• Corpus ID: 8378346

Infrastructure and Modernity : Force , Time , and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems

  title={Infrastructure and Modernity : Force , Time , and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems},
  author={Paul N. Edwards},
This is true despite modernity’s constitutive babble/Babel of discourses about “technology.” Technology talk rarely concerns the full suite of sociotechnical systems characteristic of modern societies. Instead, at any given moment most technology discourse is about high tech, i.e. new or rapidly changing technologies. Today, these include handheld computers, genetically modified foods, the Global Positioning System, and the World Wide Web. Television, indoor plumbing, and ordinary telephony… 

Histories of Technology and the Environment in Post/Colonial Africa: Reflections on the Field

Much has happened since Dipesh Chakrabarty, at the turn of the millennium, paradigmatically called for a “provincialization of Europe”. The paper connects with three major trends in current history

Building Highland Asia in the Twenty-First Century

Abstract:In this article we review the most recent literature on infrastructure in the social sciences and show its relevance for the study of Highland Asia. We consider the spatial, scalar, and

In the Technological Footprints of Urbanity: A Socio-political History of Water and Sanitation in Nairobi, 1899-2015

While History of Technology as a discipline has developed more strongly in the Global North, a huge lacuna exists in the Global South, particularly in Africa. In addition, the few texts that have

Inhuman Power: Infrastructural Modernism and the Fiction of Social Form

E.M. Forster’s imperative to “only connect” has long been read as modernist slogan for the rarefied depth of authentic interpersonal intimacy. Reframing the historical co-emergence of literary

Think Piece: Postcolonial Histories of Computing

What postcolonial science and technology studies mean for historians of computing is discussed and a discussion on how their categories may be more contingent, and less universal, than the authors have accepted is encouraged.

Making markets: infrastructures, engineers and the moral technologies of finance

for their thoughtful comments and suggestions. I also thank Leon Wansleben, Tobias Werron and the participants of the 2012 Workshop on Global Markets (Lucerne). 2 Making markets: infrastructures,

Infrastructural power: discretion and the dynamics of infrastructure in action

ABSTRACT This article analyses how a pair of nineteenth century commodity exchanges—in Chicago and New Orleans—shaped the sociotechnical infrastructures underlying two key types of market

Reluctant Modernization: The Cultural Dynamics of Water Supply in Istanbul, 1885–1950

How previously free water became a priced commodity, and how the centralized supply reinforced structures of social inequality is examined, are examined.

The History of Technology

A generation ago, before the much-noted “empirical turn” in philosophy, it was unlikely that an assessment of the philosophy of technology would have prominently featured the history of technology.

Expanding perceptions of the circular economy through design: Eight capitals as innovation lenses




How Machines Make History, and how Historians (And Others) Help Them to Do So

If machines make history, they do so only with the assistance of others. For the most part, machines are mute and illiterate, and it is historians (and others) who decide the extent to which

The rise of the network society

From the Publisher: This ambitious book is an account of the economic and social dynamics of the new age of information. Based on research in the USA, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, it aims to

World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization

Part I. The Modernity of Tradition: 1. Fashion as flexible production: the strategies of the Lyon silk merchants in the eighteenth century Carlo Poni 2. The fate of fabriques collectives in the

In Athena's Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age

Abstract : We have been posing our ideas about conflict in the information age for some years now, beginning in 1991 with our original ruminations about cyberwar, then about netwar, and lately about

America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

From the Publisher: The telephone looms large in our lives, as ever present in modern societies as cars and television. Claude Fischer presents the first social history of this vital but

The Social Construction of Technological Systems

The web of human relations which originates, nurtures, and transforms technologies has long deserved attention. Computers, bicycles, natural gas pipelines, and condoms live and have their being in

Advances in social theory and methodology : toward an integration of micro- and macro-sociologies

Introduction. The Micro-Sociological Challenge of Macro-Sociology: Towards a Reconstruction of Social Theory and Methodology K. Knorr-Cetina. Part 1. The Micro-Foundations of Social Knowledge 1.

Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change

Technology is everywhere, yet a theory of technology and its social dimension remains to be fully developed. Building on the influential book The Social Construction of Technological Systems, this

Changing Large Technical Systems

Introduction - the systems approach to understanding technological change, Jane Ummerton. Part 1 Combining old and new technologies to reshape systems: recombining large technical systems - the case

Crossing the postmodern divide

In this eloquent guide to the meanings of the postmodern era, Albert Borgmann charts the options before us as we seek alternatives to the joyless and artificial culture of consumption. Borgmann