Brief Introduction to Technological Determinism

Technological determinism can be described as a juncture of socio-technical studies, sociology, technology, and societal evolution. The theoretical framework of technological determinism basically concerns itself with the deterministic and influential nature of technology with regard to human society and perceptions.

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The industrial revolution of Europe provided this paradigm with considerable scholarly impetus. Technological determinism can amply help us in developing an understanding on how society and technology interact. The basic framework of this theoretical paradigm has been constructed on the basis of Thorstein B. Veblen’s works. Although a strictly deterministic approach might damage the very target of this book, I have focused on the philosophical side of determinism. This has been done to provide a wholesome view of the debates that frequently arise while analyzing the relationships between technology and society. Although this book is primarily meant for sociology students, I have adopted an interdisciplinary approach. If a manager or technology expert wishes to work on socio-technical projects, this book can be helpful for them as well. For a basic framework level of introduction to this huge and rapidly evolving realm of inquiry, you can continue to read more at Brief Introduction to Technological Determinism (Paperback), which is available through the Amazon.com website.

Introducing Technological Determinism

We should always keep in mind that both technology experts and business managers are part of the society. Without understanding society, we cannot understand our clients and customers. But if a professional does not know that exactly how technology is related to the society and vice versa, he/she cannot devise technological systems that would benefit the society in the long run. Apparently, study of society and social sciences is not an imperative for a technical or management trainee. But in the age of social networks like Facebook and with increased public focus on topics like corporate social responsibility (CSR), it is not a good idea to neglect the social influence and importance of technology as a whole. Technological determinism can amply help us in developing an understanding on how society and technology interact. The basic framework of this theoretical paradigm has been constructed on the basis of Thorstein B. Veblen’s works. Although a strictly deterministic approach might damage the very target of this book, I have focused on the philosophical side of determinism. This has been done to provide a wholesome view of the debates that frequently arise while analyzing the relationships between technology and society. Although this book is primarily meant for sociology students, I have adopted an interdisciplinary approach. If a manager or technology expert wishes to work on socio-technical projects, this book can be helpful for them as well. To get the Amazon page of the main book, please click here.

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Social Shaping Theory

In order to understand the social shaping theory, a researcher must explore the works of Mackenzie and Wajcman (1985). The authors, in fact, pioneered the concept of social shaping as put in an organised way in their research on the basis of historical analysis. Earlier, scholars like Dosi (1982) had tried to draw attention of the academic world towards influence of society on technology. Dosi (1982) marked technological developments of almost all categories as consequences of an intricate interplay between different economical and institutional factors in the human society as a whole. Although this practically turns technological determinism almost upside down, inclusion of institutional factors remains quite practical and necessary in the context of giant corporations and capitalist democracies. As put forward by the experts like Williamson (1975) and Mackenzie and Wajcman (1985), corporations approach plays an important role to investigate the function of the different corporate institutions behind financing the various support mechanisms for technological research.

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