Sample Term Paper


A Social Theory can be defined as a theory that attempts to explain changes or phenomenon that occurs in a society. In other words, a Social Theory seeks to describe the composition and organization of a society along with the general conditions that bring in social stability or change (Routledge & Craig, 2000).Throughout the ages, social theories have been use to gain understanding and interpret different phenomena in a society. The emergence, progress and effects of science and technology have been topics of interest for researchers since a long time.

Various theories have been developed in this regard which attempt to explain and gain and understanding of how the society plays a role in shaping up the technology and vice versa. Social Construction of Technology and Actor-Network Theory are two of the theories that have been used by researcher in this regard (Dusak, 2006). This paper discusses both theories, attempts to highlight their difference as well as point out their various strength and weaknesses.

Actor Network Theory

The Actor-Network Theory makes an approach to the concept of “science and technology in the making” rather than “pre-made science and technology”. The Actor-Network Theory argues that the science and technology development is not very different from other social activities and that a society can only be defined by recognizing the facts constructed by natural and social sciences and the artifacts which have been designed by the engineers into the fabric of the society. It attempts to do this by defining a network like ontology and an accompanying social theory (Latour, 1997).

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