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Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change
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Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
This book crystallizes and extends the important work Wiebe Bijker has done in the last decade to found a full-scale theory of sociotechnical change that describes where technologies come from and how societies deal with them. Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs integrates detailed case studies with theoretical generalizations and political analyses to offer a fully rounded ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published January 3rd 1997 by Mit Press (first published November 1st 1994)
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Michael
This book looks at three different technological developments - bicycles in the 1800s and into the early 20th century, the development of Bakelite, and finally the early commercial marking of fluorescent lighting.

I was really only interested in the cycling part, but read through much of the rest. This is a sociology text and not a particularly easy read. I appreciated the discussion about the non-linear aspects of the development of bicycles and the popularity of cycling, but I probably should
...more
Timothy
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think I'm probably not alone in disliking academic books with a lot of sociological theory: I always want to get at the meat of the book without learning a lot of jargon to describe concepts that are usually quite simple. I usually feel that the authors are trying to artificially distinguish themselves from predecessors who have utilized essentially the same ideas, but that's my point of view as an outsider to the discipline.

Having said that, I was really impressed by the way that theory is pa
...more
Nate
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: yanni
fails as a history book and a science book. lot of bullshit nonsense for what essentially boils down to an argument of "things get invented for a particular purpose".
Nicolina Miller
Nov 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I learned about "retroactive distortion"
a phrase I now love to use.
Jrome
Oct 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Very technical. It should be converted into 5 blog posts.
J
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well, I really just read the part about the history of the bicycle. Its research is very detailed, thorough, and well argued.
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