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Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 3–4, pp 11–43 | Cite as

Technological semantics and technological practice: Lessons from an enigmatic episode in twentieth-century technology studies

  • Kelvin W. Willoughby
Articles

Abstract

This paper is a review of words and their meanings in the field of technology studies, and an analysis the semantics of an idealistic international technology-related social movement that flourished briefly during the second half of the twentieth century. Sloppy nomenclature employed by proponents and observers of the movement led to people with opposite views appearing to agree (and vice versa), with the consequence that the movement’s valuable policy insights exerted only marginal influence on mainstream technology policy. I conclude that poor technological semantics may undermine effective technological practice. Suggestions for a constructive technological nomenclature are presented.

Keywords

Technology Study Human Endeavor Technological Semantic United Nations Industrial Development Organization Dictionary Definition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelvin W. Willoughby
    • 1
  1. 1.the Center for the Development of Technological Leadership, Institute of TechnologyUniversity of MinnesotaUSA

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