[Air-L] Seeking a short introduction text on technological determinism vs. SCOT

Brice L Nixon bln222 at nyu.edu
Mon Feb 19 07:53:04 PST 2018

I have had success using the first two sections (p. 1-7) of the chapter
"The Technology and the Society" from Raymond Williams' *Television:
Technology and Cultural Form* as a short introduction to those two basic

Williams uses television to illustrate the different views of the
relationship between technology and society (the book is from 1974). In
addition to explaining the debate between the views of  technological
determinism and what he calls symptomatic technology, Williams also argues
that this debate is a dead end because each view abstracts technology from
society. The rest of the book is meant to offer an alternative approach —
and one that I think remains an important alternative to consider in
relation to the more recent theoretical approaches to technology and

Brice Nixon, PhD
Visiting Scholar, Annenberg School for Communication, University of
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Media Studies and Production, Temple

On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 10:02 AM, Carmel Vaisman <carmelv at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear fellows,
> I have been struggling with the task of finding a simple short text for
> undergraduates that introduces the approaches of technological determinism
> (including utopia and dystopia) versus social construction of technology.
> Since the theoretical terrain has since been enriched with actor network
> theories and post phenomenology and so forth, it has become very hard to
> find a text that doesn't complicate this basic framework which fits a
> sophomore introductory level course. Any ideas?
> Thanks in advance,
> Carmel Vaisman, PhD.
> The Multidisciplinary Program in the Humanities
> The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas
> Tel Aviv University
> http://www.absolutecarmel.com
> Twitter: @carmelva
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