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Some outlines for the sociological study of technology

Within sociology, technology is not a common subject for sociological analysis; technology is often treated as if it were no more than an asocial physical product. The argument of this thesis is that technology is as available for sociological analysis as any other social phenomenon. In popular representation, technology is treated as if it were special, and this treatment has had particular consequences for sociological analysis. This thesis attempts to put this special, deferential, attitude to technology aside, and to reveal technology as an unexceptional topic for sociological investigation. Stated baldly, two ideas are demonstrated in this thesis. The first of these is: The way that technology is constructed as a category in sociological literature makes the topic technology resistant to sociological analysis. The second idea follows from this: It is possible to develop a sociological account of technology by reference to a reconceptualised notion of work. The thesis considers those sociological approaches which appear to offer some potential for an elaborated sociology of technology. These move from conventionally academic discussions of a sociology of technology through marxian, culturalist and feminist accounts of work and of technology, to a consideration of the views of technology embodied in particular instances of policy and local action. A view of technology emerges which draws on the divergent traditions of marxian political economy and marxian cultural studies. The thesis concludes with an attempt to embrace both these perspectives in the development of a sociology of technology.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:bl.uk/oai:ethos.bl.uk:536505
Date1991
CreatorsPercy, Pamela Violet
PublisherUniversity College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Sourcehttp://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/10018562

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