Social construction of technology pdf

Social construction of technology pdf article has multiple issues. Wikipedia editor’s personal feelings about a topic. They also argue that the ways a technology is used cannot be understood without understanding how that technology is embedded in its social context. SCOT holds that those who seek to understand the reasons for acceptance or rejection of a technology should look to the social world.

It is not enough, according to SCOT, to explain a technology’s success by saying that it is “the best”—researchers must look at how the criteria of being “the best” is defined and what groups and stakeholders participate in defining it. In particular, they must ask who defines the technical criteria success is measured by, why technical criteria are defined this way, and who is included or excluded. Pinch and Bijker argue that technological determinism is a myth that results when one looks backwards and believes that the path taken to the present was the only possible path. SCOT is not only a theory, but also a methodology: it formalizes the steps and principles to follow when one wants to analyze the causes of technological failures or successes. Sociology of Science, which should be applied in historical and sociological investigations of technology as well. It is strongly connected to Bloor’s theory of social causation. In these cases, sociological factors tip the balance between them: that’s why we should pay equal attention to them.

A strong, social constructivist reading would add that even the emergence of the questions or problems to be solved are governed by social determinations, so the Principle of Symmetry is applicable even to the apparently purely technical issues. In racing air tires lent to greater speed. How should aesthetics, convenience, and speed be prioritized? What is the “best” tradeoff between traction and speed? Sometimes there are relevant groups who are neither users, nor producers of the technology, for example, journalists, politicians, and civil organizations. The groups can be distinguished based on their shared or diverging interpretations of the technology in question.

Just as technologies have different meanings in different social groups, there are always multiple ways of constructing technologies. A design is only a single point in the large field of technical possibilities, reflecting the interpretations of certain relevant groups. Different groups in different societies construct different problems, leading to different designs. The first stage of the SCOT research methodology is to reconstruct the alternative interpretations of the technology, analyze the problems and conflicts these interpretations give rise to, and connect them to the design features of the technological artifacts.

The relations between groups, problems, and designs can be visualized in diagrams. Over time, as technologies are developed, the interpretative and design flexibility collapse through closure mechanisms. This is often the result of advertising. The aesthetic and technical problems of the air tire diminished, as the technology advanced to the stage where air tire bikes started to win the bike races.