The Social Construction of Technology: ThePhrase ‘Social Construction of Technology’, also known as ‘SCOT’ refers to atheory that revolves around various types of societal elements and factors andhow they mould& frame technology, lead to its growth and also transform it into thetechnology we know of today (Pinch and Bijker, 1987) This idea, taken from theempirical program of relativism (cf. Collins 1975; Pinch 1977, 1986; Pickering1984) in the social studies of science, suggests that technology design is anopen process that can produce different outcomes depending on the socialcircumstances of development (Klein, Kleinman, 2002). Society creates problems for itself in its conquestto grow and develop, which might be sometimes out of greed or actual necessities.Technology is a means to solve these problems by fulfilling the needs and wantsof the humans, who are needless to remind, insatiable. Hence, the bettermentand development in technology is and always will be an ongoing process. Most ofthe technology from ancient times had been created to reduce human efforts.
Databasekeeps getting bigger by the second while the circuit size shrinks. Social construction of technology (SCOT) assists usin organizing our activities by conceiving the difficulty of rigidness oftechnology. Since we are living in the times where technology is everything,SCOT offers a conceptual framework for putting issues on the political agenda.(Wajcman, 2000). Society including politics is technically constructed astechnology since technology is socially and politically constructed. (Wajcman,2000).
Social Construction of Technology contradicts theTechnological Determinism, according to which, technology primarily takes formand grows undisturbed, independent of the society, and secondly, has the forceto bring about changes in the society and its nature. Technology forms part of a seamless web of society,politics, and economics. Thus, the development of technological artefact, suchas a high-resistance incandescent lamp, is not merely a technical achievement;embedded within it are social, political and economic considerations (Pinch.T).
To make sense of technological growth, there must be a review of the socialinterpretations that have formed the meaning of what issues can or must beresolved by a said technological artefact and hence paved the path for thechoices made by their designers, producers and users of the given technology. Forexample, various weapons of destruction were a product of the political andsocial pressure that brought about the need to design such horrors oftechnology nobody generally would’ve thought of creating. Technologies are,therefore, products of conflict and compromise. SocialConstruction of Technology utilizes the concepts of Relevant Social Groups (RSGs),Interpretive Flexibility, Closure and Stabilization (Kline and Pinch, 1999).
Theconcept of interpretive flexibility is its distinguishing feature. To claimthat technology has interpretive flexibility is to claim that artifacts areopen to radically different interpretations by various social groups; that is,artifacts are conceived and understood to be different things to differentgroups.