Conversations with a founder of the influential Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach in science and technology studies offer an introduction to the field.
Science and technology studies (STS) is a relatively young but influential field. Scholars from disciplines as diverse as urban studies, mobility studies, media studies, and body culture studies are engaging in a systematic dialogue with STS, seeking to enrich their own investigations. Within STS, the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) theory has proved to be one of the most influential in its neighboring fields. Yet the literature has grown so large so quickly, it is difficult to get an overview of SCOT. In this book, conversations with Trevor Pinch, a founder of SCOT, offer an introduction and genealogy for the field.
Pinch was there at the creation—as coauthor of the groundbreaking 1984 article that launched SCOT—and has remained active through subsequent developments. Engaging and conversational, Pinch charts SCOT's important milestones. The book describes how Pinch and Wiebe Bijker adapted the “empirical program of relativism,” developed by the Bath School to study the social construction of scientific facts, to apply to the social construction of artifacts. Entanglements addresses five issues in depth: relevant social groups, and SCOT's focus on groups of users; the intertwining of social representation and practices; the importance of tacit knowledge in SCOT's approach to the nonrepresentational; the controversy over nonhuman agency; and the political implications of SCOT.