Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ResearchMethods: SCOT, Tech Determinism and the Media Tech (W4-P4) Sp16

For those of us who are especially interested in media technologies, there are two basic theories worthy of discussion.

Ev Rogers and I once wrote a book chapter which, in part, explained the Social Construction of Technology and Technological Determinism theories.  We also tied the two theories together.

The chapter appeared in The Changing Conversation in America edited by Eadie and Nelson.

Ev and I wrote about Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) this way:

We said of Technological Determinism:

At the end of the chapter we included a diagram.

NOTE: There is something missing in the figure.  It was included in the paper we submitted, but left out in the printing.  What is missing?

What do we mean by "complete picture" (see caption of the diagram)?

Using SCOT and TD to Understand the Historical Development of Technology

How do these theories help us understand how media technologies develop?

How do these theories help us better understand the history of past media technology?  Books? Radio?  TV?   How do they help us understand the stories of Gutenberg, Edison, Woods, De Forest, Armstrong and Farnsworth?  For example, how could we use the idea of  social construction of technology to explain (or understand) the story of Granville Woods?

How do they help us better understand the development of more recent media technologies (computers, the PC, the Internet, etc.)?   How do they help us understand the stories of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?  Mark Zuckerberg?

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