. (shrink)
Current environmental problems and technological risks are a challenge for a new institutional arrangement of the value spheres of Science, Politics and Morality. Distinguished authors from different European countries and America provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on the problems of political decision making under the conditions of scientific uncertainty. cases from biotechnology and the environmental sciences are discussed. The papers collected for this volume address the following themes: (i) controversies about risks and political decision making; (ii) concepts of science for policy; (...) (iii) the use of social science in the policy making process; (iv) ethical problems with developments in science and technology; (v) public and state interests in the development and control of technology. (shrink)
Nanotechnology is an important platform technology which will add new features like improved biocompatibility, smaller size, and more sophisticated electronics to neuro-implants improving their therapeutic potential. Especially in view of possible advantages for patients, research and development of nanotechnologically improved neuro implants is a moral obligation. However, the development of brain implants by itself touches many ethical, social and legal issues, which also apply in a specific way to devices enabled or improved by nanotechnology. For researchers developing nanotechnology (...) such issues are rather distant from their daily work in the lab, but as soon as they use their materials or devices in medical applications such as therapy of brain diseases they have to be aware of and deal with them. This paper is intended to raise sensitivity for the ethical, legal and socialaspects (ELSA) involved in applying nanotechnology in brain implants or other devices by highlighting the short term problems of testing and clinical trials within the existing regulatory frameworks (A), the short and medium-term questions of risks in the application of the devices (B) and the long-term perspectives related to problems of enhancement (C). To identify and address such issues properly nanotechnologists should involve ethical, legal and social experts and regulatory bodies in their research as early as possible. This will help to remove pressure from regulatory bodies, to settle public concern and to prevent non-acceptable developments for the benefit of the patients. (shrink)
As we approach the end of the twentieth century, the ways in which knowledge--scientific, social, and cultural--is produced are undergoing fundamental changes. In The New Production of Knowledge, a distinguished group of authors analyze these changes as marking the transition from established institutions, disciplines, practices, and policies to a new mode of knowledge production. Identifying such elements as reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, and heterogeneity within this new mode, the authors consider their impact and interplay with the role of knowledge in (...) class='Hi'>social relations. While the knowledge produced by research and development in science and technology is accorded central focus, the authors also outline the changing dimensions of social scientific and humanities knowledge and the relations between the production of knowledge and its dissemination through education. Placing science policy and scientific knowledge within the broader context of contemporary society, this book will be essential reading for all those concerned with the changing nature of knowledge, with the social study of science, with educational systems, and with the correlation between research and development and social, economic, and technological development. "Thought-provoking in its identification of issues that are global in scope; for policy makers in higher education, government, or the commercial sector." --Choice "By their insightful identification of the recent social transformation of knowledge production, the authors have been able to assert new imperatives for policy institutions. The lessons of the book are deep." --Alexis Jacquemin, Universite Catholique de Louvain and Advisor, Foreign Studies Unit, European Commission "Should we celebrate the emergence of a 'post-academic' mode of postmodern knowledge production of the post-industrial society of the 21st Century? Or should we turn away from it with increasing fear and loathing as we also uncover its contradictions. A generation of enthusiasts and/or critics will be indebted to the team of authors for exposing so forcefully the intimate connections between all the cognitive, educational, organizational, and commercial changes that are together revolutionizing the sciences, the technologies, and the humanities. This book will surely spark off a vigorous and fruitful debate about the meaning and purpose of knowledge in our culture." --Professor John Ziman, (Wendy, Janey at Ltd. is going to provide affiliation. Contact if you don't hear from her.) "Jointly authored by a team of distinguished scholars spanning a number of disciplines, The New Production of Knowledge maps the changes in the mode of knowledge production and the global impact of such transformations. . . . The authors succeed . . . at sketching out, in very large strokes, the emerging trends in knowledge production and their implications for future society. The macro focus of the book is a welcome change from the micro obsession of most sociologists of science, who have pretty much deconstructed institutions and even scientific knowledge out of existence." --Contemporary Sociology "This book is a timely contribution to current discussion on the breakdown of and need to renegotiate the social contract between science and society that Vannevar Bush and likeminded architects of science policy constructed immediately after World War II. It goes far beyond the usual scattering of fragmentary insights into changing institutional landscapes, cognitive structures, or quality control mechanisms of present day science, and their linkages with society at large. Tapping a wide variety of sources, the authors provide a coherent picture of important new characteristics that, taken altogether, fundamentally challenge our traditional notions of what academic research is all about. This well-founded analysis of the social redistribution of knowledge and its associated power patterns helps articulate what otherwise tends to remain an--albeit widespread--intuition. Unless they adapt to the new situation, universities in the future will find the centers of gravity of knowledge production moving even further beyond their ken. Knowledge of the social and cognitive dynamics of science in research is much needed as a basis of science and technology policymaking. The New Production of Knowledge does a lot to fill this gap. Another unique feature is its discussion of the humanities, which are usually left out in works coming out of the social studies of science." --Aant Elzinga, University od Goteborg. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Disrupting the Impression of Stability in the Gender-Technology Relation -- Changing Images of Computers and its Users since 1980 -- Discursive Developments Within Computer Education -- Variations in Gender-ICT Relations Among Male and Female Computer Students -- Stories About Individual Change and Transformation -- Layered Meanings and Differences Within -- Is there an Elsewhere? -- References -- Endnotes -- Index.
Knowledge Societies offers both a critical examination of existing social theory, and a new synthesis of social theory with the actual study of knowledge relations in advanced economies. Some of the elements explored are scientization: the penetration not only of production but of most social action by scientific knowledge; the transformation of access to knowledge through higher education; the growth of experts (managers, accountants, advisors, and counselors) and of corresponding institutions based on the deployment of specialized knowledge; (...) and a shift in the nature of societal conflict from struggles about income and property to claims and conflicts about generalized human needs. Nico Stehr's argument amply demonstrates not only that all social theories now need to take into account the changing nature of social relations around knowledge, but also the parameters within which this analysis should take place. This book is essential reading for all those interested in social theory, sociology of knowledge and science, and the general issue of knowledge in the late 20th century. (shrink)
The Gendered Cyborg brings together material from a variety of disciplines that analyze the relationship between gender and technoscience, and the way that this relationship is represented through ideas, language and visual imagery. The book opens with key feminist articles from the history and philosophy of science. They look at the ways that modern scientific thinking has constructed oppositional dualities such as objectivity/subjectivity, human/machine, nature/science, and male/female, and how these have constrained who can engage in science/technology and how they (...) have limited our ideas of the possibilities for both humanity and science. Later sections contain readings that present key feminist theories about representation to examine how gender and technoscience are represented in areas of particular contemporary interest: the new human reproductive technologies, science fiction, film and the Internet. The readings constantly ask "Is this for women, for human beings?" Contributors: Alison Adam, Anne Balsamo, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Barbara Creed, Mary Ann Doane, Dion Farquhar, Jennifer González, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Donna Haraway, Fiona Hovenden, Luce Irigaray, Linda Janes, Gill Kirkup, Nina Lykke, Sadie Plant, Rosalind Pollack Perchesky, Londa Schiebinger, Vivian Sobchack, Deborah Lynn Steinberg, Nancy Leys Stepan, Nina Wakeford, Kathryn Woodward. (shrink)
Information and communication technologies (ICT) enable citizens to communicate across state borders with greater ease than ever before, exciting much speculation about the emergence of transnational public spheres. This highly original work introduces this debate to International Relations, by investigating the socio-political implications of ICT in a global governance framework. Classic Habermasian theory is radically reconstructed to take account of contemporary trends in state sovereignty and global civil society. It is argued that if access is not widened and free speech (...) not sufficiently protected, the early promise of ICT as a liberating force will be neutralized. (shrink)
Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse explores the roles of stories, figures, dreams, theories, facts, delusions, advertising, institutions, economic arrangements, publishing practices, scientific advances, and politics in twentieth- century technoscience. The book's title is an e-mail address. With it, Haraway locates herself and her readers in a sprawling net of associations more far-flung than the Internet. The address is not a cozy home. There is no innocent place to stand in the world where the book's author figure, FemaleMan, encounters DuPont's controversial laboratory rodent, OncoMouse. (...) Haraway sees the world of contemporary technoscience as a drama. Information sciences and life sciences are at the center of the dramatic action. Scenes are set in landscapes where maps of human genetic differences are stored in databases, racialized bodies are reconfigured by morphing for photographs in popular magazines, and transgenic mice important to breast cancer research are patented intellectual property. The actors are many, and not all are human. Beginning with the Modest Witness, the key figure in the Science Revolution, Haraway shows us the trouble lurking in race and gender- marked practices for attesting to matters of fact. In later scenes, Haraway explores the kinship relations among the many cyborg creatures produced in the late twentieth-century--in nuclear research, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, computer-mediated representational practices, and mutations in biological approaches to "race.". (shrink)
This collection of essays by Sheila Jasanoff explores how democratic governments construct public reason, that is, the forms of evidence and argument used in making state decisions accountable to citizens.
Peopling the donor world -- The meaning of family in a changing world -- Creating families -- Creating communities across families -- The laws of the donor world: parents and children -- Law, adoption, and family secrets: disclosure and incest -- Reasons to regulate -- Regulating for connection -- Regulating for health and safety: setting limits in the gamete world -- Why not to regulate -- Conclusion: challenging and creating kinship.