Social Construction of Technology

3292 Words Feb 24th, 2012 14 Pages
ITO 1 Individual Assignment Social Construction and Social Shaping of Technology

Course Tutors: Professor Brain Bloomfield & Professor Theo Vurdubakis Submitted by: Amit Tewari Student Id: 30646848

Abstract
Theories of social construction of technology provide ways to identify the influence of society in development of technologies. What do we mean when we say that technology is socially constructed? This paper explaining the theory of social construction of technology and providing with some examples cited in existing literature tries to answer this question. It also briefly explains a related theory i.e. Social shaping of technology and tries to determine differences if any, between the two socially focussed theories. Throwing some
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Pitch and Bijker categorise this component as groups that share same meaning for a technology or design. The meaning these relevant groups attach to a particular design or technology often plays an important role to determine its existence within the society. Interpretative flexibility from these relevant groups can be seen as the meaning they give to a particular design or technology. The third component is “closure and stabilization”. Different meanings are attached to a technology or design by different relevant groups which certainly lead to conflict, the design or technology continues till it possess no problems in other terms the state when every relevant group has the same meaning attached to the design or technology. Closure can also be achieved when a particular design is considered to be non-functional or unclear to the relevant group resulting to emergence of an alternative. While increase in interpretative flexibility of a particular design leads to stabilization. A better understanding of the components of SCOT is achieved by analysing the case of development of bicycles where a detailed description of the relevant group defines the functioning of the artefacts, a proper understanding of interpretative flexibility and how closure and stabilization of a technology occurs. Pitch and Bijker (1984) in their research work to understand scientific facts and technological artefacts as a social
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