Social Shaping of Technology and Technological Determinism

1419 words 6 pages

Social Context of Society

Social Context of Technology – Essay

“Technology is an independent factor impacting on society from outside society”
Discuss with reference to both the Technological Determinist and the Social Shaping of Technology perspectives.

The power technology obtains is incredible. In recent years it’s advanced greatly and I believe its limits is only our imagination. It is evolving at a quicker rate than ever and its happening right before our eyes, weather we like it or not. ‘By definition, technology has always been present in human society, even from it’s very origins’ (Paschal Preston, 2001, p.109), stating that technology has always
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From this example it is evident that we, as a society, control technology. Society is the consumer of these products, and the more they are equipped to our needs, the better the consumer satisfaction. I will now compare both theories against one another, and prove furthermore why technological determinism is a notion affiliated/associated with the past.

Technological Determinism and Social Shaping of Technology can be seen as revolutionary and evolutionary respectively. TD emerged in an era which sparked revolution, which was quite sudden and caused huge change in a small space of time. On the other hand SST can be seen as evolutionary. Current technologies are rapidly advancing to its users needs, and we play the part in shaping the final product. This is due to SST relying on consumer feedback from their prototypes. Unlike TD, they had no need for prototypes, a revolutionary theory issuing itself upon technical creations that sparked dramatic change within society. TD is a one-way linear process, which occurs ‘without any intervention from the social aspects of research and development'. (Elizibeth Faint Doyle, 1997) There is no


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