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How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology

How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology #2673-CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY—VOL 35 NO 1—FILE: 35102-reviews Work, Organizations, and Markets–31 how we define and address risk, both indi- before they are stabilized have also created a vidually and institutionally. The uncertainties new domain of research questions. Opening surrounding risk assessment are not confined the “black box” of technological change has potentially empowered all those who have a to scientific knowledge. When science and stake in shaping technology rather than sim- technology fail to offer answers about risk, ply bowing to its seemingly inexorable people often respond by subjectively assign- reshaping of everyday life. That granted, with ing meaning to the situation. Thus, much of the exception of a few notable examples risk assessment is based on criteria that are (like Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s work on the far removed from a rational and scientific “consumption junction”), historians and soci- knowledge of probabilities. When people ologists of technology have paid little atten- approach risk subjectively, they energetically tion to users. The abiding interest in examine their self and identity during risky innovation and production, rather than their activities in order to assign significance to the use, has remained as an epistemological content and context of their actions. Since residue of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews SAGE

How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology

Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews , Volume 35 (1): 2 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2006 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0094-3061
eISSN
1939-8638
DOI
10.1177/009430610603500121
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

#2673-CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY—VOL 35 NO 1—FILE: 35102-reviews Work, Organizations, and Markets–31 how we define and address risk, both indi- before they are stabilized have also created a vidually and institutionally. The uncertainties new domain of research questions. Opening surrounding risk assessment are not confined the “black box” of technological change has potentially empowered all those who have a to scientific knowledge. When science and stake in shaping technology rather than sim- technology fail to offer answers about risk, ply bowing to its seemingly inexorable people often respond by subjectively assign- reshaping of everyday life. That granted, with ing meaning to the situation. Thus, much of the exception of a few notable examples risk assessment is based on criteria that are (like Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s work on the far removed from a rational and scientific “consumption junction”), historians and soci- knowledge of probabilities. When people ologists of technology have paid little atten- approach risk subjectively, they energetically tion to users. The abiding interest in examine their self and identity during risky innovation and production, rather than their activities in order to assign significance to the use, has remained as an epistemological content and context of their actions. Since residue of the

Journal

Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of ReviewsSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2006

There are no references for this article.