Oihobn Essay

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In Thomas Hughes essay he suggest that neither technological determinism and social constructivism have the scope to accurately describe the relationship between technology and society and therefore he researches and proposes a new approach. This approach takes technologies and labels them as systems; the systems at first being more easily influenced by social factors, then later, as the develop momentum they become more an influential force. Thus the phase technological momentum is coined. Hughes being yet another author that advocates an approach to technological determinism and social constructivism that is more of a midpoint between two poles, conceding points to both sides; which I agree with. In the introduction it is stated that some critics of Hughes claim that because technology is still at the center of historical development he is a technological determinism. Hughes denies these claims and says that even though technology still lies at the center of his process he weighs social and technical aspects of his process equally. In the beginning stages of a technical system’s advance Hughes claims and in my opinion gives good examples as to how the system is more susceptible to outside influence. Factors such as geography, individual contributions of workers, applications of knowledge, and the needs of society all affect a systems advancement. But as a system grows and develops it gains a momentum in the form of peoples investing or having a stake in the technology as well as the fact that generally, as a technical system advances, it tends to envelope itself in a bureaucracy; bureaucracy tending to install characteristics of itself, and the system it envelopes, into the society involved. Hughes also provides an example to support these claims being the evolution of EBASCO, an electrical company. Basically the limits placed on the development of the

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