chapter  7
37 Pages

CONSTRUCTING TECHNOLOGY

DISCOURSE

The previous chapter explored some of the complicated and very human ways in which technological tools are developed within particular settings, by particular people, acting with particular beliefs and goals. The story of the Andrew user interface's evolution suggests that, although a well-designed computer system looks "transparent" to users, the actual construction of that system may be fraught with conflicting purposes and motives and influenced by factors such as time, money, and politics. This chapter examines another way in which technologies are constructed: through the language used to characterize technology and to argue about technology's implications.