Social Shaping of Technology by Donald MacKenzie
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Social Shaping of Technology
By Donald MacKenzie

The Social Shaping of Technology

2nd Revised edition

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Format: Paperback

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Social Shaping of Technology by Donald MacKenzie

Book Description

Reviews of the first edition: ??i??...This book is a welcome addition to the sociology of technology, a field whose importance is increasingly recognised??i??i??' - ??i??Sociology??i??. ??i??...sets a remarkably high standard in breadth of coverage, in scholarship, and in readability and can be recommended to the general reader and to the specialist alike??i??i??' - ??i??Science and Society??i??. ??i??...This remarkably readable and well-edited anthology focuses, in a wide variety of concrete examples, not on the impacts of technologies on societies but in the reverse: how different social contexts shaped the emergence of particular technologies??i??i??' - ??i??Technology and Culture??i??. How does social context affect the development of technology? What is the relationship between technology and gender Is production technology shaped by efficiency or by social control? Technological change is often seen as something that follows its own logic - something we may welcome, or about which we may protest, but which we are unable to alter fundamentally. This reader challenges that assumption and its distinguished contributors demonstrate that technology is affected at a fundamental level by the social context in which it develops. General arguments are introduced about the relation of technology to society and different types of technology are examined: the technology of production; domestic and reproductive technology; and, military technology. The book draws on authors from Karl Marx to Cynthia Cockburn to show that production technology is shaped by social relations in the workplace. It moves on to the technologies of the household and biological reproduction, which are topics that male-dominated social science has tended to ignore or trivialise - though these are actually of crucial significance where powerful shaping factors are at work, normally unnoticed. The final section asks what shapes the most frightening technology of all - the technology of weaponry, especially nuclear weapons. The editors argue that social scientists have devoted disproportionate attention to the effects of technology on society, and tended to ignore the more fundamental question of what shapes technology in the first place. They have drawn both on established work in the history and sociology of technology and on newer feminist perspectives to show just how important and fruitful it is to try to answer that deeper question. The first edition of this reader, published in 1985, had a considerable influence on thinking about the relationship between technology and society. This second edition has been thoroughly revised and expanded to take into account new research and the emergence of new theoretical perspectives.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780335199136
ISBN-10: 0335199135
Format: Paperback
(95mm x 68mm x 10mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Open University Press
Publisher: Open University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Donald MacKenzie

Material Markets by Donald MacKenzie Material Markets, Hardback (December 2008)

Financial markets, processes, and instruments are often difficult to fathom; the credit crisis highlights both their importance and their fragility. In this book, MacKenzie, one of the most perceptive analysts of the financial world, puts forward a material sociology of markets, rooted in the actors and agents that shape modern finance.

Engine, Not a Camera by Donald MacKenzie Engine, Not a Camera, Paperback (August 2008)

A pioneering work in the social studies of finance describes how the emergence of modern finance theory has affected financial markets in fundamental ways--as an engine that shapes them rather than a camera that reproduces their every detail.

Do Economists Make Markets? by Donald MacKenzie Do Economists Make Markets?, Paperback (July 2008)

Dedicated to the controversial question of whether economics is performative - of whether, in some cases, economics actually produces the phenomena it analyzes, this book features case studies that intend to offer substance to the notion of the performativity of economics in an accessible, nontechnical way.

Mechanizing Proof by Donald MacKenzie Mechanizing Proof, Paperback (March 2004)

A sociological approach to the history of proof, as applied to and performed by computer systems.

» View all books by Donald MacKenzie


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Author Biography - Donald MacKenzie

Donald MacKenzie holds a personal Chair in Sociology at Edinburgh University, where he has taught since 1975. He is the author of Statistics in Britain, 1865-1930: The Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge (Edinburgh University Press, 1981), Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance (MIT Press, 1990) and of Knowing Machines: Essays in Technical Change (MIT Press, 1996). The second of these books won the Ludwig Fleck prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science, and was joint winner of the 1993 Robert K. Merton Award of the American Sociological Association. His numerous articles in the sociology and social history of science and technology have won three further international prizes, and have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Polish and Greek. Judy Wajcman is Professor of Sociology in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. She has previously taught and researched at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and Warwick in England and the University of New South Wales in Australia. Her books include Women in Control: Dilemmas of a Workers' Co-operative (Open University Press, 1983), Feminism Confronts Technology (Polity Press, 1991) and Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management (Polity Press, 1998). Her publications in the sociology of technology and gender relations have been translated into German, Greek and Portuguese.

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