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Leah A. Lievrouw

In: Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Consequences of ICTs

Chapter 11: Determination and Contingency in New Media Development: Diffusion of Innovations and Social Shaping of Technology Perspectives

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Determination and Contingency in New Media Development: Diffusion of Innovations and Social Shaping of Technology Perspectives
Determination and contingency in new media development: Diffusion of innovations and social shaping of technology perspectives
Leah A. Lievrouw

Across many literatures technologies are described as having trajectories, stages, cycles and growth curves; they diffuse, transfer, are ‘pushed’ and ‘pulled’, and evolve. Many current observers agree that ‘technology’ includes not only the built devices themselves, but also the practices and knowledge related to them and the social arrangements that form around those devices, practices and knowledge (Mackenzie and Wacjman, 1999; Dierkes and Hoffmann, 1992; see also the Introduction to this volume). Thought of this way, technology is dynamic, even fluid: ‘The interaction between material and nonmaterial components and coupling of ...

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