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Cultures of Technology and the Quest for Innovation

Edited by Helga Nowotny

232 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-116-5 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (February 2006)

ISBN  978-1-84545-117-2 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (February 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-964-4 eBook


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“…a book that is fundamental to the understanding of technologically developed societies…Innovation matters. Culture matters. And only an understanding of the links between culture and innovation can help us make sense of the world we are building.”  ·  Technology and Culture

Underlying the current dynamics of technological developments, their divergence or convergence and the abundance of options, promises and risks they contain, is the quest for innovation, the contributors to this volume argue. The seemingly insatiable demand for novelty coincides with the rise of modern science and the onset of modernity in Western societies. Never before has the Baconian dream been so close to becoming reality: wrapped into a globalizing capitalism that seeks ever expanding markets for new products, artifacts and designs and new processes that lead to gains in efficiency, productivity and profit. However, approaching these developments through a wider historical and cultural perspectives, means to raise questions about the plurality of cultures, the interaction between "hardware" and "software" and about the nature of the interfaces where technology meets with economic, social, legal, historical constraints and opportunities. The authors come to the conclusion that inside a seemingly homogenous package and a seemingly universal quest for innovation many differences remain.

Helga Nowotny, who has a doctorate in law from the University of Vienna and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, New York, was Professor of Social Studies of Science at ETH Zurich since and Director of Collegium Helveticum. Currently she is Chair of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) of the European Commission and Director of the post-doctorate Branco Weiss Fellowship. She was Executive Director of the European Center in Vienna, which she founded, and for seven years Chairperson of the Standing Committee for the Social Sciences of the European Science Foundation.

Series: Volume 9, Making Sense of History
Subject: General Anthropology General History
Area:

LC: HC79.T4 C85 2006

BL: YC.2007.a.9295

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; HIS000000 HISTORY/General

BIC: JHM Anthropology; HBAH Historiography




Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Quest for Innovation and Cultures of Technology
Helga Nowotny

PART I: ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CULTURE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION

Chapter 1. Culture and Innovation
Thomas P. Hughes

Chapter 2. The Unintended Consequences of Innovation: Change and Community at MIT
Rosalind Williams

Chapter 3. The Vulnerability of Technological Culture
Wiebe E. Bijker

PART II: THE GENDER BIAS OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS

Chapter 4. Culture of Gender, and Culture of Technology: The Gendering of Things in France’s Office Spaces between 1890 and 1930
Delphine Gardey

Chapter 5. Suspending Gender? Reflecting on Innovations in Cyberspace
Judy Wajcman

PART III: PLURALIST HISTORIES OF SCIENCE, INNOVATION, AND WAR

Chapter 6. Innovation, Diverse Knowledges, and the Presumed Singularity of Science
John V. Pickstone

Chapter 7. Scientists on the Battlefield: Cultures and Conflicts
Jean-Jacques Salomon

PART IV: THE ADOPTION OF INNOVATIONS IN DIFFERENT CULTURAL CONTEXTS

Chapter 8. From Prophecies of the Future to Incarnations of the Past: Cultures of Nuclear Technology
Patrick Kupper

Chapter 9. The Mining Industry in Traditional China: Intraand Intercultural Comparisons
Hans Ulrich Vogel

Epilogue: Interdisciplinarity and the Innovation Process How to Organize Spaces of Translation, or, the Politics of Innovation
Joachim Nettelbeck

Contributors
Select Bibliography
Index

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