A contextualising, socio-technical definition of technology: Learning from ancient Greece and Foucault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The task of defining technology has had an unhappy history. It seems that agreement about what technology is - and even if a definition should be sought at all - has not been reached. This article argues that a definition is possible and should be sought. The etymology of the word technology suggests that it has long had a socio-technical meaning and, furthermore, Foucault's definition of four types of technologies suggests a framework in which a socio-technical definition of technology can be usefully detailed. In this case the definition helps to provide a broad and deeply contextual understanding of what technology is (in its tangible and intangible forms), the processes which it influences and the processes which influence it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalPrometheus (United Kingdom)
Volume15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Assemblage of technologies
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Technologies of power
  • Technologies of production
  • Technologies of sign systems
  • Technologies of the self

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A contextualising, socio-technical definition of technology: Learning from ancient Greece and Foucault'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this