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Gina Neff

Summary of Papers

Discussion Questions


  • Where does technological progress come from? Is this even the right question to ask?
  • How should designers respond to reappropriation?
  • What should we take from SCOT and mutual shaping? Are these the right models? Are other models still appropriate?
  • Who holds the power in what circumstances? The producers? The users? Societal forces?

Kline & Pinch

  • "If they had succeeded the car might have taken a very different form - it would have been a short distance city vehicle only"... Do we agree with this?
  • Cars and DIY culture? What is the relationship?
  • Is technological reappropriation (the urge to fiddle) inherently masculine?
  • Do users' meanings make artifact definitions? How convincing is Kline and Pinch's theoretical framing of the process compared to Boczkowksi.


  • The internet makes explicit what was formerly tacit (displays of banal nationalism, friend networks etc.) What impact is this having on society?
  • In this case, the creators and users of the technology are one. How does this change things?
  • Is the AML just a tool to facilitate extant banal nationalism or does it produce a new form of nationalism?
  • How does "mutual shaping of technology" differ from the SCOT approach of Kline and Pinch?
  • Is it important if the artifact (CDROM) gets made?
  • What does Boczkowski mean by the distinctions of enable/constrain/trigger?
  • How convincing is Boczkowski's connection between his empirical findings and his theoretical framing?

Neff & Stark

  • Which of these predictions came right? Which were off base and why?
  • Is Permenantly Beta like "horseless carriage" or "wireless networking" in that it implies a final state? Are we in an era of something else?
  • What is it about the internet and Web 2.0 that causes the state of permenant beta?
  • What has Web 2.0 done to permanently beta?
  • Was the car culture in Kline a "user innovation community"?

comments - socially shaping this wiki

[from clifford] a nagging question that emerges for me in the articles (and in STS in general), is how do market forces fit into the reciprocal systems developed by the first two authors? economic dynamics play a role in each of the above studies, but it seems to me that they play a mostly contextual role.

i'm wondering how to interpret this or whether it is even a relevant question. a couple possibilities:

  • perhaps is suggests that the market is treated as what we refer to as "social structure"
  • perhaps it's an epistemological distinction: to foreground market forces would be a move that privileges rational choice as a theoretical position
  • disciplinary distinction: where are the disciplinary boundaries of STS? is it the case that economic theory is simply a different disciplinary lens, which does not overlap with STS kinds of questions?

in the third article neff/stark address the (new) economy directly, but it is still unclear to me how economics fits into the discussions of tech & society

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