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Reply to Bas and Paul 23 Oct, 2009

Posted by Maarten Derksen in definitions.
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Part of the reason for organising the workshop was that we felt that the concept of ‘social technology’ pointed at several interesting and urgent issues at the intersection of STS and the social sciences (including psychology), but that it still needed to be developed and clarified. The reactions to our call for papers confirmed this: people were very enthusiastic and the participants of the workshop were clearly inspired, but the notion of ‘social technology’ was interpreted in various ways, taken in a range of directions. To some extent, I believe this diversity is a good thing: we proposed ‘social technology’ in part as a call to study empirical domains that we believe have been neglected. The fact that participants readily identified a diverse range of them, confirms this. Nevertheless, we intend ‘social technology’ to be more than a heuristic, and Bas and Paul have raised a number of questions that can help us clarify the concept theoretically. I have selected two, and will write seperate blog posts answering each of them. I invite everyone to comment on the piece by Bas and Paul and on my replies.