Getting caught between discourse(s): hybrid choices in technology use at work

Ivory, Chris, Sherratt, Fred, Casey, Rebecca and Watson, Kayleigh (2020) Getting caught between discourse(s): hybrid choices in technology use at work. New Technology, Work And Employment, 35 (1). pp. 80-96. ISSN 0268-1072

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Winner (1977, Autonomous Technology, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 77), in defense of technology determinism, cautioned against ‘throwing out the baby with the methodological bathwater’. His concern was that in so doing STS research would underplay, or be unable to account for, the effects that technology change does have on society. We similarly now find that powerful explanatory concepts like ‘structural‐discourse’ have been largely expunged from the contemporary STS analytical lexicon; with consequences, we believe, for our ability as researchers to interpret and explain the rapid change we see in contemporary work places. In this paper we make the case for the continued use of a strong structural‐discourse theory alongside other emergent forms of discourse. We show how workers, responding to conflicting and different types of discourse, produce varying hybrid responses—actions that react to and combine elements of emergent and structural discourses. Our work considers the implications of this finding for contemporary STS theory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: communications, discourse, sociomaterial, mobile phones, communities of practice, repair workers
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2019 13:29
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 11:00

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