Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The Aura of "High Tech" in a World of Messy Practice

Kathryn Henderson
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Autumn, 1998), pp. 645-672
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4120832
Page Count: 28
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
The Aura of "High Tech" in a World of Messy Practice
Preview not available

Abstract

This study employs interlocking analytical devices from the perspectives of several disciplines to explore members' meanings through definitions of "high technology" given by workers in design engineering. The comparative analysis employs concepts from art history, sociology of culture, anthropology and science studies to explore the appeal of "high technology" in comparison with the aura of original artworks and the status accrued by symbolic tools. Additionally, the role standardization has played in the development of engineering as a profession is explored in historical context as are the recurring themes of speed and "the new." The findings reveal that how engineers use new technologies in the world of messy practice and their conceptual framework regarding so-called "high technology" do not map well onto one another. The study illustrates the perspective of science and technology studies that views all technology as socially shaped and society shaping, its construction accomplished through messy patched-up practices rather than clean, linear paths or perfect techniques.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[645]
    [645]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
646
    646
  • Thumbnail: Page 
647
    647
  • Thumbnail: Page 
648
    648
  • Thumbnail: Page 
649
    649
  • Thumbnail: Page 
650
    650
  • Thumbnail: Page 
651
    651
  • Thumbnail: Page 
652
    652
  • Thumbnail: Page 
653
    653
  • Thumbnail: Page 
654
    654
  • Thumbnail: Page 
655
    655
  • Thumbnail: Page 
656
    656
  • Thumbnail: Page 
657
    657
  • Thumbnail: Page 
658
    658
  • Thumbnail: Page 
659
    659
  • Thumbnail: Page 
660
    660
  • Thumbnail: Page 
661
    661
  • Thumbnail: Page 
662
    662
  • Thumbnail: Page 
663
    663
  • Thumbnail: Page 
664
    664
  • Thumbnail: Page 
665
    665
  • Thumbnail: Page 
666
    666
  • Thumbnail: Page 
667
    667
  • Thumbnail: Page 
668
    668
  • Thumbnail: Page 
669
    669
  • Thumbnail: Page 
670
    670
  • Thumbnail: Page 
671
    671
  • Thumbnail: Page 
672
    672