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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.
Der Band verdeutlicht die großen ökonomische Chancen assistiver Technologien, analysiert bisherige Erfahrungen mit der Nutzereinbindung in der Technikentwicklung, und diskutiert auf dieser Grundlage Empfehlungen für die Entwicklung assistiver Technik. Es wird gezeigt, dass die Entwicklung neuer Technologien im Kontext des demographischen Wandels wie auch deren erfolgreiche Vermarktung nur gelingen kann, wenn auch sozialwissenschaftliche Befunde und Perspektiven Berücksichtigung finden: Die Technik muss Probleme des Alltags – der älteren Menschen selbst oder des Versorgungsalltags – aufgreifen, diesen Alltag in seinem Vollzug berücksichtigen und letztlich erleichtern oder verbessern.
Hoher Energie- und vor allem Stromverbrauch ist zu einem Problem geworden - aber wie konnte er zu einem bestimmenden Faktor westlichen Lebenswandels werden? Sophie Gerber widmet sich der Frage nach seiner Etablierung in privaten Haushalten zwischen 1945 und 1990 sowie der Rolle von elektrischen (Küchen-)Geräten und ihren Konsument_innen. Auf der Grundlage eines breitgefächerten Quellen- und Materialkorpus untersucht sie das Phänomen des rasant steigenden privaten Energieverbrauchs in seiner Bedeutung für die gesamtgesellschaftliche Entwicklung. Die Studie entwickelt eine neue Perspektive auf die Energiegeschichte und trägt dazu bei, die Herausforderungen der »Energiewende« besser zu verstehen.
Presented in a single volume, this engaging review reflects on the scholarship and the historical development of American broadcasting A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting comprehensively evaluates the vibrant history of American radio and television and reveals broadcasting’s influence on American history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With contributions from leading scholars on the topic, this wide-ranging anthology explores the impact of broadcasting on American culture, politics, and society from an historical perspective as well as the effect on our economic and social structures. The text’s original and accessibly-written essays offer explorations on a wealth of topics including the production of broadcast media, the evolution of various television and radio genres, the development of the broadcast ratings system, the rise of Spanish language broadcasting in the United States, broadcast activism, African Americans and broadcasting, 1950’s television, and much more. This essential resource: Presents a scholarly overview of the history of radio and television broadcasting and its influence on contemporary American history Contains original essays from leading academics in the field Examines the role of radio in the television era Discusses the evolution of regulations in radio and television Offers insight into the cultural influence of radio and television Analyzes canonical texts that helped shape the field Written for students and scholars of media studies and twentieth-century history, A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting is an essential and field-defining guide to the history and historiography of American broadcasting and its many cultural, societal, and political impacts.
This set of essays brings together studies that challenge interpretations of the development of modernist architecture in Third World countries during the Cold War. The topics look at modernism’s part in the transnational development of building technologies and the construction of national and cultural identity. Architectural modernism is far more than another instance of Western expansionist aspirations; it has been developed in cross-cultural spaces and variously localized into nation-building programs and social welfare projects. The first volume to address countries right across the developing world, this book has a key place in the historiography of modern architecture, dealing with non-Western traditions.
We have long recognized technology as a driving force behind much historical and cultural change. The invention of the printing press initiated the Reformation. The development of the compass ushered in the Age of Exploration and the discovery of the New World. The cotton gin created the conditions that led to the Civil War. Now, in Beyond Engineering, science writer Robert Pool turns the question around to examine how society shapes technology. Drawing on such disparate fields as history, economics, risk analysis, management science, sociology, and psychology, Pool illuminates the complex, often fascinating interplay between machines and society, in a book that will revolutionize how we think about technology. We tend to think that reason guides technological development, that engineering expertise alone determines the final form an invention takes. But if you look closely enough at the history of any invention, says Pool, you will find that factors unrelated to engineering seem to have an almost equal impact. In his wide-ranging volume, he traces developments in nuclear energy, automobiles, light bulbs, commercial electricity, and personal computers, to reveal that the ultimate shape of a technology often has as much to do with outside and unforeseen forces. For instance, Pool explores the reasons why steam-powered cars lost out to internal combustion engines. He shows that the Stanley Steamer was in many ways superior to the Model T--it set a land speed record in 1906 of more than 127 miles per hour, it had no transmission (and no transmission headaches), and it was simpler (one Stanley engine had only twenty-two moving parts) and quieter than a gas engine--but the steamers were killed off by factors that had little or nothing to do with their engineering merits, including the Stanley twins' lack of business acumen and an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease. Pool illuminates other aspects of technology as well. He traces how seemingly minor decisions made early along the path of development can have profound consequences further down the road, and perhaps most important, he argues that with the increasing complexity of our technological advances--from nuclear reactors to genetic engineering--the number of things that can go wrong multiplies, making it increasingly difficult to engineer risk out of the equation. Citing such catastrophes as Bhopal, Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez, the Challenger, and Chernobyl, he argues that is it time to rethink our approach to technology. The days are gone when machines were solely a product of larger-than-life inventors and hard-working engineers. Increasingly, technology will be a joint effort, with its design shaped not only by engineers and executives but also psychologists, political scientists, management theorists, risk specialists, regulators and courts, and the general public. Whether discussing bovine growth hormone, molten-salt reactors, or baboon-to-human transplants, Beyond Engineering is an engaging look at modern technology and an illuminating account of how technology and the modern world shape each other.

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