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The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology might Benefit Each Other

The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology... The need for an integrated social constructivist approach towards the study of science and technology is outlined. Within such a programme both scientific facts and technological artefacts are to be understood as social constructs. Literature on the sociology of science, the science-technology relationship, and technology studies is reviewed. The empirical programme of relativism within the sociology of scientific knowledge and a recent study of the social construction of technological artefacts are combined to produce the new approach. The concepts of `interpretative flexibility' and `closure mechanism', and the notion of `social group' are developed and illustrated by reference to a study of solar physics and a study of the development of the bicycle. The paper concludes by setting out some of the terrain to be explored in future studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and Technology SAGE

The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology might Benefit Each Other

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References (53)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0306-3127
eISSN
1460-3659
DOI
10.1177/030631284014003004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The need for an integrated social constructivist approach towards the study of science and technology is outlined. Within such a programme both scientific facts and technological artefacts are to be understood as social constructs. Literature on the sociology of science, the science-technology relationship, and technology studies is reviewed. The empirical programme of relativism within the sociology of scientific knowledge and a recent study of the social construction of technological artefacts are combined to produce the new approach. The concepts of `interpretative flexibility' and `closure mechanism', and the notion of `social group' are developed and illustrated by reference to a study of solar physics and a study of the development of the bicycle. The paper concludes by setting out some of the terrain to be explored in future studies.

Journal

Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and TechnologySAGE

Published: Aug 1, 1984

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