Tag Archives: sociology

The eruption of tradition? On ordinality and calculation

Abstract Numerical ordinal rankings (or ratings) are proliferating in the current social and economic world. Many are used to derive and justify relative monetary valuation, by modes of equation and calculation. The article shows how these composite manipulations of order and value tend to produce a parabolic curve: very few at very high value at the top, descending in [...]

False numbers as formalizing practices

Abstract It will be argued that false numbers in working documents, formulae, and business plans are used as temporary or conditional devices to enable rationalization. The social processes of creating formalized practices depend upon activities that are themselves conditional and ephemeral. That is, rather than subvert the ostensible purpose of fixed representation, false numbers make [...]

Scientific Foundations: A Case for Technology-Mediated Social-Participation Theory

Abstract Technology-mediated social-participation systems, such as Wikipedia and TopCoder, allow a vast user base to collaborate to solve difficult problems. TMSP could be applied to many current social issues, but doing so requires new theory and infrastructure for social design. Comments This paper is a manifesto for technology-mediated social participation (TMSP). In this first part, [...]

Advancing the Design of Technology-Mediated Social Participation Systems

Abstract Technology-mediated social participation systems can dramatically change the way science, government, healthcare, entertainment, and enterprise operate. Using research from several fields, we can learn how to design better TMSP systems and to better integrate lessons learned in practice back into theory. Comments This the second (and more applied) part of the treatise on technology-mediated [...]

Risk society: towards a new modernity

Abstract This panoramic analysis of the condition of Western societies has been hailed as a classic. This first English edition has taken its place as a core text of contemporary sociology alongside earlier typifications of society as postindustrial and current debates about the social dimensions of the postmodern. Underpinning the analysis is the notion of [...]

Roadmapping a disruptive technology: A case study: The emerging microsystems and top-down nanosystems industry

Abstract If technological roadmapping is important in the process of rapid technology commercialization, and if a method tailored to roadmapping nascent disruptive technologies does not exist, and if these very same disruptive technologies portend to be the future economic engines for firms, countries, and regions, then there is cause for concern. This article seeks to [...]

Assessing socially disruptive technological change

Abstract The co-evolution of society and potentially disruptive technologies makes decision guidance on such technologies difficult. Four basic principles are proposed for such decision guidance. None of the currently available methods satisfies these principles, but some of them contain useful methodological elements that should be integrated in a more satisfactory methodology. The outlines of such [...]

Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice

Abstract When environmental health problems arise in a community, policymakers must be able to reconcile the first-hand experience of local residents with recommendations by scientists. In this highly original look at environmental health policymaking, Jason Corburn shows the ways that local knowledge can be combined with professional techniques to achieve better solutions for environmental health [...]

Assessment of social implications of nanotechnologies in Japan: Application of problem structuring method based on interview surveys and cognitive maps

Abstract This paper aims at developing a problem structuring method based on interview surveys of key stakeholders and a well-known visualizing technique, called a “cognitive map.” We found that this new method, based on an interactive process with key stakeholders, was able to draw broader and more detailed issues than was previously anticipated. We also [...]

Lend me your arms: The use and implications of humancentric RFID

Abstract Recent developments in the area of RFID have seen the technology expand from its role in industrial and animal tagging applications, to being implantable in humans. With a gap in literature identified between current technological development and future humancentric possibility, little has been previously known about the nature of contemporary humancentric applications. By employing [...]

Privacy, Data Protection, and the Unprecedented Challenges of Ambient Intelligence

Abstract This paper identifies the unprecedented challenges that the prospects of an ‘ambient intelligence’ era (involving the development of the ‘internet of things’, with widespread dissemination of RFID’s, ubiquitous computing,’smart’ objects and surveillance devices) raise from the points of view of ‘privacy’ and data protection. Privacy and data protection are identified, in line with Agre’s [...]

MACOSPOL (Mapping Controversies on Science for Politics)

Abstract In modern societies, collective life is assembled through the superposition of scientific and technical controversies. The inequities of growth, the ecological crisis, the bioethical dilemma and all other major contemporary issues occur today as tangles of humans and non-humans actors, politics and science, morality and technology. Because of this growing hybridization complexity, getting involved [...]