Reuniting History and Sociology Through Research on Technological Change

Document Type



Sociology (Pitzer)

Publication Date



sociology, history, technology, technological change, social constructionism, technological determinism


Scholarly pursuits of the topics encompassed by science, technology, and society (STS) provide many opportunities to combine sociology with history. This article notes some of the reasons why sociology has tended to ignore history but asserts that scholarly explorations of STS topics, and in particular the study of technological change, provide many opportunities for engagements with history. A number of research issues are presented that focus on such topics as the rise of the nation-state, changes in the occupational structure, and recast gender roles. The article concludes that a historically informed study of technology and technological change will add an important dimension to a key sociological insight, that people actively create the forces shaping their lives while also being constrained and molded by these creations.

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© 2003 SAGE Publications

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