Dancing with dragons: Social construction of technology during times of resource stress
AuthorHarris, La Verne Abe
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractToday, struggles of higher education--technological change and organizational change--are like dragons--somewhat unpredictable, mystical, altering everyone and everything in its path. Managing technology and the restructuring of the organization is like dancing with dragons. Within the science and technology studies literature, scholars have developed sociotechnological perspectives that are useful for addressing the framing of technology during these fiscally-challenging times for universities. A close look at this literature reveals that Weibe Bijker and Robert J. Thomas have deemed technology worthy of sociological inquiry. These scholars believe that technical artifacts are not neutral, but constructed by older technologies, economic choice, politics, and social factors. This study examines social perceptions of technical artifacts during times of resource stress, specifically how it affects academic support technologists. It addresses the forces that drive and shape electrophotography processes and streaming media in an academic setting. I hope to contribute to the body of knowledge by evaluating electrophotography and streaming media as technical artifacts in higher education, identifying their adoption, implementation, and embeddedness in an organization. By exposing the deep relationship between a technical system and a social system, my intent is to create a link between the philosophy of technology as an intellectual construct and the social framing of a technical artifact.
Degree ProgramGraduate College