Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change / Edition 1

Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change / Edition 1

by Wiebe E. Bijker
     
 

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

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Overview

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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262522274
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
01/03/1997
Series:
Inside Technology
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
2King of the Road: The Social Construction of the Safety Bicycle19
3The Fourth Kingdom: The Social construction of Bakelite101
4The Majesty of Day light: The Social Construction of Fluorescent Lighting199
5Conclusion: The Politics of Sociotechnical Change269
Notes291
References329
Name Index355
Subject Index363

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