Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Social Construction of Technology

Social Construction of Technology

Ratings: (0)|Views: 71|Likes:
The Social Construction of Technology: Its Conceptual Core Seminar in Theory:

Florence Paisey

Florence Paisey Last week The Wall Street Journal among other organizations, including the Society of American Archivists, reported the British Library’s settlement to collaborate with Google in digitizing 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections (WSJ, 2011). Although the essential technological know-how for accomp
The Social Construction of Technology: Its Conceptual Core Seminar in Theory:

Florence Paisey

Florence Paisey Last week The Wall Street Journal among other organizations, including the Society of American Archivists, reported the British Library’s settlement to collaborate with Google in digitizing 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections (WSJ, 2011). Although the essential technological know-how for accomp

More info:

Published by: Florence Margaret Paisey on Feb 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/10/2012

pdf

text

original

 
 
The Social Construction of Technology: Its Conceptual Core
Seminar in Theory: LIS 6278Dr. Michelle Kazmer Florence Paisey: Paper Threefmp04@fsu.eduJune 2011
 
Florence Paisey 2Last week 
The Wall Street Journal 
among other organizations, including the Societyof American Archivists, reported the British Library’s settlement to collaborate withGoogle in digitizing
 
250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections(WSJ, 2011).
Although the essential technological know-how for accomplishing thisgoal has existed for many years, the impetus and resolve to carry out this formidable task has only now come to pass. What is the impetus driving the British Library’s decision?The Library purports that scholars will now have access to facsimiles of rare historicalmaterials. Does the Library know that scholars will embrace these digitized versions?What was the drive underneath a similar settlement between Oxford and MichiganUniversities as well as others? What, indeed, was the interest in Oxford University’scommunity digitization project?Each of these projects broke with convention, forming new ground in conceptualizingor extending each library’s mission, digitization techniques, project scale, workflow,digital preservation standards, levels of metadata, access points, and issues pertaining tocopyright conditions. What controversies and negotiations occurred (and may continueto occur) in implementing these projects? Who were the stakeholders and whatconditions did they stipulate? What innovative technologies were applied and whattechnologies were innovated in bringing the projects to fruition? How have theseinnovative enterprises influenced social relations, society, cultural institutions, andculture at large? The answers to these questions form the tide behind the impetus, process, and product or potential product of these technological ventures as well as other technological innovations and collaborations.The digitization projects named above (and other technological innovations) are theresult of elaborate social, scientific, and technological negotiations. The fabric of thesenegotiations involves interweaving sociological, scientific, and technical contingenciesthat shape technologies and, conversely, the technological contingencies that shape the behaviors, culture, and society, giving rise to the technologies. This sociotechnicalinterlinking engages numerous stakeholders who interpret the meaning of the technologyand, ultimately, affect the outcome. The general notion or proposition that technologiesare socially constructed may be viewed through a conceptual core where descriptiveconcepts are defined; facts stated and interrelated logically; generalizations or organizing
 
Florence Paisey 3 principles formed, and a lens for analysis of the issues result. This theoretical lens offersa context for gathering and analyzing data, formulating an empirical explanation, anddescribing the way innovative technologies come about and become integral features of an established, yet interactive and ever-shifting social fabric.One of the seminal papers that describes and sets forth principles aimed at explainingthe dynamics of sociotechnical innovation is Pinch & Bijker’s
The Social Construction of  Facts and Artefacts or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of TechnologyMight Benefit Each Other 
(1984). They state, “… science and technology are bothsocially constructed cultures and bring to bear whatever cultural resources are appropriatefor the purposes at hand” (p. 404). They emphasize that elaborate social, scientific, andtechnological shaping occurs owing to discourse and negotiations within social andtechnical environments. The organizing principles inhered in this discourse open the black box of technological development by identifying the actors and agents involved intechnological innovation, its perceived applications, utilization, advancement, andintegral social enthusiasm. Pinch & Bijker refer to this unit of organizing principles,framework, or theory as the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT). I will argue thatSCOT does, indeed, offer a logical set of propositions that, when applied as a unit, willoffer an empirical means of understanding how technologies are parleyed, applied, anddirected as part of a cohesive, yet fluid, social fabric and construction.However, first let us reflect on the advantages of such a framework or theory.Pettigrew & McKechnie (2001) note the usefulness and pragmatic value of theory. Theystate, “[theory] helps to organize and communicate unwieldy data and simplify theterrible complexities of the social world” (p. 62). What is more, theory providesdisciplinary boundaries – theoretical parameters and a central body of disciplinaryknowledge. We associate physics with laws of motion or force through space. Weassociate biology with the study of organisms and their material structure, differentiation,and genetic composition. We identify psychology with the study of individual behavior.Within psychology, theoretical positions often compete – nonetheless, each theoretical perspective aims to understand individual behavior and activity. Moreover, regardless of which behavioral theory one espouses, a scientific or systematic approach to behavior (human or animal) demystifies it and mitigates superstitious attitudes toward behavioral

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->