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This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry--social construction of technology, or SCOT--that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume--collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.
The impact of technology on society is clear and unmistakable. The influence ofsociety on technology is more subtle. The 13 essays in this book draw on a wide array of casestudies from cooking stoves to missile systems, from 15th­century Portugal to today's AI labs- to outline an original research program based on a synthesis of ideas from the social studies ofscience and the history of technology. Together they affirm the need for a study of technology thatgives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions.
An anniversary edition of an influential book that introduced a groundbreaking approach to the study of science, technology, and society.
The stories of the safety bicycle, the first truly synthetic plastic, and the fluorescent light bulb -each a fascinating case study in itself- reflect a cross-section of time periods, engineering and scientific disciplines, and economic, social, and political cultures. The bicycle story explores such issues as the role of changing gender relationships in shaping a technology; the Bakelite story examines the ways in which social factors intrude even in cases of seemingly pure chemistry and entrepreneurship; and the fluorescent bulb story offers insights into the ways in which political and economic relationships can affect the form of a technology.
An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies, Second Edition reflects the latest advances in the field while continuing to provide students with a road map to the complex interdisciplinary terrain of science and technology studies. Distinctive in its attention to both the underlying philosophical and sociological aspects of science and technology Explores core topics such as realism and social construction, discourse and rhetoric, objectivity, and the public understanding of science Includes numerous empirical studies and illustrative examples to elucidate the topics discussed Now includes new material on political economies of scientific and technological knowledge, and democratizing technical decisions Other features of the new edition include improved readability, updated references, chapter reorganization, and more material on medicine and technology
A collection of essays that examines how users shape and are shaped by technology in all phases, from design to use.
Conversations with a founder of the influential Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach in science and technology studies offer an introduction to the field.

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