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Paperback | Out of Print | 424 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1989 | ISBN: 9780262521376
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The Social Construction of Technological Systems

New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology


The impact of technology on society is clear and unmistakable. The influence of society on technology is more subtle. The 13 essays in this book draw on a wide array of case studies from cooking stoves to missile systems, from 15th­century Portugal to today's AI labs - to outline an original research program based on a synthesis of ideas from the social studies of science and the history of technology. Together they affirm the need for a study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions.

About the Editors

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.

Thomas P. Hughes is Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Trevor Pinch is Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and coeditor of The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (anniversary edition, MIT Press).


"... required reading for STS teachers and researchers - and, indeed, for anyone convinced that it is essential, in the modern world, to understand the social nature of technical innovation."
David Edge, Director, Science Studies Unit, University of Edinburgh