Trevor Pinch

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).

  • The Social Construction of Technological Systems, Anniversary Edition

    The Social Construction of Technological Systems, Anniversary Edition

    New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology

    Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes, and Trevor Pinch

    An anniversary edition of an influential book that introduced a groundbreaking approach to the study of science, technology, and society.

    This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry—social construction of technology, or SCOT—that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume—collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Living in a Material World

    Living in a Material World

    Economic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies

    Trevor Pinch and Richard Swedberg

    Understanding the intersection of economic sociology and science and technology studies through the idea of materiality.

    Although social scientists generally agree that technology plays a key role in the economy, economics and technology have yet to be brought together into a coherent framework that is both analytically interesting and empirically oriented. This book draws on the tools of science and technology studies and economic sociology to reconceptualize the intersection of economy and technology, suggesting materiality—the idea that social existence involves not only actors and social relations but also objects—as the theoretical point of convergence. The contributors take up general concerns, such as individual agency in a network economy and the materiality of the household in economic history, as well as specific financial technologies such as the stock ticker, the trading room, and the telephone. Forms of infrastructure—accounting, global configurations of trading and information technologies, and patent law—are examined. Case studies of the impact of the Internet and information technology on consumption (e-commerce), the reputation economy (the rise of online reviews of products), and organizational settings (outsourcing of an IT system) round off this collection of essays.

    ContributorsElizabeth Popp Berman, Daniel Beunza, Michel Callon, Karin Knorr Cetina, Shay David, Thomas F. Gieryn, Barbara Grimpe, David Hatherly, David Leung, Christian Licoppe, Donald MacKenzie, Philip Mirowski, Fabian Muniesa, Edward Nik-Khah, Trevor Pinch, Alex Preda, Nicholas J. Rowland, David Stark, Richard Swedberg

    • Hardcover $16.75
    • Paperback $35.00
  • How Users Matter

    How Users Matter

    The Co-Construction of Users and Technology

    Nelly Oudshoorn and Trevor Pinch

    Users have become an integral part of technology studies. The essays in this volume look at the creative capacity of users to shape technology in all phases, from design to implementation. Using a variety of theoretical approaches, including a feminist focus on users and use (in place of the traditional emphasis on men and machines), concepts from semiotics, and the cultural studies view of consumption as a cultural activity, these essays examine what users do with technology and, in turn, what technology does to users. The contributors consider how users consume, modify, domesticate, design, reconfigure, and resist technological development—and how users are defined and transformed by technology.

    The essays in part I show that resistance to and non-use of a technology can be a crucial factor in the eventual modification and improvement of that technology; examples considered include the introduction of the telephone into rural America and the influence of non-users of the Internet. The essays in part II look at advocacy groups and the many kinds of users they represent, particularly in the context of health care and clinical testing. The essays in part III examine the role of users in different phases of the design, testing, and selling of technology. Included here is an enlightening account of one company's design process for men's and women's shavers, which resulted in a "Ladyshave" for users assumed to be technophobes. Taken together, the essays in How Users Matter show that any understanding of users must take into consideration the multiplicity of roles they play—and that the conventional distinction between users and producers is largely artificial.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • The Social Construction of Technological Systems

    The Social Construction of Technological Systems

    New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology

    Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes, and Trevor Pinch

    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.

    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.

    • Hardcover $42.50
    • Paperback $40.00

Contributor

  • Technology and Society, Second Edition

    Technology and Society, Second Edition

    Building Our Sociotechnical Future

    Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

    Writings by thinkers ranging from Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain to Bruno Latour that focus on the interconnections of technology, society, and values.

    Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. In order to influence the development of technology for the better, we must first understand how technology and society are inextricably bound together. These writings—by thinkers ranging from Bruno Latour to Francis Fukuyama—help us do just that, examining how people shape technology and how technology shapes people. This second edition updates the original significantly, offering twenty-one new essays along with fifteen from the first edition.

    The book first presents visions of the future that range from technological utopias to cautionary tales and then introduces several major STS theories. It examines human and social values and how they are embedded in technological choices and explores the interesting and subtle complexities of the technology-society relationship. Remedying a gap in earlier theorizing in the field, many of the texts illustrate how race and gender are intertwined with technology. Finally, the book offers a set of readings that focus on the sociotechnical challenges we face today, treating topics that include cybersecurity, geoengineering, and the myth of neutral technology.

    • Paperback $55.00
  • Entanglements

    Entanglements

    Conversations on the Human Traces of Science, Technology, and Sound

    Simone Tosoni

    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.

    • Hardcover $35.00
  • Technology and Society

    Technology and Society

    Building our Sociotechnical Future

    Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

    An anthology of writings by thinkers ranging from Freeman Dyson to Bruno Latour that focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values and how these may affect the future.

    Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Laurence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world. The careful ordering of the selections and the editors' introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and other disciplines. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

    • Hardcover $17.75
    • Paperback $60.00
  • The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Third Edition

    The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Third Edition

    Edward J. Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska, Michael E. Lynch, and Judy Wajcman

    A comprehensive and authoritative overview of current research, major theoretical perspectives, and new research directions in the study of science, technology, and society.

    Science and Technology Studies is a flourishing interdisciplinary field that examines the creation, development, and consequences of science and technology in their cultural, historical, and social contexts. The New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field, reviewing current research and major theoretical and methodological approaches and analyzing emergent issues in a form that is accessible to new and established scholars from a range of disciplines. Handbook chapters review the dominant theoretical perspectives of STS, present the current state of research on a spectrum of topics in the field, analyze changes brought about by the commercialization of science, study interactions between science and other institutions, examine the role of experts and the public in scientific and technological decision making, and consider the cultural and social dimensions of new technologies. The New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies is the third in a series of volumes sponsored by the Society for Social Studies of Science that have defined the field of Science and Technology Studies. It will be an essential resource for scholars in that field as well as for those in such neighboring disciplines as anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology, law, political science, feminist and critical theory, and literary studies.

    ContributorsVincanne Adams, Warwick Anderson, Brian Balmer, Daneil Barben, Pablo Boczkowski, Steve Breyman, Massimiano Bucchi, Regula Burri, Nancy Campbell, Adele E. Clarke, H.M. Collins, Susan E. Cozzens, Jennifer L. Croissant, Park Doing, Joseph Dumit, Steven Epstein, Henry Etzkowitz, Robert Evans, Erik Fisher, Stefan Fuchs, Sonia Gatchair, Ronald N. Giere, Thomas F. Gieryn, Namrata Gupta, David H. Guston, Adam Hedgecoe, Christopher R. Henke, David Hess, Linda Hogle, Alan Irwin, Sheila Jasanoff, Deborah G. Johnson, David Kaiser, William Keith, Carol Kemelgor, Kyung-Sup Kim, Andrew Lakoff, Bruno Latour, Leah A. Lievrouw, Margaret Lock, Brian Martin, Paul Martin, Philip Mirowski, Cyrus Mody, Federico Neresini, Gonzalo Ordóñez, Nelly Oudshoorn, Trevor Pinch, Alex Preda, Brian Rappert, William Rehg, Marina Ranga, Cynthis Selin, Esther-Mirjam Sent, Steven Shapin, Sergio Sismondo, Laurel Smith-Doerr, Miriam Solomon, Susan Leigh Star, John Stone, Lucy Suchman, Anupit Supnithadnaporn, Charles Thorpe, Stephen Turner, The Virtual Knowledge Studio, Jameson M. Wetmore, Sally Wyatt, Steven Yearley

    • Hardcover $72.00
  • Evocative Objects

    Evocative Objects

    Things We Think With

    Sherry Turkle

    Autobiographical essays, framed by two interpretive essays by the editor, describe the power of an object to evoke emotion and provoke thought: reflections on a cello, a laptop computer, a 1964 Ford Falcon, an apple, a mummy in a museum, and other "things-to-think-with."

    For Sherry Turkle, "We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." In Evocative Objects, Turkle collects writings by scientists, humanists, artists, and designers that trace the power of everyday things. These essays reveal objects as emotional and intellectual companions that anchor memory, sustain relationships, and provoke new ideas.These days, scholars show new interest in the importance of the concrete. This volume's special contribution is its focus on everyday riches: the simplest of objects—an apple, a datebook, a laptop computer—are shown to bring philosophy down to earth. The poet contends, "No ideas but in things." The notion of evocative objects goes further: objects carry both ideas and passions. In our relations to things, thought and feeling are inseparable.

    Whether it's a student's beloved 1964 Ford Falcon (left behind for a station wagon and motherhood), or a cello that inspires a meditation on fatherhood, the intimate objects in this collection are used to reflect on larger themes—the role of objects in design and play, discipline and desire, history and exchange, mourning and memory, transition and passage, meditation and new vision.In the interest of enriching these connections, Turkle pairs each autobiographical essay with a text from philosophy, history, literature, or theory, creating juxtapositions at once playful and profound. So we have Howard Gardner's keyboards and Lev Vygotsky's hobbyhorses; William Mitchell's Melbourne train and Roland Barthes' pleasures of text; Joseph Cevetello's glucometer and Donna Haraway's cyborgs. Each essay is framed by images that are themselves evocative. Essays by Turkle begin and end the collection, inviting us to look more closely at the everyday objects of our lives, the familiar objects that drive our routines, hold our affections, and open out our world in unexpected ways.

    • Hardcover $28.95
    • Paperback $20.00
  • Incentives for Environmental Protection

    Thomas C. Schelling

    This book explores the extent to which pricing incentives such as charges on emissions; in contrast to regulatory standards, can be shaped into a practical policy that is technically effective, politically enactable, administratively enforceable, and equitable. It also compares he advantages and disadvantages of this approach to those that characterize the policy of compliance to regulatory standards. And it identifies the criteria on which either pricing mechanisms or regulatory standards should be based. Three case studies comprise the heart of the book. One investigates carcinogenic chemical emissions, another audits the tradeoffs in controlling aircraft noise near major airports, and the third treats the protection of air quality from pollution by primarily stationary sources. The case studies are introduced by a chapter that gives numerous examples of possible pricing approaches and identifies common lessons that the three diverse studies reinforce.: The studies are followed by a chapter which is based on interviews with Congressional staff, environmentalists, and industrial lobbyists and other interest groups in Washington, revealing their assessments of pricing mechanisms in environmental protection.

    The book is fifth in the series, Regulation of Economic Activity.

    • Hardcover $45.00