Information System Essay

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Information System Essay
Candidate Number: 135702

Draw from the sociotechnical debate to discuss the emergence of two technologies - one developed before 1920 and one after. What are the implications of your analysis for our understanding of technological innovations? You are advised to choose technologies we have been discussing in the lectures and seminars.

There is no denying that technology has been an ever-apparent part of the human society. Today, technology is used in a variety of ways and is essential for the survival of the human society. While technology is wholly accepted as an essential part of life, there has always been a debate whether it is technology that revolutionizes society or society that influences technology,
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It views technology as the utilization of existing scientific knowledge in society. For example, the creation of a laptop, which stemmed from the creation of the computer or the steam boat which came about due to the application of 2 previous inventions, the boat and the steam engine (Petrakaki, 2014). Hence it argues that these creations cannot be considered new as it draws upon something that already exists and not “disembodied inspiration” as mentioned by MacKenzie and Wajcman (1985). In Social Determinism, technology does have a limited amount of power as it may open up more opportunities, however the choice to exploit it remains in society’s power (White, 1978). Technology is not independent and requires an existing infrastructure to be able to run, like a mobile phone, which requires connections with network towers before it can be used to make phone calls.

Social Determinism also talks about how the shaping of technology can be due to economic, political, cultural reasons and by social norms. In terms of economic reasons, the progress in technology has often been linked with improving profit or revenue margins as well as reducing costs (Petrakaki, 2014). For example, the assembly line, which came about in the 1800s, was made to improve the efficiency and reduce costs for companies, as it required lesser manpower (Walker, 1952). Culture does shape technology, as the same form of technology may possess different features in different countries. For example, in
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