Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology

By Ralph Schroeder | Go to book overview
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Chapter 1
Beniger ( 1986:1-27) offers an overview of various conceptions of the "information society" and related concepts.
For the "sociology of scientific knowledge," see, for example, Woolgar ( 1988). Recent approaches to the sociology of technology are brought together in the collections of essays edited by MacKenzie and Wajcman ( 1985) and Bijker, Hughes, and Pinch ( 1987). There are many rival strands within the sociology of science and technology that need not concern us here. Randall Collins has noted (in conversation) that although the study of science and technology is still a relatively small, specialized area within sociology, it contains more schools -- one might also say "sects" -- with competing view- points than any other.
Overviews of these debates in relation to science are presented in Collins and Restivo ( 1983) and Restivo ( 1994). For new technologies, the collection edited by Dierkes and Hoffmann ( 1992) represents a useful survey.
See Mokyr ( 1990: 151-192 and 273-304). A selection of recent contributions to this debate can be found in Smith and Marx ( 1994).
Much of the discussion in this area has focused on science rather than technology, but Woolgar ( 1991), for example, has argued that technology should be treated as a "text."
Price has argued, in a similar vein, that the concepts of science and technology are closely linked ( 1975:117-135).
For an account of computer systems development that focuses on the organizational level, see Friedman ( 1989).
See Schroeder ( 1995a) and Brubaker ( 1984:esp. 29-35). Hard ( 1994) also offers a Weberian analysis of science and technology.

Chapter 2
This source of funding, incidentally, is also the main basis of other technologies that have recently gained prominence, electronic mail and the Internet (see Rheingold 1994:esp. 65-109).


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Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology


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