Helena Flam Universitat Konstanz B. D. R. Volker Schneider Max Planck Institute for Social Research Kaln, B. D. R. I. A traditional sociologist or political scientist may find the choise of videotex as the object of this cross-national comparison surprising. Indeed, contemporary Sociology and Political Science have shied away from the studies of technology. Consequently, until recently they have not contributed much to the understanding of technological change, leaving this field of study to geographers and historians. The very best among such studies reveal, however, that the evolution of technology is a social construction and that the development and deployment of technical systems are intermeshed with social, economic and political relations (Hughes 1982). These studies show that technologies are often the result of the interaction between a number of social groups and actors (e. g. business, the state, etc. ) as well as of social struggles revolving around the impact of such collaboration on the third parties. Once revealed, these complex interdependencies and processes are a compelling justification for the recent focus of sociologists and political scientists on technology and complex technical systems (Bijker et al. 1987, Burns and Flam 1987: 292-365; Mayntz and Hughes 1988). The aim of these as well as the present study is to uncover these webs and processes in order to contribute to the general understanding of technological change from a societal perspective. It is also to show that these processes are non-deterministic, interactive, and open-ended.
Books > Computer Science
Specifications of Relaunching Videotex