Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs by Wiebe E. Bijker
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Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs
By Wiebe E. Bijker

Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs

Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change

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Format: Paperback

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Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs by Wiebe E. Bijker

Book Description

This book crystallizes and extends the important work Wiebe Bijker has done in the last decade to found a full-scale theory of sociotechnical change that describes where technologies come from and how societies deal with them. Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs integrates detailed case studies with theoretical generalizations and political analyses to offer a fully rounded treatment both of the relations between technology and society and of the issues involved in sociotechnical change. The stories of the 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. Bijker's method is to use these case studies to suggest theoretical concepts that serve as building blocks in a more and more inclusive theory, which is then tested against further case studies. His main concern is to create a basis for science, technology, and social change that uncovers the social roots of technology, making it amenable to democratic politics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262522274
ISBN-10: 0262522276
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 390
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 3-Mar-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Wiebe E. Bijker

Paradox of Scientific Authority by Wiebe E. Bijker Paradox of Scientific Authority, Hardback (September 2009)

Assessing the influence of scientific advice in societies that increasingly question scientific authority and expertise.

Shaping Technology/Building Society by Wiebe E. Bijker Shaping Technology/Building Society, Paperback (November 1994)

Building on the influential book The Social Construction of Technological Systems, this volume carries forward the project of creating a theory of technological development and implementation that is strongly grounded in both sociology and history.

» View all books by Wiebe E. Bijker

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Author Biography - Wiebe E. Bijker

Wiebe E. Bijker is Professor at Maastricht University and the author of Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (MIT Press) and other books.

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Recent books by Wiebe E. Bijker close
Vulnerability in Technological Cultures by Wiebe E. Bijker
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