Beyond the Black box

Social Epistemology 19 (2 & 3):225 – 229 (2005)


This paper argues that the dichotomization of technological determinism and social constructivism in parts of the literature on the technology-society nexus conceals that the two approaches study different objects. On the backdrop of the argument that technological determinists concern themselves with material aspects and social constructivists with ideational aspects of the relationship between technology and society, the paper presents two alternative approaches, which provide a focus on both materiality and ideation. Finally, the paper exemplifies briefly the relevance of this approach for investigations of the governance of new information- and communication technologies, such as the Internet.

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